National Parks In Northern Arizona Celebrate Archaeology Month Throughout March

Archaeology will be the topic of discussion throughout March in national monuments in northern Arizona.

Throughout the month, visit Walnut Canyon National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument to learn more about the science of archaeology and how it applied in these national monuments.

In the Flagstaff Area National Monuments alone, more than 3,000 archaeological sites have been recorded. Some of the artifacts found in the monuments are more than 10,000 years old. Through a combination of archaeological information and the oral traditions of present-day tribes, you can learn more about how the Ancestral Puebloan people lived and how their descendants continue many of the traditions and life-ways today.

To celebrate the incredible history and the unique environments of the Flagstaff National Monuments, there will be guided Discovery Hikes, evening Lantern Hikes, and kids' Craft Days. All events are family friendly. Guided Discovery Hikes and Lantern Hikes require reservations.

For information and reservations to the events, contact Lisa Baldwin, 928-526-1157 x233 or

Wupatki National Monument

* Guided Discovery Hike, Wednesday, March 6th, 10 a.m.

Join an archaeologist for a guided hike into the backcountry of Wupatki National Monument to view ancestral agricultural fields, water diversion features, and other agricultural structures. The park archeologist will describe the agricultural practices used in the northern Southwest, and engage visitors in a discussion about the ways in which people were able to thrive in this arid climate. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

* Family Craft Day, Wednesday, March 20, 10 a.m.-2: p.m.

Join NPS archaeologists at the Wupatki Visitor Center and learn about ancestral technologies. Come learn how early people in northern Arizona processed plant food using manos and metates. Make your own pinch pot, paint brush, and split-twig figurine. Various artifacts from Wupatki will be on display. Hands on activities for every age. (Suitable for children, wheelchair accessible.)

* Lantern Hike at Wupatki Pueblo, Friday, March 22, 6 p.m.

Join NPS archaeologists in an evening walk back in time around Wupatki Pueblo and see into the lives of those who lived there 800 years ago. Various artifacts from Wupatki Pueblo will be on display. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

* Wukoki Pueblo Walk, Tuesday, March 26, 10 a.m.

Walk back in time with an archeologist at Wukoki Pueblo. Come see what "life on the edge" was like 800 years ago. Learn how people interacted with each other and the environment to survive in this desert landscape. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

Walnut Canyon National Monument

* Lantern Hike to Historic Ranger Cabin, Friday, March 8, 6 p.m.

Join NPS archaeologists on an evening hike to the historic Ranger Cabin. Built in 1904, this cabin served as the first headquarters and museum for what was to become Walnut Canyon National Monument. Come learn about this cabins unique history and see what archeologists are doing to preserve it. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

* Island Trail Walk, Tuesday, March 12, 10 a.m.

Join an NPS archaeologist for a guided hike into the past. See what "life on the edge" was like at Walnut Canyon National Monument. The archeologist will discuss the diverse ways in which the Sinagua inhabitants of the canyon utilized plants for food, medicine, clothing, and tools. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

* Family Craft Day Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. - 2: p.m.

Join NPS archaeologists at the Walnut Canyon Visitor Center and learn about ancient technologies. Come learn how early people in northern Arizona processed plant food using manos and metates. Make your own pinch pot, paint brush, and split-twig figurine. Various artifacts from Wupatki NM will be on display. Hands on activities for every age. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible.)

* Guided Ledge Hike, Monday, March 18, 2 p.m.

Join an NPS archaeologist for a guided hike into the past. You will walk along the popular Ranger Ledge Trail and see how the Sinagua lived "life on the edge" at Walnut Canyon National Monument. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

* Guided Hike, Thursday, March 14, 2 p.m.

Join an NPS archaeologist for a guided walk discussing Sunset Crater Volcano and the archeology of the area. (Suitable for children, not wheelchair accessible, reservations required.)

Walnut Canyon National Monument is located 7.5 miles east of downtown Flagstaff via I-40 and can be reached at 928-526-3367.

Wupatki National Monument is 37 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89, and can be reached at 928-679-2365.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is located 12 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89 and can be reached at 928-526-0502.

All three monuments are open daily, except December 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The entrance fee is $5.00 per person for visitors 16 and over. America the Beautiful Passes are honored and sold.