Walnut Canyon National Monument is located about 10 mi from Flagstaff, AZ, off Interstate 40. The canyon is 350 feet deep and an almost mile long trail descends 185 ft into the canyon passing 25 cliff dwelling rooms constructed by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group that lived in Walnut Canyon from about 1100 to 1250 AD.
Sinagua is Spanish for “without water”, an acknowledgment that the Sinagua people were able to live in such a dry region. The Sinagua built their homes under limestone ledges taking advantage of the natural recesses in the limestone cliffs. The dwellings themselves were small, but large enough for the inhabitants to cook and sleep and a typical room, which might have been the dwelling of a single family, measures approximately 6 feet high by 18 feet long by 9 feet deep.
Most of the cliff dwellings are situated near the loop trail and the park is open 8-5, but the trail closes 1 hour before the park closes. A small detail that I got caught in.