History & Culture

Walnut Canyon National Monument was established by President Woodrow Wilson on November 30, 1915, to preserve ancient cliff dwellings. Initially managed by the US Forest Service, the monument was transferred to the National Park Service in 1934. Today a variety of archeological and natural resources are preserved on approximately 3600 acres.

Understanding of earlier populations comes from multiple perspectives, including the traditional history of the people themselves and interpretations by archeologists of structures and artifacts that remain. You can explore both through the links on this page.



Walnut Canyon has a long human history. Artifacts show that Archaic peoples, who traveled throughout the Southwest thousands of years ago, occupied the canyon at times.


In the pine forests near Flagstaff, Arizona, a steep canyon severs the rolling plateau. Twenty miles long, 400 feet deep and ¼-mile wide, it was carved by Walnut Creek over a period of 60 million years


What happened to prehistoric clothing that was excavated from NPS archeological sites in northern Arizona in the 1930s?

Museum Collection

Click here to explore the National Park Service Artifact and Image site.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004


(928) 526-3367
Phones are answered during regular visitor center hours.

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