Natural Resources at Wupatki National Monument

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Low afternoon light illuminates the ruins of a prehistoric village
Lomaki Pueblo at dusk.


Wupatki National Monument encompasses 14,350 hectares in north-central Arizona, near Flagstaff and directly west of the Little Colorado River and the Navajo Reservation. It was established on December 9, 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge to preserve several prehistoric pueblos with standing architecture. Wupatki NM is the only known area in the southwestern U.S. where physical evidence from at least three archeologically separate Ancestral Puebloan cultures is found together in a number of archeological sites. Historic Navajo and Anglo ranch sites are also present at the monument.

Twenty-two plant community types have been documented at Wupatki NM. The most dominant types are pinyon-juniper woodland and savanna, grasslands, and desert scrub communities. The monument also supports 145 bird, 46 mammal, and 19 reptile species. Surface water resources in Wupatki include the Little Colorado River, several springs, washes, and arroyos.

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Life Zones

Wupatki NM ranges in elevation from 4,277 to 5,720 feet (1,304–1,744 m) and contains both the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland and Semi-Desert Grassland /Shrub Steppe life zones. The monument experiences an average annual precipitation of 8.2 inches (209 m).

Graphic of a mountain divided into illustrated vegetation zones by elevation, with the elevations that correspond to Wupatki National Monument highlighted

Climate Summary Chart

Charts are an effective way to summarize and graphically represent climate variables. The following chart is based on the diagrams developed for vegetation studies by Walter and Lieth in 1967. Visit our climate page for more information.

Graph with lines charting average temperature and precipitation at Wupatki National Monument from 1940 to 2012 by the time of year.

Reports & Publications

Inventory Reports

Inventories are point-in-time surveys that help us learn about the resources in our parks. Information obtained through the Southern Colorado Plateau Network’s inventories of park resources helped to establish a base level of data, which has served as a starting point for our natural resource monitoring.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3515 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Reports

Our monitoring reports provide the most recent published findings from our field work.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3471 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.


Protocols describe how we monitor. They include a descriptive narrative of what we monitor and why, our field methods, how we analyze and manage our data, and more. All of our protocols are peer reviewed.

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3280 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Find additional documents on our Reports & Publications pages.


Park Flora (SEINet)

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    Last updated: November 6, 2018