Walnut Canyon National Monument~

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:


164 thoughts on “Walnut Canyon National Monument~

  1. 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! 🌞💖😊


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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

      Liked by 1 person

      • 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


  6. 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 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. Ahhh…feeling sendimental just looking at these spectacular shots. If I were you I walnut leave this place. Lol! ( ˭̵̵̵̵͈́◡ु͂˭̵̵̵͈̀ )ˉ̞̭❤️❤️❤️🌈


  10. Pingback: Walnut Canyon National Monument~ — – Echoes in the Mist

  11. 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!


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