Walnut Canyon National Monument is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi (16 km) southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, just off Interstate 40. The canyon rim lies at 6,690 ft (2,040 m); the canyon's floor is 350 ft lower. A 0.9 mi (1.4 km) long loop trail descends 185 ft (56 m) 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 CE.
Most of the cliff dwelling rooms are situated near the loop trail, typically slightly above the trail and immediately outside the loop itself. A typical room might have been the dwelling of a single family, and might measure approximately two meters high by six meters long by three meters deep. Because of the area's dry climate, the water present in the canyon was essential for its inhabitants over 700 years ago as it is for the animal and plant life that exists there today.
Not all of Arizona is warm dry desert. At Walnut Canyon (6690'/2039m above sea level), be prepared for snow in winter, hot sun in summer with afternoon thunderstorms, and, especially in spring, strong gusty winds on the rim and/or in the canyon. Even though the climate was and still is somewhat harsh, the Sinagua Indians that lived there were able to harvest maize, beans and squash.
Park entrance road, trails, and Visitor Center are open all year, except December 25. From May till October the the monument is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST and is open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM MST the rest of the year.