Walnut Canyon National Monument

#2 in Best Things To Do in Flagstaff
Walnut Canyon National Monument picture
fdevalera/Getty Images

Key Info

3 Walnut Canyon Rd.

Details

Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The 3,600-acre Walnut Canyon National Monument was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson to protect the ancient dwellings carved into the area's cliffs. Archaeologists believe that ancient people lived in the cliffs thousands of years ago and today, visitors can see these primitive homes while hiking the monument's Island Trail. Other options for experiencing the park include the 30-minute round-trip Rim Trail, which offers visitors stunning canyon overlooks.

Many recent travelers were surprised at how much the relatively small park offers. For instance, recent visitors couldn't say enough about the Island Trail, which winds past the canyon homes where ancient people lived for hundreds of years. However, some also commented that the hike up and down the trail's more than 200 steps was pretty strenuous.

Walnut Canyon National Monument is located a little more than 10 miles east of the city center. It welcomes visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June to October. During the rest of the year, the monument is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park charges an admission fee of $8 per person; entrance is valid for seven days. Children 15 and younger get in for free. For more information, visit the Walnut Canyon National Monument's website

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#1 Historic Downtown and Railroad District

Built along the railroad track – and what would become Route 66 – the Historic Downtown and Railroad District is a pedestrian-friendly area filled with historic 1900s-era buildings that have been converted to shops, restaurants, galleries, breweries and other watering holes. The district also plays hosts to regular events like a farmers market, a monthly art walk, movie nights and more.

Recent visitors heartily recommended sauntering around Flagstaff's Historic Downtown and Railroad District, citing friendly locals, open-air music and countless places to eat, drink and shop. Others also enjoyed the historical signposts, buildings and railroad station. Still, some complained that the college students made the area a bit too lively at night. 

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