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Hike down into Walnut Canyon and walk in the footsteps of the people that lived here over 900 years ago. Under limestone overhangs, the Sinagua built their homes. These single-story structures, cliff dwellings were occupied from about 1100 to 1250. Look down into the canyon and imagine the creek running. Visualize a woman hiking up from the bottom with a pot of water on her back. Imagine the men on the rim farming corn or hunting deer. Think of a cold winter night with your family huddled around the fire.
Come out and see millions of years of history unraveled in the geology of the rocks. Listen to the canyon wren and enjoy the turkey vultures soaring above. And if you look closely, you may even see an elk or javelina. Different life zones overlap here, mixing species that usually live far apart. In this canyon, desert cacti grow alongside mountain firs. A lovely place to see!
And it is a sacred place. The people that lived here moved on to become the modern pueblo people of today. Walnut Canyon is one of their ancestral homes. Travel through quietly and carefully. And please, leave no trace.
Allow at least 2 hours to see the museum, hike down to the cliff dwellings (Island Trail closes one hour before closing), and walk the Rim Trail.
The Island Trail descends 185 feet (56m) into the canyon providing access to 25 cliff dwelling rooms. The trail, a strenuous .9 mile (1.4km) round trip, is one of the best ways to experience the park. Climbing the 240 steps back up can tax the heart and lungs. Bring water! Elevation: 6690ft (2039m). Island Trail closes at 4:00 pm daily and 5:00 pm in June, July, and August. Various ranger programs during June, July, and August are offered, schedules vary.
Your pets must be kept on a leash at all times. They are not allowed in buildings or on park trails. Backcountry hiking is not permitted to protect fragile archeological sites.
Two RANGER-GUIDED hikes are available Memorial Day to Labor Day. RESERVATION ONLY! Call (928) 526-3367 for reservations.
1) LEDGE HIKE - Three-hour hike. Moderate. Offered first and last Saturday of each month @ 10 am MST
2) RANGER CABIN WALK - Two-hour hike. Easy. Offered first and last Sunday of each month @ 10 am MST
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.