Viewing the cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon National Monument requires a 0.9-mile walk and a climb of 185 feet up 240 steps at an elevation of just less than 6,700 feet. It's a nice walk for visitors who are reasonably fit.
The 24 cliff dwellings were built in the limestone cliffs from 1125 to 1250 A.D. The Sinagua native people moved away to new villages after 1250 and it is believed they assimilated into the Hopi culture. The Hopi called them Hisatsinom or "the people of long ago," according to the National Park Service.
Pot hunters removed many relics from Walnut Canyon, which was not protected as a national monument until 1915.
Walnut Canyon's Island Trail closes at 4 p.m. daily.
Park admission is $8. The park is 7.5 miles east of Flagstaff at Exit 204 on Interstate 40 and it's 3 miles south to the visitor center.
Elevation: 6,690 feet.
Annual visitation: 167,736
Take a side trip to nearby Sunset Crater National Monument: