Wupatki is the largest pueblo in the park. A self-guided trail begins behind the visitor center.
People gathered here during the 1100s, gradually building this 100-room pueblo with a community room and ballcourt. By 1182, perhaps 85 to 100 people lived at Wupatki Pueblo, the largest building for at least fifty miles. Within a day's walk, a population of several thousand surrounded Wupatki.
Distance 1/2 mile round-trip
Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy to Moderate
Accessibility Trail is paved and accessible to an overlook
Wupatki appears empty and abandoned. Though it is no longer physically occupied, Hopi believe the people who lived and died here remain as spiritual guardians. Stories of Wupatki are passed on among Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and perhaps other tribes. Members of the Hopi Bear, Sand, Lizard, Rattlesnake, Water, Snow, and Katsina Clans return periodically to enrich their personal understanding of their clan history. Wupatki is remembered and cared for, not abandoned.
While visiting the pueblos, stay off walls, do not remove or disturb any features, and stay on established trails. These sites are vital to our studies of the past and are protected by Federal law. Please join us in our efforts to protect these prehistoric sites as well as the plant and animal life in the park.