• View of Cliff Dwellings from the Island Trail

    Walnut Canyon

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Island Trail Partial Closures

    Sections of the Island Trail are undergoing needed repairs creating partial closures. Please call ahead 928-526-3367 for the latest conditions.

Environmental Factors

What was Walnut Canyon like in the past? We can only guess. During occupation of the cliff dwellings, the canyon walls themselves must have bustled with life. Imagine well-worn foot trails, cultivated croplands, firewood gathering and the smoke of cooking fires… these and other activities of daily life must have affected the canyon’s natural systems and processes.

More than 700 years later, the forested Walnut Canyon environment appears natural and unaltered. But human activities, both within and outside monument boundaries, still shape this landscape. During the last century, dam construction has greatly altered the flow of water through the canyon. Forests on adjacent lands have been logged repeatedly. Wildfire suppression, hunting, grazing, predator control, and increasing recreational use have also affected the natural systems and habitats throughout the region. Additional changes to the natural scene may be inevitable as residential development extends closer to the park boundary.

Did You Know?

cliff dwellings

Original proposals in 1915 called for establishment of a Cliffs National Monument at Walnut Canyon. The name was changed to Walnut Canyon National Monument to avoid confusion with a nearby railroad siding, mill town, and post office called Cliffs.