Situated in the shadow of Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, Wupatki National Monument was once home to prehistoric Anasazi and Sinagua farmers and traders. Less than 800 years ago, a large agricultural community spread across this volcanic plateau. The eruption of nearby Sunset Crater Volcano a century earlier probably played a part. Families that lost their homes to ash and lava had to move. They discovered that the cinders blanketing lands to the north at Wupatki could hold moisture needed for crops.
The warm, arid climate and sparse vegetation today make the successes of these pueblo farmers remarkable. For its time and place, there was no other pueblo like Wupatki.
Today you’ll see stunning artistry in masonry pueblos that emerge from bedrock to stand several stories high. The 54 square miles of the monument also preserves rock art, pottery, baskets and tools.
- Wupatki means “Tall House” and is the tallest pueblo in the area
- The Monument is 44 miles northeast of downtown Flagstaff