Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument is just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona off of US 89.  I have lived in Arizona my entire life and am just now finding out about some of these gems.  Wupatki was established to preserve the Citadel and Wupatki pueblos and back in its day this was a happenin’ place.  We were here on a school trip and not only was I impressed, but the kids all seemed to enjoy the monument.

We visited the Wupatki Pueblo which is the largest of the five pueblos in the park and is right next to the visitor center.  The trail is 1/2 mile and takes approximately 45 minutes.  You will be walking along a path but there are some steps and a slight incline.

Wupatki Pueblo

During the 1100s this area housed a 100 room pueblo with a tower and a ball court.  The kids had fun discussing how different the ball court is from the sports fields of today.

The ball court

The community room had great acoustics for an outside seating area.  I am always amazed at how advanced people were 100s of years ago.

The community room and a nearby pueblo

My and the kids favorite stop was the blowhole.  The blowhole either blows air out or sucks it in based upon pressure and temperature.  When a low pressure system moves in the underground air is higher in pressure causing air to blow out.  The opposite happens when a high pressure system moves in.  When we were there the air was blowing out and the kids had a blast placing their faces over it.  It was blowing a strong stream of cold air out of the ground and was very refreshing on a hot afternoon.  The masonry box around the blowhole was added in 1965 to protect the blowhole.

The blowhole

The landscape around Wupatki was breathtaking.  The painted desert is in the background and in person the layers of colors were just lovely.  The black on the ground is ash from the nearby Sunset Crater volcano.

Wupatki was a lot of fun and I would definitely add this to your list of places to stop if you are in the Grand Canyon/Flagstaff area.  Sunset Crater is nearby and your entrance fee gets you into both parks.  We also visited Sunset Crater and I will have that review up soon.

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