Wupatki National Monument Travel Guide

  • Wupatki National Monument
    by razorbacker
  • Wupatki National Monument
    by razorbacker
  • Things to Do
    by razorbacker

Wupatki National Monument Highlights

  • Pro
    mtncorg profile photo

    mtncorg says…

     Native American ruins amongst bright red desert 

  • Con
    BruceDunning profile photo

    BruceDunning says…

     Not too much unless you call hot and dry a con 

  • In a nutshell
    PinkFloydActuary profile photo

    PinkFloydActuary says…

     A worthwhile stop while in Flagstaff 

Wupatki National Monument Things to Do

  • Lomaki Pueblo.

    Lomaki is the northernmost pueblo in Wupatki National Monument. You will pass the Box Canyon dwellings on your left, bearing to the right on a curving pathway to the ruined Lamanite pueblo in the distance. Aside from the historical value and the imaginative opportunities, this is a beautiful and relaxing loop drive.

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  • Nalakihu Pueblo.

    Located at the base of the hill on which the Citadel stands, Nalakihu Pueblo was a small community of farmers.

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  • Wupatki Pueblo.

    Wupatki is the chief pueblo of the many varied ancient communities of the Wupatki National Monument.

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  • Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

    Wukoki is readily accessible to modern Man, but it is easy to imagine yourself an ancient inhabitant of this remote fiefdom, isolated in a hostile land, alert for enemies, secure in this citadel of red stone, a world unto yourselves. All the pueblos in Wupatki Monument are unique, varied in both setting and conception. For some reason, Wukoki is my...

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  • A Village/Abandonment

    Next to The Citadel site is this marker. The plaque reads: A VillageYou are entering the “Citadel,” a ruin from the late 1100s. Research has not been completed so it is important that we leave things as they are. Will there be extra storage spaces found, possible evidence for the defense theory? We do know this is one of the larger pueblos in...

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  • Where Were The Fields Marker

    Next to The Citadel site is this marker and it reads: Farming then did not mean vast fields like we use today. Anasazi and Sinagua people modified these small terraces to grow hand-tended corn, cotton, beans, and squash. We know the climate was about what it is now, very dry for farming. The terraces caught vital run-off from rain.Behind you are...

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  • Dry Land Farming

    The plaque reads: Volcanic activity to the south produced giant fissures or earth cracks throughout the Wupatki area in the Kaibab Limestone. This formation covers most of the western half of Wupatki National Monument. The Sinagua and Anasazi Indians who inhabited these ancient pueblos probably found the earthcracks to be the most productive...

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  • Ancient Landscapes Marker

    At each of the historic sites are plaques with educational information of the area. The plaque reads: Eight hundred years ago, a savannah-like grassland covered much of this high desert with abundant grasses. The residents would have collected and burned much of the nearby fuel, necessitating long walks to adjacent areas to gather wood. Sparse...

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  • Sunset Crater Volcano

    The distant San Francisco Peaks would have looked much like they do today. To the east, however, Sunset Crater Volcano would still have been belching black smoke and cinders when the Sinagua and Anaszi lived here. The thick layer of cinders over the sandy soil helped hold moisture, which was beneficial to the growing of crops. Eventually, even...

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  • Lomaki Pueblo~

    PlazaAn open area in the pueblo near the rim of the earthcrack is known as the plaza. In pueblos, the plaza was the center for many daily activities including grinding corn, making pottery, working obsidian into arrowheads, processing other plants for food, and cooking. It would have also been used for meetings, conducting trade, and as a...

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  • Box Canyon Pueblos~

    The Box Canyon ruins are typical of many pueblos found in this region. Early inhabitants constructed walls of nearby sandstone and limestone, and used local soils to cement the stones together. The flat roofs were built of timbers laid side-by-side, covered with smaller branches and finally plastered over with mud.Smoke was vented from the rooms...

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  • The Citadel~

    The Citadel~It was a remarkable achievement, to use primitive mortar and local stones to build the walls above you straight up from the edge of the top of the rock. “The Citadel” is the modern name given to this ruin because of its location, but archeologists wonder why the Anasazi often built in high, hard-to-get-at places. Some theories say it...

