- Author: Jenni Dodini
I am SO happy to be making a blog about our road trip!!! We were gone pretty much all of May in the RV. Over 2400 miles driven, by Steve, and amazing sites seen. I'll just focus on this one day of sightseeing that we were told by a couple of people was well worth the hike. The pictures below are of the Walnut Canyon / Wupatki Ruins National Landmarks. This is just outside of Flagstaff, AZ and at an altitude of around 7000 feet. I'm only mentioning the altitude because even though I consider myself pretty fit, the hike of just over a mile truly kicked my backside!
Anyway, these ruins are from around the year 1200. Both were major trading centers and along a well-traveled trading route. The society was well organized with farming and hunting above and fishing from the waterway in the bottom of the canyon. The picture below shows the living areas that were made into the side of the mountains where the winds and rain had created big ridges. Each family unit had several rooms and these rooms were protected from the weather by the overhanging rock and the walls they built.
This is a banana yucca that was blooming all over the place along the pathway that we hiked.
This picture is looking out at the Wupatki ruins from the Visitors Center. This place was an important trading center and the archeologists found evidence of intermingling of many Indian cultures and also people from Central America.
A bit further up the road within the park, one can look at a volcanic crater. The area surrounding it is lava rock and there was no hiking trail there but we did see some trails for off-road vehicles in the surrounding forest areas. Within the park, there were many designated hiking trails to points of interest and we found them to be well marked and easy to use, despite the altitude.
Overall, this was a great learning experience and a day well spent. Also, having the Senior pass for the National parks saved a lot of money. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting this place should you find yourself on a road trip.