Southeast of Flagstaff Arizona (click to enlarge and spot the cliff dwellings hidden in the rock face),
on a plateau,
is a six hundred foot deep canyon,
carved by Walnut Creek, a stream that flows east into The Grand Canyon.
Walnut canyon has been occupied by people for thousands of years.
The first permanent residents,
who occupied the region from CE 600- 1400,
left approximately 800 remaining structures.
We visited here as part of an exploration of lesser visited, and even unpublicized cultural sites in the American Southwest. In the next few posts I will show you some of what we have found. But our explorations are still ongoing. It becomes quite addictive finding sites that aren’t widely known. We even found some at The Holler.
For more about Walnut Canyon see:
172 thoughts on “Walnut Canyon National Monument~”
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This is fantastic, wow.
So happy you enjoyed & thank you დ
I’ve seen this place on TV, but not in this much detail, beautiful photos, Cindy! ❤️
So appreciated John. Thanks much & cheers დ
And to you too, Cindy.
Hi Cindy! Sorry, i had again a delay. Thanks for sharing this great information. Please reserve me a place there. 😉 Best wishes, Michael
Smiling. Done. Take good care Michael დ
Wow loved this post..
Happy you did & thank you! დ
Beautiful. RE-posted on twitter @trefology
So appreciated. Thank you & take good care დ
Oh my goodness Cindy, your photos are spectacular. Thanks so much for sharing these. I can’t imagine how awesome this monument is in person and the history behind it, when these photos are simply gorgeous. Enjoy the rest of your day! 🌞💖😊
You very kind comment made my day Kym. Thank you sincerely & cheers to you დ
Oh it’s my pleasure Cindy. I thoroughly enjoy looking at the beautiful photos you always post! Amazing photography my friend. 🥰📸😊
These are fascinating photographs that I am delighted to see in such detail. What a marvellous place to visit!
It is interesting how many amazing places get less visitors. Tourists seem to flock places. It is quite a joy to experience places like this without the crowds დ
Incredible. I’ll check out the link later.
Happy you enjoyed and thanks for letting me know დ
SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL & AMAZING CINDY, GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY! 🙂
Much appreciated Mitchell. Thank you very much დ
Walnut Canyon? I have never see this..great images .
So happy you enjoyed Anita & thank you დ
Sinagua & Anasazi. Fascinating place. My ex & I missed going thru there in 2002 when we were wandering around the SW. In late 2000, he & I were in the Vegas area and he took me to the Hoover Dam. He’d graduated HS in Boulder City and had worked at a snack store, just over the line in Arizona. That is as much of Arizona I have ever been in. 😄
I do remember seeing portions of that area on TV as The X-Files shot many scenes in the area.
Thanks for sharing.
How interesting. I can see why X-files filmed in this region. Quite otherworldly დ
Interesting place, beautifully photographed.
Thank you Michael დ
Welcome Cindy. My pleasure.
Oh, this looks amazing! I would love adventuring into these lesser known ancient sites.
It is truly a thrill seeking them out, and when you find them, so rewarding დ
Looks amazing. This kind of place always makes me wonder about people who built and lived there. Interesting!
Yes. Fascinating and ingenious culture, so skillfully adapted to the environment დ
How Cool is that… Fascinating Cindy and so pleased you got those close up photos… That is some neat stone-walling.. 🙂
They are amazing. They are so protected by canyon overhangs they last through time. დ
Truly amazing… and makes one think about those who built them… 🙂
I know that people lived like this thousands of years ago, but still, it amazes me that they survived in there. Earthquakes would be the first thing that I’d be worried about. I suppose the benefits of the shelter would outweigh the earthquake risk and the insects and snakes they had to deal with.
They lived inside these vertical canyon walls. I just cannot get over how they raised children in such vertical circumstances. The trails between the abodes are practically non-existent. It is hundreds of feet to the valley floor. Even with tethering I don’t know how they accomplished this amazing feat. I can’t even imagine how the adults navigated these sheer cliffs, much less children. Remarkable დ
Definitely survival of the fittest.
