"Sinaguans in a Canyon" Walnut Canyon National Monument by mtncorg

Just off I40, a short way east of Flagstaff, lies this little gem of history. Walnut Canyon is not on the main road to Grand Canyon like Wupatki and is not as well known. What is here, though, is a beautiful canyon setting in which hundreds of homes were built by a Sinaguan people utilizing natural alcoves of the canyon walls.

1100 to 1250 seems to have been an active time for the Sinaguans. These dwelling were occupied about the same time as Wupatki was to the north. Scattered families grew squash, corn and beans on small plots on the canyon rim. About 1150, people began moving down into the canyon, maintaining their plots above. After 150 years, they were gone.

The descendants of these peoples still thrive as the Hopi of northern Arizon and certain Pueblo people of New Mexico. Pueblo villages of Old Oraibi of the Hopi and the Sky City of Acoma were built about the same time - 1100. Various Hopi clans trace their history back to sites in both Walnut Canyon and Wupatki.

Start at the Visitor Center and then take the Island Trail to get a first hand look. The trail was built by workers of the CCC in the 1930's.

Fee: $5 / 7 day

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful history-filled canyon
  • Cons:Hot on a summer afternoon
  • In a nutshell:More Evidence America did not start in 1492
  • Intro Updated Nov 22, 2003
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Reviews (5)

Comments (8)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    The comments were helpful for my visit in September to here. Thank you for the presentation and pictures. Great

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    I really enjoyed your page. I've almost finished mine too.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2004 at 1:29 PM

    Fascinating, the sort of pages I joined VT for. (I think you mean "voila", unless you were hearing violins or hallucinating!) Cheers.

  • Jonathan_C's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2004 at 7:20 AM

    You offer us a nice peek at this little known but important Sinaguan site. Native America has a quite rich history indeed.

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2003 at 4:26 PM

    How did I miss this one when I lived down there!?! Now I have to go back...cat

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2003 at 7:36 PM

    What a gem you found. An amazing history. Fabulous to discover the alcoves and their once living environments. I probably could have handled those doorways:-) Thats quite a hike back up.

  • annk's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2003 at 5:20 PM

    Interesting page! Have never heard of this National Monument before.

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2003 at 12:54 PM

    A little bit of everything at this hitherto unheard-of national monument. . .

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