Pueblo Ruins of the Sinagua

Pueblo Ruins of the Sinagua

Tuesday morning, at the Walnut Canyon National Monument, ten miles east of downtown Flagstaff, we hiked the Island Trail, descending some 240 steps and 185 feet below the Visitor’s Center. This 0.9 mile hike passes 25 Sinagua cliff dwelling rooms. As Willa Cather described in Song of the Lark (1912) “…a stratum of rock, softer than those above, had been hollowed out by the action of time….The over-hanging cliff made a roof two hundred feet thick. The hard stratum was an overflooring floor. Thus the houses stood along in a row, like the buildings in a city block, or like a barracks.” The trail was greatly improved between 2013-15 using helicopters to deliver supplies. In 1915 Walnut Canyon was declared a national monument. Unfortunately many souvenir hunters stripped artifacts from these ancient dwellings before that date.

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