Wonderful scenery Cindy
So appreciated Sheree & cheers my friend დ
Thanks for sharing, Cindy! Dan and I stopped at Walnut Canyon during a cross-country road trip in the 1990s. An amazing place.
I am so glad you experienced it first hand. It is utterly amazing and so impressive დ
How absolutely wonderful. I can imagine living there, what it was like. Amazing.
There were some fascinating illustrations of everyday life on the canyon walls. I was so intrigued. I was left with more questions than answers დ
SO cool!! We’ve to similar ancient dwelling sites but I never tire of seeing them, so thank you for sharing! Also, ahhhh! You use “C.E.”! ❤️ I knew you’re awesome and you just keep proving it.
It is so incredible to visit these sites and to find new ones. They are fascinating and endlessly intriguing. You know what CE means my friend, so you are awesome too! დ
Oh, very interesting pre-historical sites !
Yes, they are seriously interesting დ
I visited this about 5 years ago. V. interesting!
Glad you experienced the wonder დ
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Thank you for your thoughtfulness and interest Gina. Exploration makes life fascinating დ
It so expands the mind. Thank you for capturing the essence of this special place. 💕🙏💐
Yes! Expands the mind and spirit. These are spiritual places especially to the ancestors of those who came before who still visit here დ
Very interesting geology Cindy. The bedding looks undisturbed. That alcove area had to be a much softer rock. Very fine sediment from a slow moving river. The stream cut through the rock and when It got to that softer layer, it eroded it real easy.
Those orange covered walls were recently created (within 20 years?). In one of your shots it shows the original wall with this recently built wall as well. The colouring of both are totally different.
I bet in the heat of the day these alcoves would be perfectly cool! Perfect summer location!
Yes and warm in winter. Perfectly sheltered from threats of all sorts, except for falls. Many of the sites were extensively looted and pillaged, leaving rubble, others are intact. There are hundreds of lodges throughout the canyon. Some carefully done repairs have been carried out to maintain the structures which can be read about in depth online. დ
I assume in the winter that there is very little snow?
Actually, this area gets the most snow in Arizona, about 100 inches annually.
Oh, isn’t that interesting! That would mean those alcoves would only be used during the summertime? Did you read anything about them being used seasonally?
The canyon itself was used seasonally for thousands of years by earlier more nomadic people. I know the cliff dwellers grew crops on the plateau, so that would be springtime into summer. Water dried up in the creek in the summer so they stored it for months in the cliff shelters for use in summer. They built the dwellings so air could enter in the bottom and exit towards the top allowing them to have fire. These shelters would have been protected from the elements in winter and summer (heat & cold). They are built under natural rock overhangs, into the belly of the rock, so their roof, back walls, and sometimes side walls, are all natural mountain rock face. I would snug in the winter.
It also would be great protection from enemies and predators!
Fun to imagine what life was like living there. Lots of climbing! 😉
Indeed. My question would be… HOW? How did they build their dwellings? How did they get in and out? Where did they use the bathroom? 🙂
There were amazing illustrations that answered some of these questions. Maybe I will post them. I found them fascinating. You could visualize their communal and co-operative daily life. They had agriculture on the plateau, and the river on the canyon floor. They raised water in pots with ropes and brought in firewood the same way. Many of the rooms were used to store food, and water which they stored for months over the dry summers. They used ladders to climb from level to level. The things that I still cannot fathom is how they raised children here. They must have tethered toddlers. The paths on some of the lodging was practically non-existent. It would be really scary for me to try and walk on many of them. I can’t imagine trying to raise children there. The rocks to build the dwellings would be all around them. They used tools and shaped them. The bathroom, I don’t know, but honestly that might be the easiest part of living here. The canyon would provide private places to dispose easily of waste. The questions are seriously interesting and confounding, I know. Mostly because these dwellings are hundreds of feet up sheer canyon faces. They must have been incredibly agile and skillful დ
What a fascinating place to discover and explore!!
