Walnut Canyon National Monument in Flagstaff, Arizona was like taking a step back in time to visit the homes of ancient inhabitants. We visited in August 2020. When we arrived we spoke with the Park Ranger who shared with us that the park had only reopened a week prior due to COVID-19 closures. There are two great hikes here: the Island Trail and the Rim Trail.
Getting To Walnut Canyon
The Walnut Canyon National Monument is about 190 miles Northwest of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It can be a few hours drive depending on traffic.
Video footage filmed using the Zhiyun Crane-M2 Gimbal
The Island trailhead is behind the visitor center, which is closed. The facility had to obtain special permission to open two side doors of the government building for hikers to gain access to the trailhead.
There are geological formations of the canyon to view as you stop to rest on the trail. Once you have reached the bottom you get to see 25 cliff dwellings of former homes of ancient residents.
Important information to know before starting this hike:
Distance: 1-mile roundtrip
Number of stair steps: 736 roundtrip
Elevation change: 370 feet
Starting elevation: 6,690 feet
You will need: water, sturdy shoes, sun protection
Note: The trail follows the cliff edge and does not have continuous hand railings. There was no shade on the trail. Remember to take breaks and drink water.
Parts of this trail follow the canyon rim and proved wonderful outlooks of the canyon and the cliff dwellings below. It is paved. There are many trees providing shade on the walk. As you continue on the trail follow the signs to visit the ruins. There are a pithouse, a pueblo, and an unexcavated structure. Many educational signs are present to share the history of the area and naming the trees you pass.
Distance: 0.7-mile round-trip
Easy and fairly level
There were picnic tables, trash cans, and public restrooms. The restrooms were open but check before visiting if this is important. There are lots of trees that provide shade.
Review the park website before visiting for entrance fees and hours.
When we visited there was no fee to enter that day but the visitor center was closed.
When hiking remember to prepare for weather and terrain.
Hiking Walnut Canyon National Monument Flagstaff, Arizona
Have you visited Walnut Canyon National Monument in Flagstaff, Arizona? If you did visit, which trail would you go on?