Exploring Walnut Canyon’s Ancient Cliff Dwellings
On our way to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert here in Arizona, we noticed another little patch of green on the map…Walnut Canyon National Monument.
We just renewed our America the Beautiful pass and as a general rule, we don’t pass up a green spot on a map unless it’s crazy out of the way.
(The yearly pass is $80 and covers entrance fees at national parks, national wildlife refuges, amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. Big savings if you are planning to visit at least a couple of parks in a year or do some boondocking)
Walnut Canyon National Monument is 3600 acres of curved canyon walls, cliff formations and of course the former homes of ancient people.
Potentially, very very short ancient people.
We took a few minutes to sip on tea while trying to imagine what is was like living in a Sinagua culture or “mountains without water”.
We couldn’t even bring ourselves to downsize our RV much less live on so few resources. I have always said I could do anything for a week and maybe a month. In this cold weather, I think it would be a week tops.
All in all it was an interesting look into our ancestor’s history with some very cool cliff views, and a great spot to get out and stretch our road-weary legs.
Our Suggestions: Watch the quick 20min video in the visitor’s center so you know what you’re looking at. Then take the 1mile Island Trail. They note the trail as strenuous (because of stairs) and even with my injured ankle I found it to be very easy.