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.
Natural Features & Ecosystems
NPS photo by Dallas Larsen
This is a biological “hot spot” – a place of concentrated biological productivity – because of its varied exposures and elevations, together with seasonal water, all compressed into a narrow band within a surrounding pine forest. The canyon twists and turns, creating a patchwork of sun and shadow. Hot dry desert-like slopes and shaded forests, normally separated by thousands of feet in elevation, are found here almost side by side. With these overlapping habitats come unusual assortments of plants and animals, and a high concentration of sensitive species. At the same time, the canyon serves as an important wildlife migration corridor, linking higher elevation forests with lower pine-juniper woodlands to the east.
Did You Know?
Walnut Canyon National Monument's name came from the Arizona walnut, a tree once common in the canyon bottom. It is less so now, because dams constructed upstream have decreased water flow through the canyon.