Hike the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon



1 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type


Added by Mike Quine

Take a hike over 700 years in the making. Equal parts adventure for the feet as the mind. The Island Trail traverses some of America's oldest preserved ruins of a timeless past. 

The trail is a short one - stretching only a mile in length. The only semi-strenuous portion of the trail is at the beginning and end where you start by descending a set of stairs in order to reach the trail that loops around the historic cliff dwellings. Since this is a loop trail, the same set of steep stairs will be there waiting for you upon your return. 

Once fully descended, the trail begins by looping around the west side (turn right) of the cliff. The mountain appears to be surrounded by a river deep below. This formation is likely what gives the trail is not-so original name - the Island Trail. Anyway, as you march along the trail, be sure to enjoy both the near and far visual splendors. With careful attention you can see unreachable cliff dwellings along the distant cliff-sides. For a less eye-straining splendor, feast your history-hungry minds on the ancient cliff dwellings of a former pueblo community. The crowds will almost certainly be thin enough, buying you time to imagine yourself as a part of this far removed history.

In only one-short mile around the "island" you will find yourself returned to the stairs. Ascend them and be sure to check out the visitor for more history. 

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Known for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly



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One of three National Monuments near Flagstaff

Put this on the list with the others on any trip to Flagstaff. The hike is paved and can be done in a hour or two. Pretty canyon with up close native ruins.

Great Pit-Stop

We stopped here for a quick hike. There are hundreds of ruins in the area but this is the only hike you can get up close to them. Probably would not go too far out of the way for this, but definitely worth it if you're passing through the area. We were in and out of the park in less than an hour.

Worth the trip

This was a neat short hike to do with friends. Not mind blowing but worth it if you want to be outside and get your legs moving and maybe learn something. Bring some water and a coat at least. We thought we'd be fine since it was so short but we got caught in a light snow flurry in November. Pretty cool interpretive displays about the native people and plants in the area.

Don't Waste Your Time

Not worth it

97 total saves


Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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