Walnut Canyon is a National Monument just east of Flagstaff. There are hundreds of archeological sites in the canyon, and the Island trail takes you by quite a few. It's a short 1-mile loop after you descend 240 steps.
Looking across the canyon, you can see dwellings sheltered by overhanging cliffs that were home to Walnut Canyon's inhabitants from 1400 to 800 years ago.
This was really the perfect shelter. For each room, nature provided the back wall, floor, and leak-proof ceiling.
Builders simply provided unshaped blocks of limestone for the side walls, enclosed the front, and opened their doorway to the canyon.
Some of the dwellings have been reconstructed, and some have not.
Unfortunately, after your loop trek, you need to climb up those same 240 steps back up to the visitors center. At 7000 feet, this is no easy task.
Even closer to Flagstaff is the Elden Peublo, located right on Route 66. How did they know?
The Sinagua people settled here at higher elevation in A.D. 1070, probably due to the eruptions of Sunset Crater, 10 miles away, and stayed until 1275.
And on a totally unrelated subject, I'm now a professional photographer! One of my photos has been chosen to be on the cover of the Elko, NV phone book. And they paid me for it, so that makes me a professional, right?