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Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise in Banff National Park, AB

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Saturday morning we were on our way by 9 am to the Flying J to refill our house propane tank. With the cold nights we have used more than usual with the furnace. Ray was going to fill up with DEF but as our tank is on the opposite side and he has to go through the truck fuel up side backwards .... it was way too busy there to even attempt. No panic yet so we will have to fill it up further down the road. Northern Arizona seems to have the most expense diesel prices ... last fuel up was $2.30/gal and the prices listed in Flagstaff were at $2.73! With only an hours drive to Walnut Canyon we expected a pretty short day. Unfortunately the BLM free camping area that I had ear marked for the night, near the entrance to the National Monument, was too rough for the coach so we decided to do the hike anyways and then carry on to Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood which was only 1 more hour down the road.

The Walnut Canyon National Monument has many, many cliff dwellings. A bunch of them you can get up close and personal to see. Spectacular views they must of had, although getting water would have been challenging, climbing down 200 feet every time you needed to fill your jugs.

There are 2 paved walks you can take, one around the rim of the canyon, or the Island Trail that takes you down into the canyon to be able to walk by some of the cliff dwelling. We opted to get up close and personal! The hike down was not too bad consisting of several sets of stairs totaling 240, but coming back up and being at 7000 feet elevation was somewhat of a challenge. Ray and I took it slow and easy but boy we were bushed by the time we got back to the top. The paved trail including the stairs is only a 1 mile walk, but felt like 5 by the time I reached the top. :) Great exercise.


The path at the bottom of the stairs.

The trail with the cliff dwellings you can walk into is actually an island within the canyon so you circumnavigate it.







 What a view



You could also see about 20 or more old dwellings across the canyon all around the Island Trail. It must have been a huge community around 1200 AD.




An absolutely fantastic walk ... even with all of those stairs.

When we arrived at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, being a Saturday they were full so we had to go into the overflow dry camping area for the night. Their dry camping spots are bigger than most RV spaces in RV Parks! Ray walked Freya and I minimally set-up we were starved!!!!! It was now 1 pm and we had not even had a breakfast, only a granola bar. Found a great little BBQ Place called Hog Wild a short distance from the state park and we shared a sampler plate. Yummm. Enough for dinner tomorrow too. We were able to book a power site for the next 2 nights so we can keep the A/C on for Freya as temps are supposed to be high 70's. During this time Ray and I will take a train ride up the Verde Canyon for Ray's birthday and possibly see Red Rock State Park in Sedona where pets are not allowed as we found out 4 years ago. Generators are also prohibited in the park, even in the dry camping area so we need to be plugged in for the A/C and our fridge.

After a rather long day Ray spent the rest of the afternoon/evening laying in bed watching TV and I joined him pretty early as well. Lights out by 8:30 pm. We still have not gotten over daylight savings time and are waking up at 4:30/5:00 am every morning. Hopefully another week or so we should be adjusted.

1 comment:

  1. We loved staying in that beautiful park. Cottonwood is a neat little town and don't forget to see Jerome.
    Enjoy!

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