Walnut Canyon National Monument


Climate/ Map | Description | Things To Do | Camping/ Lodging | Nearby



Walnut canyon

Walnut Canyon National Monument was established in 1915 to preserve numerous Prehistoric archaeological sites which are spectacularly located in cliffs and along the rim of Walnut Canyon. The focus of the proclamation was protection from looting and vandalism of the cliff dwelling structures located under the canyon's limestone ledges.

Evidence of human use at Walnut Canyon can be traced back over 2,000 years. Based on ceramic analysis and tree ring dates, most Sinagua sites in the area date from 1100-1225 AD. The progression of cultural change and adaptation of the Sinagua is clearly evident at Walnut Canyon.

General Information

Rates & Fees

Entrance Fee: $8.00 per person (age 15 and under free). America the Beautiful, Senior Pass and Access Passes are accepted.

Seasons / Hours

Open year round except closed December 25.

Visitor Center

Summer:  8:00 am to 5:00 pm  MST (May to October)
Winter:  9:00 am to 5:00  pm MST (November to April) closed Christmas Day
Island Trail entrance closes at 4:00 pm.  Rim Trail entrance closes at 4:30 pm.


The Visitor Center offers a museum, book store, restrooms, overlook and two trails.

Programs & Events
These programs are generally offered June, July and August but are subject to change. Please ask as other programs may be scheduled.

Ledge Hikes: first and last Saturday of the month Memorial Day through Labor Day.  This off trail adventure starts at the Visitor Center and visits numerous cliff dwellings in an area otherwise closed to entry. The hike is approximately 2 miles long and takes 4 hours. Water and hiking shoes required.  Must be in good physical condition. People with a fear of heights should not go! Participation is limited to 5 persons and reservations  are required for this hike. Call 928-526-3367.

Ranger Cabin Hike: Memorial Day through Labor Day, call for schedules.  An easy 2-mile guided hike to the 1904 log cabin built by the first ranger to protect the cliff dwellings.  Children under 16 are not permitted. Limited to 8 persons. Reservations are required for this hike. Call 928-526-3367.

There are no food or supplies within the Monument. Picnic areas and beverage machines only. Overnight accommodations, food, supplies and gasoline are available in Flagstaff 10 miles west. Flagstaff Visitor Center: 800-842-7293.

Accessible restrooms are located at the Visitor Center. Trail accessibility is limited because of terrain. Please contact the park for more information.

Things To Do

Hike one of two trails. Allow at least 2 hours to see the museum and ruins.


Cliff dwelling rooms Walnut Canyon AZ

The Remarkable Cliff City of Walnut Canyon

Hiking / Walking

The Island Trail: Descends 185 feet into the canyon providing access to 25 cliff dwelling rooms. A strenuous one-mile round trip, it is one of the best ways to experience the park. Climbing the 240 steps back up can tax heart and lungs. Trail closes at 4 :00 PM. daily.

Rim Trail: A fairly level 3/4-mile round trip provides canyon views and access to other ruins.

Backcountry: The backcountry of Walnut Canyon is closed to hiking to protect fragile archaeological sites.

Camping & Lodging


There is no lodging in the Monument. There are hotels and motels in Flagstaff, with something for every taste and price range.


There is no camping in the Monument. U.S. Forest Service and private campgrounds are located in and around Flagstaff.

Precautions, Rules, Regulations

It is the visitor's responsibility to know and obey park rules. Regulations are designed for visitors' protection and to protect natural resources.

  • All vehicles, including bicycles, must remain on designated roadways. Always use designated parking areas, never stop in the roadway.
  • Observe posted speed limits - park roads are not designed for speed. Enjoy the scenery safely. Slow down at dawn and dusk and watch for animals.
  • Buckle up. Seat belts are required by law.
  • Do not feed wildlife. Avoid contact with rodents. The white-footed deer mouse is a carrier of hantavirus and prairie dogs can carry plague.
  • Poisonous snakes and insects are common but not aggressive. Keep a safe distance. This is their home and they are protected.
  • Hunting is prohibited in the monument. Federal law prohibits firearms inside federal facilities and on certain trails in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.
  • All natural resources, animals, plants, and rocks are protected. Look, but do not take.
  • Pets are not allowed in buildings, on trails, or tied to fixed objects. They may be exercised in parking areas on a leash. Summer temperatures may be fatal to pets in closed vehicles.

Walnut Canyon Road #3
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004

Climate/ Map | Description | Things To Do | Camping/ Lodging | Nearby


Park Newspaper PDF 2008 is the latest printing



Related DesertUSA Pages



Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms


Enter Email:


Home  | About | Contact Us | Feedback | Privacy | Site Outline | Advertising on DesertUSA | Aquis Towels | Hotels

Copyright © 1996-2019 DesertUSA.com and Digital West Media, Inc. - -