Perhaps people living here 800 years ago called this place Wupatupqa ("long canyon"), as it is known to some of their descendants, the Hopi. It was no doubt known as a place of abundance, given its wealth of plant and animal life and the presence of water.
A creek flowed intermittently through the gorge below you. Use the pictures to orient yourself; you are looking upstream. Walnut Creek rarely flows anymore, its waters impounded for use by the city of Flagstaff.
Significant to Many
Before Euro-American settlement, the landscape of the San Francisco Peaks, which includes Walnut Canyon, was an area used by all of the region's tribal groups (Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, Yavapai, Havasupai, Western Apache, and Southern Paiute). Walnut Canyon remains a favorite place to collect plants for medicinal, ceremonial, and everyday use. The canyon's wildlife, including birds, has important roles in many native traditions and lifeways.
We are guests here today. Please visit with respect.
[Photo captions read]
[1.] Aerial view of Walnut creek drainage and Walnut Canyon.
[2.] A dry Walnut Canyon as typically seen from this point. Water has been diverted upstream since 1904.
[3.] A rare spring flood of Walnut Creek (in 1993) as seen from this point.