Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona

Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sinagua Cave Ruins, are located slightly south and east of Flagstaff, AZ.  The canyon is 600 feet deep with the ruins accessed from a step 180 feet drop with modern steps to an “land island loop” that juts into the canyon.  There are about 25 rooms at this location with others visible across the canyon and more in other parts of the monument.  The Sinagua people, (Spanish for “without water”), were active in this area from 1100 – 1250 AD.  During this same period Sunset Crater volcano was active about 20-30 miles north.  The upper third of the canyon walls contain Kaibab limestone that varies in hardness.  In this area a harder cap of rock is on the top with the softer stone underneath eroding away resulting in overhangs and alcoves of up to 10-12 feet in depth.  Some dry land farming was thought to have occurred on the top of the canyon.  The creek below flows in the winter and during the monsoon season in the summer, but may have been dry in other parts of the year.

Walnut Canyon National Monument

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