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Walnut Canyon is blessed with much natural beauty, but the highlights are the amazing ruins of the cliff dwelling Sinagua people. Populating the canyon from roughly 600-1250AD, these people hunted and farmed the canyon and rim above. The cliff dwellings were only inhabited for about 100 years, and it is not understood why they were abandoned in about 1250. They remained undisturbed until the 1880s when theft and destruction destroyed much of cultural gems and structures.
In 1915 the land was preserved as a national monument, and most of the cliff dwellings are not accessible, though a few trails take you right up to a few that you can investigate. The Island Loop trail gives you the best look at this amazing history.
This is a great place to explore any time of year, though the trails could be dangerous if it just snowed.