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  • Nalakihu Pueblo~

    Nalakihu - A modern Hopi name, "House Outside the Village"Farmers lived here about 800 years ago. (Roof beams gave tree ring dates in the late 1100s.) The way the walls join show this small pueblo was not built all at once, but was added onto. Roof remains indicated parts were two stories high. The pottery seems the same as that from the large ruin...

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  • Wupatiki Pueblo~

    You can purchase a trail guide within the visitor center for just $1.00. This is the largest pueblo within the park.Between 1100 and 1200, more people lived in this area than ever before, or since. Located along routes linking large populations to the northeast and south, villages here were well situated for trade. As people, goods, and ideas...

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  • Wupatiki National Monument Visitor...

    Visitor centers are always a wealth of information with wonderful friendly staff to help, a great gift/books store and some really educational displays available too. One of the welcoming rangers offer me a Wupatki Pueblo Trail Guide to use free while exploring the Wupatki Pueblo and if I like it I could buy it for only $1.00. I bought anyways just...

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  • Wukoki Pueblo~

    This is a very unique pueblo because you can walk within it safely and crawl or crouch into the others rooms. Be careful though of snakes! There is a trail that takes you all around the pueblo too, so make sure to check it out!Wukoki, a modern Hopi word for “Big House” was once home for two or three prehistoric Indian families. The inhabitants are...

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  • Meet the Locals

    I usually enjoy talking to the locals, which in the case of National Park Service sites means the rangers. Ranger Holly at Wupatki was no exception. She was friendly and informative.

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  • Nalakihu pueblo

    The Nalakihu and Citadel pueblos are located a couple of miles east of Wupatki pueblo but still within the National Monument. In the background you can see the volcanic outcropping that forms the backdrop for Lomaki pueblo.As with Tuzigoot National Monument, I can imagine a very pleasant life in these ancient pueblos with beautiful vistas and other...

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  • viewing hours

    As in the rest of Arizona, the best viewing is in the morning and evening hours. Not only do you escape the heat, but the photography is infinitely better. We arrived at Wupatki an hour or so before sunset and were treated to warm tones and long shadows that brought out the full texture of the landscape and the ruins.Sunset Crater, ancient pueblos...

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  • Citadel and Nalakihu Pueblos

    This retreat up on top of a hill mound is still in rather good condition. The CCC did some repair of the walls, but the rest has wall rock scattered on the compound floor. The structure overlooks the whole area and is its highest point. Down on one side is a canyon that used to catch water for use. It is thought this place was used for defense in...

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  • Lomaki Pueblo-Box canyon

    At the near end of the park there are three pueblos clustered close together. They all are around a box canyon. This one sits on the crest of the canyon plateau and is called Lomaki pueblo. It is a short 1/2 mile walk up to the canyon and look down its narrow crevice.

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  • Visitor Center

    There is a gift shop and some chronlogical murals of the evolution of the Wupatki and how the Government got the park dedicated in 1924. It has 35,422 acres, and once was smaller until they "confiscated more land from Indians-namley the Peshaki family living here. A sad story results in the American takeover of the grounds form the Pueblo. Since...

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  • Wupatki is the Largest

    Wupatki Ruin is the largest and is said to have had 85-100 people living here in this multi room site. Wupatki in Hopi language means "it was cut long" meaning they have a long tradition of culture. There were 100 rooms, a kiva, common meeting room, storage, and ballcourt to enjoy in the flat valley below. Not far from the pueblo was a Deadman wash...

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  • Wokiki Ruins

    Wukoki is a great site for a well preserved site. It is multi story and sits on a small bluff to overlook the landscape and valley floor. Farming was done right close to the living quarters. This is a short walk form the parking lot to the site; flat and gentle. The crop growing was not easy, with little rainfall most seasons, and the Deadman wash...

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  • Visit Sunset Crater Volcano Center

    We always have the Annual National Parks Pass, and on our last visit to the Sunset Crater Volcano, it was still a FREE DAY, just before Father’s Day – on top of this, everything was 20% off the Visitor Center. The Center closes at exactly 5 PM and we were still able to buy some stuff and the twins enjoyed looking at the exhibits and I got my...

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  • What you can do around the Sunset...

    From afar, the Sunset Crater Volcano looks so nice and like you want to climb it --- but that is not allowed anymore! The volcano surface is very fragile.However, don’t fret because you can still go on a 1-mile hike of the lava flow. Lava is sharp, brittle and unstable - so don't step on them! And if you fall on them...OUCH!In eight miles, you can...

