Friday, November 4, 2011

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Cliff Dwelling at Walnut Canyon
Walnut Canyon National Monument was one of the last parks we visited on our Arizona junket. We did Sunset Crater, Wupatki Pueblo, and Walnut Canyon all in one day because of their proximity to each other. It could have been a park too many. We had been given rave reviews of it but compared to the others we had seen it seemed rather less than spectacular but that could be due to landscape.

Walnut canyon itself is gray. And the canyon is narrow. The cliff dwellings are built in the layers of the canyon walls. It reached its highest population density after Sunset Crater erupted. Safety seemed the primary concern of the residents.

Looking down in the canyon from the 240 steps to the bottom
There is a stream at the bottom of the canyon but it comes and goes dependent upon rainfall. The residents farmed the land at the top and built extensive trails to to other pueblos around the canyon walls and from top to bottom. The ledges are narrow and the cliff faces steep. Hopefully nobody walked in their sleep.

Debbie walking but the remains of a pueblo
As you travel down to the bottom and around the loop trail you pass the remains of many dwellings and see them everywhere on the cliffs around you. It must have been a busy center of activity.

Hidden in the canyon walls
Debbie talking to one of the shadow people
Rock Eroded by wind

Tree hanging on to cliff
At Bottom Looking up
The modern steps and paths were laid out during the depression. There are 240 steps down and you have to do those up too. No elevators. Great exercise. Yes, those tiny little figures are people walking down. And yes, it was worth the trip but we took more pictures on the way up than down. It gave us an excuse to stop and catch our breath.

1 comment:

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