So almost 48 hours after entering Flag I headed out again without actually exploring the town at all, but I had a desperate urge to be on the road again. I took a side trip to the subaru dealer to get some replacement taillights and headed East. My initial destination was Winslow. In keeping with the Road Trip rules of the road, I stayed off of the freeway when possible. Unfortunately whole sections of rte 66 are missing and I-40 was.the only alternative. I was.approaching the on ramp at.one such interval when I saw the sign for Walnut Canyon. Since I had done no pre-planning I had no idea I was close to the place! Ah serendipity! A new destination.
Like many spots in AZ walnut canyon has water twice a year – once from snow melt and some winter rain and then again in Jul-Sep from summer rains. It was dry for my visit.
Walnut Canyon is famous for its cliff dwellings. Apparently there was a volcanic eruption around 1000 AD which is believed to have been a major contributor to the migration to the cliffs as dwellings.
The cliff walls on both sides of the canyon are full of these. The people would have gone to the top to plant crops and down to the bottom for water. Nature’s own stairmaster.
The AZ conservation corps spend years putting in stairs and paving a trail down to a group of the cliff dwellings so visitors could get close, so swollen ankle and all, I went. My ankle didn’t really appreciate it but it was well worth the descent. I was obviously more distracted by my ankle than I like to admit as I do not seem to have taken any photo’s while peering into the past from up close.