Wupatki National Park

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This page last updated on 08/12/2017
(Fig. 01)

Driving Directions: From Flagstaff take US-89 north for 12 miles. Turn right at the sign for Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments. The Wupatki Visitor Center is 21 miles from this junction (Fig. 01). The drive time from Flagstaff to the Wupatki Visitor Center is 45–60 minutes. Wupatki National Monument is located along a 34-mile scenic loop road through open meadows, beautiful ponderosa pine trees, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, juniper grasslands with views of the Painted Desert, and the open red rock landscape of the Wupatki Basin. Drive time along the loop road is about one hour.

History: Wupatki National Monument preserves dozens of ancestral Puebloan villages. The many settlement sites scattered throughout the monument were built by the Ancient Pueblo People, more specifically the Cohonina, Kayenta Anasazi, and Sinagua. Wupatki was first inhabited around 500 AD. Wupatki, which means "Tall House" in the Hopi language, is a multistory Sinagua pueblo dwelling comprising over 100 rooms and a community room and ball court, making it the largest building for nearly 50 miles. Nearby secondary structures have also been uncovered, including two kiva-like structures. A major population influx began soon after the eruption of Sunset Crater in the 11th century (between 1040 and 1100), which blanketed the area with volcanic ash; this improved agricultural productivity and the soil's ability to retain water. By 1182, approximately 85 to 100 people lived at Wupatki Pueblo but by 1225, the site was permanently abandoned. Based on a careful survey of archaeological sites conducted in the 1980s, an estimated 2000 immigrants moved into the area during the century following the eruption. Agriculture was based mainly on maize and squash raised from the arid land without irrigation. In the Wupatki site, the residents harvested rainwater due to the rarity of springs.

08/10/2008 Trip Notes:  Today we visited Sunset Crater National Monument and Wupatki National Monument north of Flagstaff, Arizona. We spent several hours



The single page PDF file below provides information and pictures from a road trip that took Connie and I to the Wupatki National Park, north of Flagstaff. To view this page for reading, click on the “Full Screen” icon located at the very right of the Scribd menu bar at the bottom of the page. It will provide you with a full page view of the PDF file on the Scribd website in a "New tab".

Directly below this file I have included a slideshow with some additional pictures of our visit. 

The slideshow below will then cycle through 16 pictures taken at this location. Placing the cursor over the picture will bring up "arrows" will "pause" the show and allow you to move either to the Previous picture or the Next picture. Clicking the Next arrow and moving off the picture will resume the slideshow.