Walk in the footsteps of people who lived at Walnut Canyon National Monument more than 700 years ago. Kids can check out their homes, cliff dwellings built deep within canyon walls. Junior ranger program available.
I was a bit skeptical about heading out on this hike with my three *not so hiker friendly* girls (age 1, 4 & 6). The hike has 240 steps down and 240 steps back up so it isn't really for the faint at heart. The ranger assured me that his grand kids had made the hike at age 5 with ease, so I took his word for it, strapped the baby in a carrier on my husband and made the attempt.
I was so surprised with how interesting the cliff dwellings were. My girls LOVED being able to actually get in the dwellings and imagine what life would be like for the Indians over 900 years ago. The older girls were engaged the whole time and very interested in the beauty of the area.
The trail had it's moments of treachery and we were thankful that we had grandparents on call to hold hands so that no one was left to handle the trails alone. The age recommendations are 8 and up, and I would agree if you don't have an adult per child to help hold hands and ensure safety.
The park costs $5 per adult to get in (16 and under are free), but you can buy a flagstaff area pass for $25 that gets adults into all three area flagstaff parks (Sunset Crater Volcano, Wupatki & Walnut Canyon.)
I would recommend this hike to any family.
I'd give this 5 stars except I must account for the nervous stomach I had while walking parts of the trail where I felt like my kids could have easily fallen to their death.
okay-all fears aside it was a wonderfuly, beautiful and breathtaking hike.
We explored the cliff dwellings and the canyon environment on the Island Trail. My kids thought the dwellings were neat. We had been studying about the cliff dwellers so it was especially interesting for them.
Be prepared for the weather! At Walnut Canyon be prepared for snow in winter. We didn't encounter much the day we hiked during the 2nd week of November but while passing back through Flafgstaff 3 weeks later there was lots of snow!
My husband, boys and I absolutely loved the Walnut Canyon Monument with the Sinagua cliff dwellings. You can hike down into the canyon and actually walk inside of the cliff dwellings. The hike is intense but we all were able to make it back up. The cliff dwellings were amazing! If you are in the Flagstaff area, you must go see this monument!