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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    142 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    2.4 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Island Trail and Walnut Canyon Loop


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    Table of contents

    Over 700 years ago, a pueblo community lived within Walnut Canyon. While the community is long gone, their structures still partly stand. Peer into the rooms of their dwellings as you explore this short, interesting historic loop hike. While the trail is rated as moderate, with about 56 m of vertical drop, those not acclimatized to 2,134 m may wish to spend a day or two in Flagstaff before visiting. This route adds a short stretch along the canyon wall to the traditional Island Trail, so it’s a good pick if you want a bit more distance in your explorations of the canyon.

    Route Description for Island Trail and Walnut Canyon Loop

    Over 700 years ago, the walls of Walnut Canyon echoed with the activity of a large pueblo community. These people thrived in this stunning canyon, and although their community is gone, the remnants of their dwellings are still here. This hike leads you along a trail lined with 25 structures. You can see their rooms, their homes, and their walls, still standing within the canyon walls. The Walnut Canyon National Monument of Arizona is a fascinating lesson in the original human history of this part of northern Arizona. This loop adds a short stretch of trail along the canyon and to a separate ruin, so it’s a nice one to choose if you want a little more distance than the Island Trail alone offers.

    The Walnut Canyon National Monument occasionally limits its hours, so plan to complete your hike between 9 AM and 4:30 PM. There are restroom facilities and a park store as well as a visitor center, which is often closed for a half-hour over lunch.

    Since this area is very important historically, it’s up to all of us to preserve it for future generations of adventurers. Stay on the trails and do not touch or lean on the dwelling structures. Keep your kids off the structures and don’t disturb any features. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.

    At the trailhead, you’ll hike out towards the island in the canyon. There are stone steps to help you get down and across to the island. Take your time examining the dwellings and reading the interpretive signage. Some of the structures that remain are impressively preserved. The loop travels clockwise around the small island. Back off the island, take a right on Rim Trail and then backtrack up to the 2-room ruin. From here, the route returns to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Island Trail and Walnut Canyon Loop Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Island Trail and Walnut Canyon Loop is at the end of Walnut Canyon Road.

    Route Information

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    Island Trail and Walnut Canyon Loop Elevation Graph

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