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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Road Trip ! - Southwestern US (Part 7) - Cliff Dwellings at Walnut Canyon and Montezuma's Castle National Monuments

Heather and I hiked the Island Trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument in 1994, and we were looking forward to seeing it again.  There was enough ice on the trail that the Park Service had closed about half of the trail for safety reasons (the part on the north side that didn't get any sun), but we were still able to get out to the most impressive parts.  The trail starts out at the top of the canyon and drops steeply down a series of steps to the "island".

This is a part of the Island Trail that wasn't too icy - I wonder what the other side was like.  Probably a good idea to close what they did though, that trail is a narrow shelf in spots, with a fairly deep drop off.

After a while you get to a series of cliff dwellings that have a most impressive view.

On the way back up you can see other dwellings across the canyon.

If you're anywhere near Flagstaff, Arizona this small National Monument is well worth a visit.

Continuing south towards the Phoenix area, we made another stop,this time at Montezuma's Castle National Monument.  This cliff dwelling was open to the public until the early 1950's, today you have to see it from the trail below.  It's a little hard to tell in these pictures, but it has 5 stories of living space.

This too is worth a stop if you're driving south on I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix.

After a full day of sightseeing, starting from Grand Canyon in the morning, stopping to see the Flintstones at Bedrock City, and then two different cliff dwelling sites, we pulled into the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona a little after dark, where we would stay for the last two nights of our trip. 

Click here to see more images from Walnut Canyon National Monument and from Montezuma's Castle National Monument.

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.