Thursday, October 22, 2020

But where are the walnuts?

Walnut Canyon National Monument, about five miles east of Flagstaff, has some cliff dwelling ruins. A gooseneck in the creek created a peninsula which, if you ignore the thin bit, looks like an island. So they call it the Island. 

There’s a trail from the visitor center, down to the ruins, around the Island, and back up. The trail is paved and easy. It’s the stairs that make one think twice. Two-hundred and forty steps down. Two-hundred and forty steps back up. A sign at the top advises visitors, “Going down is optional. Coming up is mandatory.”

I went for it.

It wasn’t as bad climbing the stairs as I feared. I rested twice. I paused a couple of times to enjoy the view.


  1. Building those stairs might have been interesting to see.

    1. Whenever I'm on a trail and come across something like cut stone blocks installed a stairs I think about what it took to do it. Haul them up with mules? Even trails without stairs often have sections that required a lot of pick & shovel work. And before that, someone had to decide, yeah, it's worth the time and money to do it.