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Walnut Canyon AZ

One of our favorite stops in Arizona was an unexpected stop - Walnut Canyon - a hidden gem.  I used to have more than one blog, I'm not consolidating, so this is a repost.

My whole family will agree that our favorite stop in Northern Arizona was Walnut Canyon.  Keep in mind, we went in August during monsoon season.  The girls grabbed their junior ranger books at the visitor center then we walk to the back where a big glass wall allows you to look out at the canyon.  The canyon is much smaller then the Grand Canyon, no red rocks and lots of trees.  Of course we wanted to go into it. :)

It's 185 feet down (and up) to the canyon where the Sinagua lived.  They were the ancient tribe of Indians named by modern people, since no one knows their real name, that lived in the canyon.  The section that visitors could visit was on what was called an island in the middle of the canyon.  We made the climb down.  At the bottom step, we could hear the wind whipping and whistling through the canyon.  A storm was coming.  We saw a sign that said if you get stuck in a storm, seek shelter in the ruins - cool!  Unfortunately, my youngest was nervous, so we quickly went through the ruins of the canyon instead.  After we looped around the island and came to the stairs again, we felt a couple of raindrops. The whistling got louder and we could see the trees swaying rapidly as if someone or something was pushing them.   It was time to chug it up the hill, to beat the rain.  I think that was the fastest I went up any hill.  We passed a mom with two little ones and grandpa taking a break from the climb up - we kept going.  I think our vigor inspired them to move again.  We got to the top and as we stepped under the overhang the rain came pouring down.

I smiled and gave a woo hoo, we made it.  Then I remember the family we passed.  I turned to head back down to see if they needed help.  Luckily I saw them take the final step of the climb.  They were wet but OK.

I don't know if it was the excitement of the storm, or the ability to go into the ruins or that we were walking on the end of a canyon island but it was one of the most fun we had in Arizona.

To the left is the cliff down into the canyon, to the right is the ruins.

Across from the island ruins one can see other ruins, can you imagine having neighbors across the canyon with no bridge, no telephone -just wave and shout?

A door between two rooms in the ruins.

Can you imagine trick n treating in these houses :)

Quick take a picture before the storm hits.

The canyon develop by wind as you can see here.