Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wupatki National Monument

Yesterday had us enduring 45 mph wind gusts and the requisite sand storms in the high desert so we ate out and went to the grocery store and a RV supply store. This gives us an opportunity to post another entry about our recent stay in Arizona.

Also while in Arizona this year we visited the Wupatki National Monument located near the Sunset Crater National Monument which we recently blogged about here and accessible by the same road and a single fee for both monuments. There is a separate visitor center for both monuments. We were asked when we posted about  Sunset Crater National Monument if there were any nearby RV parks and there are two in north Flagstaff less than 10 miles away, a KOA and J and H RV Park, and there are other parks in Flagstaff.

Wupatki National Monument is one of several sites preserving pueblos (houses) of ancient peoples, but unlike the Tonto, Montezuma, Casa Grande Ruins and Tuzigoot monuments where there is only one surviving main building, here there are many ruins scattered over a large area of desert northeast of Flagstaff. The pueblos have a distinctive red color and were made from the thin, flat blocks of the local Moenkopi sandstone.

There are more than 800 identified ruins spread across many miles of desert with Wupatki National Monument.  Five of the largest are close to the main road and these are the only sites currently open to visitors. All the dwellings were built by the Anasazi and Sinagua Indians during the 12th and 13th centuries. The habitation of this region was influenced by the eruption of the Sunset Volcano which we just visited. The resulting ash and lava flows made the surrounding area infertile so the residents moved farther into the desert areas previously considered too dry and barren. For an unknown reason in the early 13th century all the settlements here were abandoned. It is believed that some of the present day Hopi are descendants from the former inhabitants of the Wupatki pueblos.

Here are some photos:



Photos from this sightseeing adventure and for the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument have been uploaded to in the Winslow AZ set. Seeing both the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and the Wupatki National Monument can be accomplished with a single fee and both can be done in the same day and is well worth the time. We did not know that two gems were hidden in plain sight just north of Flagstaff.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo