Wupatki National Monument

Discover the legacy that lives on in a breathtaking complex of ancient Pueblo ruins and red-rock outcrops amid the desert hues of the prairie.

The Wupatki National Monument is a mysterious collection of preserved Pueblan villages, which rise solemnly out of the red rock and desert plains. Dating back to around A.D. 500, these ancient sandstone buildings are now a U.S. National Monument and have been protected for future generations. Walk through the mysterious structures and discover the rich history of the ancient Native Americans who built villages and raised crops in this seemingly inhospitable prairie.

Go to the Wupatki Visitor Center to plan your visit and find out about the daily interpretive programs on offer throughout the summer months. Join a Wupatki Pueblo Walk and gain special insight into the ancient structures with a park ranger. Learn about the Ancestral Pueblo people, including the Cohonina, Kayenta Anasazi and Sinagua, and discover the colossal Wupatki Pueblo for yourself. This rambling 104-room structure is believed to have contained a community room and a ball court. Hear about the mystery surrounding the ancient people who managed to grow maize and squash in these arid lands.

You can also learn about the awe-inspiring ancient cultures with an educational talk by a park ranger, held on the visitor center’s shaded back patio. Between October and April, make the most of the fantastic ranger-led hikes. Discover the region’s archeological and architectural landmarks, ancient artworks, geological formations and intriguing flora and fauna. Reserve your place in the Crack-in-Rock expedition and experience an overnight hiking trip into secluded areas of the Wupatki National Monument.

Don’t forget your camera, as this landscape presents itself anew from morning to evening. See the crisp morning sunlight hit the red sandstone and watch as the rock transforms into hues of purple as the sun sets.

Reach the Wupatki National Monument from Flagstaff within an hour by car. You can also visit the area while exploring a 34-mile (54.7-kilometer) scenic loop, which passes by meadows, ponderosa pine forests, grasslands, red-rock outcrops and the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Purchase a 7-day pass for visiting Sunset Crater and the Wupatki Pueblo. Passes are available per car, motorcycle or person.

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