Walnut Canyon National Monument (Arizona)

… was proclaimed on November 30, 1915.

Come gaze across the curved canyon walls! Among the remarkable geological cliff formations of the canyon itself, the shapes of the former homes of ancient inhabitants of Walnut Canyon are easily evident. On a hike along the Rim or Island Trails you can imagine what life was like along and within Walnut Canyon while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before us.

In the pine forests near Flagstaff, Arizona, a steep canyon severs the rolling plateau. Twenty miles long, 400 feet deep and ¼-mile wide, it was carved by Walnut Creek over a period of 6 million years. Within its winding walls are natural riches – an abundant mix of plants and animals drawn there by water and varied topography. It seems a timeless place.

Walls of buff sandstone form the canyon’s inner gorge; the rock contours reveal their origins in the wind-scoured dunes of an ancient desert. The limestone ledges of the upper canyon contain delicate marine fossils, remnants of a later sea. Much later, the people of this canyon built their sturdy homes in shallow alcoves along these ledges.

For a brief time, from about 1100 to 1250, the canyon echoed with the rhythmic beat of a stone axe, the voice of an aged storyteller, children laughing on the rocky slopes. Masonry walls hint of this past, of a time when 100 or more people made their homes and livings here. …

Walnut Canyon National Monument