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  • Lomaki - Earth Crack

    The Lomaki Ruins are located next to a slender canyon or an earth crack. This feature probably yielded better farmland because the small amount of water coming to the area through rain would stay in the earth crack longer and the soil would be less susceptible to erosion.

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Wupatki National Monument Warnings and Dangers

  • For Your Safety~

    Plese stay off the walls and do not pick up pottery. This is to safely guard these ancient pueblos. Also please stay on the trails for your safety since this is snake country and also to keep you from falls since some of the pueblos were constructed on the sides of canyons and river beds.Be AwareAll plants, animals, and archeological objects are...

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  • Do Not Touch-Feel or Pick up

    There are fliers given our to all coming to the park to forewarn not to break the law. There is minimum $325 fine for picking up artifacts, damaging any area, or even touching sensitive or walking on preserved sites. They mean it and ask others to watch for violators and turn them in.

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  • Dangerous Animals, Fragile Ruins

    For your own safety and to preserve the fragile ruins for future travellers; please obey all warning signs. There are dangerous animals (e.g. Rattlesnakes, Bark Scorpions and Tarantulas) in the area so stay on the trails. The walls of the ruins are fragile so please do not sit, stand, or pose on them. Leave all artifacts where they are so future...

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Wupatki National Monument Sports & Outdoors

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    Wukoki Trail 1 more image

    by Basaic Written Nov 8, 2008

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    There are several trails in the Wupatki National Monument, however, the only one that has any challenge to it is the Doney Mountain Trail. Even it is short; but it rises about .5 miles (.8 Kilometers) in elevation. I took all of them except the Doney Mountain Trail. The trails include:

    Wupatki Pueblo Trail, located at the Visitor Center, a .5 mile (.8 km) self-guided tour of the largest pueblo in the park.

    Lomaki Pueblo Trail an easy .5 mile (.8 km) walk to several pueblos.

    Wukoki, Citadel, and Nalakihu Pueblos are reached by short .2 mile (.4 km) trails.

    Doney Mountain Trail ascends .5 mile (.8 km) from the picnic area to the top of the cinder cone for spectacular views of the surrounding area.

    Equipment: Good walking shoes, clothing to fit the season, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Hiking and Walking

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Wupatki National Monument Favorites

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    by Yaqui Written Oct 28, 2012

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    Favorite thing: I am always fascinated by plant life and especially the plant life that our ancient people might have used for medical or religous remedies.

    Native peoples have countless uses for juniper, but onseed, in particular, is strongly linked to life and death. A woman who wants a female baby might ingest prepared leaves; some may use them for contraception. Newborns are assured good health with various applications, and recieves rattles filled with the tree's seed. At the end of life, juniper cleanses and rids of evil spirits.
    Hopi: hotski
    Zuni: ayyik'o
    Apache: gat izee

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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Explore Deeper into Wupatki National Monument
Lomaki Ruins
Things to Do
Upper and Lower Box Canyon and Lomaki Ruins
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The Citadel - The Sink
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The Citadel - Nalakihu
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The Citadel - View
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The Citadel
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Wupatki - Unexcavated Rooms
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Wupatki - Retsoration and Rebuilding
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Wupatki - Stabilization
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Wupatki - Trash
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Wupatki - Kiva
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Wupatki - Plaza
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Wupatki - Food Storage and Preparation
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Wupatki - Sunset Crater Volcano
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Wupatki Community Room
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Wupatki: The Blowhole
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Wupatki Ballcourt
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Wupatki Ruins
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Wukoki Views
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Wukoki Ruins
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Wukoki Trail
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Picnic
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Visitor's Center
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Wierd weather
Warnings and Dangers
Keep your eyes open for wildlife
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Lomaki Pueblo/ Box Canyon Dwellings
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Wupatki Pueblo
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Wukoki Pueblo
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volcanic soil and sandstone
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Moenkopi sandstone
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Wupatki National Monument
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LOMAKI RUINS
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BIG HOUSE
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WUKOKI RUIN
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BALL COURT
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AMPHITHEATRE
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WUPATKI RUINS
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The view from the top of Citadel
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Citadel
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Wupatki Ruin
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Map of Wupatki National Monument

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