We found another amazing site that we viewed from a distance as it is not open to the public and not publicized. There are intact lodgings with abundant artifacts at that site. More on this later and we found other places as well, many I only learned about from other bloggers. Not publicized at all დ
I look forward to learning more!
So do I!! It is one of the best aspects of life. We never stop learning if we want to.
It leaves you in wonder of what came before us. The struggles that we have no real comprehension of but still amazes us how they did it all anyway. Great shots Cindy, looking forward to more 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋
Exactly. So many questions about how they accomplished this and thrived here. We really have so many more questions than answers დ
The American Southwest is incredible. It would take decades to explore it fully.
It would indeed. What if really piquing our interest is sites that are not publicized. You follow clues. Many I learned of only from other intrepid bloggers. Thank you bloggers! დ
It has been many years since I visited there. So fascinating! I would love to see it again sometime. Beautiful photos, Cindy. 🙂
I am so glad you have visited and experienced this place Lynette. It is true that are so many sites and artifacts throughout the southwest that you can never see them all დ
Excellent shots, Cindy. I love almost being able to peek inside with your camera!
Thanks very much. I did take flash photos inside. The flash captured the amazing colors in the rock and possibly smoke stains as well დ
You have some of the most interesting trips of anyone I know. These are incredible.
Traveling with you Marlene makes the experience much richer. Thank you my friend & be well დ
I look forward to seeing more. The southwest is so magical. I recall my visit to Bandelier years ago. It is likely that other beings visited these areas many many years ago.
Amazing isn’t it. What we don’t know holds a compelling fascination დ
You sure visit and capture some interesting spots. Thank you, Cindy, for sharing with us.
Thank you much more Michele for your very thoughtful appreciation & cheers to you დ
You are welcome, Cindy. Cheers!
Wow, Cindy, such an extraordinary journey.
I’ve always been fascinated by the cliff dwellers – we’ve always seen from a distance…never ventured into the actual spaces.
It is awesome, and we found some other sites that are hidden from the public which was exciting დ
Very cool. There’s something romantic about cliff dwellings, but I’ll bet the folks who lived there had to be tough and clever to survive.
Yes, indeed. I can’t imagine raising children in such a vertical environment. The canyon floor is hundreds of feet below the dwellings დ
I swear Arizona is a geological gem. Gorgeous pictures, Cindy.
Yes it is. The whole state is packed with treasures დ
🤔 🧐 What with recent housing prices, available?
Priceless! You do need to not be afraid of sheer cliffs and great heights 😉
Great history that few know, or care, about.
Very sad that people wouldn’t care. დ
Wow it’s fantastic. I’ve never heard of it before.
It is an amazing place. So pleased you enjoyed Marie დ
Ahhh…feeling sendimental just looking at these spectacular shots. If I were you I walnut leave this place. Lol! ( ˭̵̵̵̵͈́◡ु͂˭̵̵̵͈̀ )ˉ̞̭❤️❤️❤️🌈
Laughing…. You are awesome! დ
Have a fabulous Friday, my friend! ◟(◔ั₀◔ั )◞ ༘❤️🌈
Visa versa 2UX2! დ
Oh fabulous! Keep these posts coming. I doubt if we’ll ever get to visit for real, but you give such a tantalising picture.
You make me happy I posted Margaret. Thank you დ
Fascinating history well photographed – Derrick
Thank you very much Derrick დ
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Grateful for you Sharon. Thank you for caring and sharing დ
Thank you very much დ
How fun to be exploring lesser-known places in the SW. I’ve been to some of the well-known ones, but I bet there are many more for you to explore. Enjoy Cindy!
Thanks Brad and loved your last post on your lake. It looks idyllic დ
Thank you Cindy. 🙂
There’s an amazing amount of history in the Southwest. These pictures are very evocative.
