Wupatki National Monument
Indian City Dwellings and ruins and other Flagstaff area Tourist activities
Recommended by: Joe Lightfoot
I loved being able to explore the Wupatki ruins! I know that Native Americans lived here a long time ago, but it must have been really boring, because this place is way out in the middle of nowhere! At least they had a ball area to play games and pass time that way.
Wupatki National Monument is a great half-day detour when visiting the Flagstaff area. In the Hopi language, the word "wupatki" translates to mean "tall house," and it is here where you can find the remains of the area's tallest and largest structure from the early Pueblo settlements. Since 500 A.D., the area where the Wupatki National Monument is situated has been home to many different settlement sites of the Ancient Pueblo People and is still home to one of the oldest pueblo dwellings, a walled structure build around a natural rock outcropping, which has more than 100 rooms.
Though the site has not been occupied for hundreds of years, Wupatki is still considered sacred to the Hopi tribe, and many tribe members consider this an important place to visit for greater understanding of their history. The descendants believe that the ruins have a fundamental history of being a living, "breathing" entity which still is home to the wind spirits and souls of those who lived there in the past. Interestingly, though, in addition to the historic dwellings, the site is also home to a unique geologic phenomenon as well. Just beyond the dwelling, next to the ruins of the ball arena, sits what looks like a plain sandstone bench, but in actuality, it is the Wupatki "blow hole" - an opening in the ground that "breathes" air in and out of the underground cavities in relation to the changes in atmospheric pressure.
Wupatki is definitely worth a stop when visiting Arizona! It is interesting, educational, and has beautiful views of the Painted Desert. Kids will enjoy the junior ranger activities at this park and will be amazed when they learn about Wupatki's history.
6400 N US Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Admission (subject to change):
Hours(subject to change):
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When making the trip to Wupatki, though, remember even though it is only 30 minutes from Flagstaff, keep in mind the temperature range due to the change in elevation. It is often 20 degrees warmer at Wupatki than at the base of the mountains, so dress accordingly!
Jacob Tip: If it's a hot day, go stand by the blow hole! The air coming up from underground is nice and cool and feels great when it's a hundred degrees outside!
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