"Sinaguans at a Cultural Crossroads" Top 5 Page for this destination Wupatki National Monument by mtncorg
Wupatki National Monument Travel Guide: 74 reviews and 326 photos
I have heard many Europeans say - and what they say is believed by a lot of Americans - that there really isn't any history to the New World other than the last couple hundred years. Come to Arizona and New Mexico, southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado to prove that wrong (of course, you could go to a lot of places south of the border and prove it wrong too :-]). A trip to the Southwestern national parks and monuments can overwhelm with the history that has gone on before. Sometimes just the list of names of peoples leaves you in simple confusion: Anasazi, Hopi, Salado, Pueblo, Yavapai, Havasupai, Sinagua, Hohokam, Paiute, Navajo, Hualapai, Tohono O'odam - the list goes on and on making you less able to sort it all out. Of course, it is no more confusing than Belgians, Germans, Swabian, Rhaetoromanisch, Italian, Welser, Danish, etc.. The problem here is that the histories have not been written down. It is for archaelogists, geologists, anthropologists, dendrochronologists, etc., to put the puzzle together - sometimes right, sometimes not.
The histories they have come up with are compelling and absorbing, especially when you come face-to-face with a house built in the 12th century. Here, at Wupatki, you have many puzzle pieces to fit. Grand ruins stand as they have for centuries at the edge of a bleak, red desert. Even without knowing what the story that is known, the ruins are entrancing on their own.
Wupatki pueblo is a ruin built by Sinaguan people around 1100. They lived her til about 1225. Evidence suggest this was a cultural crossroads with Anasazis from the northeast and Cohonina from the west also migrating into the area about the same time. The development of the area also seems to coincide with the eruptions occuring from the Sunset Crater area to the immediate southwest. It is thought that thin ash layers allowed Sinaguans, who had fled farmlands they had been living in for 400 years around Sunset Crater, to cultivate lands that were previously unfarmable.
There are four other small ruins within the monument besides Wupatki - none as large. There is a small campground in nearby Sunset Crater Nat Mon, but there are no other services in either monument. Flagstaff is the nearest city. Backcountry camping is possible at Wupatki with a permit from the Visitor Center. There are no trails - all backcountry travel is crosscountry.
Fees: $5 / 7 days for both Wupatki and Sunset Crater
- Pros:Native American ruins amongst bright red desert
- Cons:Hot in the summer and busier than many Ruin monuments with Grand Canyon right around the corner
- In a nutshell:Silent history on Display in an Empty Red Desert
Lomaki is Hopi for 'Beautiful House'. This small ruin lies at the end of a half mile trail and stands at the edge of a... more travel advice
If you are driving from the south - ie Sunset Crater and Flagstaff - just before you come to the Visitor Center next to... more travel advice
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