It is amazing and humbling to visit these sites and think of those who came before დ
Walnut Canyon was my first “direct” contact with those ancient civilizations when we went to Sedona in 2019. [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-2tH] Unfortunately, I couldn’t take that path along the cliff dwellings as A didn’t want to leave Mary, who at that time was wheelchair bound, on her own for too long. All the more I like your pictures here. ☺👍 I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of them.
As to lesser knownplaces of the ancients: when we stayed at a AirBnB near Cortez/Co [to visit the well-known Mesa Verde], we found out that the “Kelly Place” [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-54V], that AirBnB where we stayed, had quite a few remains on their own ground!
How wonderful! I read your posts carefully and enjoyed them. We stayed just outside of Cortez in an off the grid cabin. We found some amazing sites. And yes, remains and artifacts are all over the southwest, finding them is thrilling. Bloggers are the ones who lead me to the most remote and unknown places for which I am very grateful. დ
Thanks for reading my posts. Am glad you enjoyed them. s you will have seen in my posts, our place was off the grid, too. Maybe a little farther from Cortez than the place you stayed at.
Yes I read about your experience with interest. We were south of Durango in the San Juan Mountains close to Hesperia.
wow, cool structures! thanks for the photos
You are most welcome Rebecca & I am happy you enjoyed them დ
I can’t fathom living in such a place! It looks far too remote for my liking, though I have to admit the scenery every day looks breath-taking!
800 years ago it was a communal village, with the river and fertile valley below, crops growing on the plateau, and people living all around each other and cooperating to survive. დ
Interesting Cindy, looking out for the upcoming posts… 🙂
Thank you. I am glad you are დ
That’s just wonderful! It’s amazing how resourceful humans can be, without destroying the earth. Super photos Cindy
Thank you very much Helene. We could learn quite a lot from them couldn’t we დ
Spectacular, Cindy. You captured the immensity of this location.
I hope I did. It is immense and the people built dwellings that blend so intelligently and beautifully into the natural environment. We could learn a lot from them if we were so inclined დ
What an amazing place. All that stone work.
Yes. The stone work seemed to blend so organically with the environment. Beautiful დ
Thank you for the wonderful photos of these ancient dwellings!
You are most welcome Sharon. Take good care დ
We were there a few years ago, we loved it and we were amazed by it all.
So glad you had this experience! It is an amazement დ
At last! A place you have been that I have actually visited! Although I don’t recall seeing you there! I saw my first hummingbird while visiting Walnut Canyon and I was beside myself with excitement!
I saw a Golden Eagle flying over the canyon as we left. The Hopi believe these are spiritual visitors. I understand your excitement and I am happy you have experienced this magical place დ
This was fascinating. Thank you for showing us less known sites and the beauty –both natural and man made there.
Thank you more for seeing and appreciating the beauty Kathy & take good care my friend დ
I hope you’re wearing your pith helmet! ❦
Good point. Although I’m more afraid of falling than something falling on me! დ
დ დ დ დ
Really wonderful, Cindy!
Merci beaucoup mon Ami Amy დ
Amazing sites and photos!! Thank you for sharing them!!!
You are most welcome Katie. Happy you enjoyed them დ
Wow. These are remarkable structures, Cindy. Looking forward to more.
Thanks much Cynthia. I do have more ready to post, so much appreciate your interest დ
This is so cool! Thank you for sharing!
So very pleased you enjoyed Helen & cheers to you დ
Absolutely magnificent. Nature at its best. <3
Thanks much my friend. It was incredible დ
The many faces of nature!
Yes! Nature has the most beautiful faces in the world დ
Diversity is astonishing. A face comprises eyes, mouth, nose,lips, but we are different. 🙂
Very true. Difference lies in commonality which is a good thing. It is the font of creativity.
These are awesome🙂I think the best and most interesting places are the ones least visited. Makes them far more mysterious and exciting!
Agreed. It is also is so much better to visit on your own, than in large crowds დ
Thank you Rajiv დ