Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona

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Walnut Canyon

If it’s ancient ruins that you seek in your Southwestern adventure, Walnut Canyon should be on your list. Enveloped by Ponderosa Pines, it is the home of cliff dwellings from the past and much more.

  • Hiking: Venture out on your on one of the two trails at Walnut Canyon or make a reservation for a guided hike.
  • Historic cliff dwellings: With most of the hikes and nature walks that you can do at the canyon there are ample of opportunities to see historic cliff dwellings.
  • Picnic: Pack a lunch to enjoy at the visitors’ center to enjoy during time at the canyon.

What can I see and do at Walnut Canyon?

First things first, Walnut Canyon does not actually have walnuts anywhere. That’s okay though, there is still plenty there for you to explore.

  • Hiking or trail walking: There are two main trails at Walnut Canyon both of which are pretty basic yet are still beautiful and fun. Island Trail is a mile round trip trail. It can be a hard trail especially if you aren’t used to the Flagstaff elevation. This trail really takes you inside the historic canyon that was once home to the Sinagua Native Americans. The other trail is the rim trail, the easier of the two. At only .7 miles it guides you to two canyon overlooks and past a pueblo.
  • Guided hikes: If you’d rather not venture out into the wild on your own then you can call the visitor’s center (928-526-3367) and make a reservation for one of two guided hikes. The ledge hike is a strenuous hike lasting three to four hours and is only offered on the first and last Saturday of each month. The Ranger cabin walk is only two hours long and offered most days that the canyon is open. This walk is for beginners and those who prefer to take it easy.
  • Visitor Center: The visitor center has more than just maps and an office. It has a museum and features exhibits and artifacts that relate to the history of the canyon. There are restrooms and picnic areas at the center. It is BYOF (bring your own food) though so come prepared.
  • Things you can’t do: Pets are not welcome past the parking lot and must be leashed. There is no camping on site.

Where is Walnut Canyon?

It is just 10 miles outside of Flagstaff, a quick and convenient drive from town. Simply take I-40 toward Albuquerque and take exit 204 going south. The Canyon entrance is at the end of the road.

When is Walnut Canyon open?

During the summer season (May-October) the canyon is open from 8a.m. to 5p.m. During the winter season (November-April) the canyon is open 9a.m. to 5p.m.

How much does Walnut Canyon cost?

Entrance to the reserve costs $5-$7 and is good for seven days. Minors under the age of 16 are free. You also have the option of buying an annual pass for $25. This pass will permit entrance for one passport holder and three adults. This pass works at Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monument and is good for one year. The annual pass is the better deal if you have a party four and intend on visiting many natural sites.

Who can I call if I have more questions?

You can call the visitor’s center at 928-526-3367.

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