Our last stops were the national monuments of Wupatki and Sunset Crater. Besides just enjoying saying the name ‘Wupatki’ we really enjoyed seeing this pueblo and the exhibits.
Wupatki is north of Flagstaff, Arizona in the shadow of Sunset Crater. Today occasional earthquake tremors still get residents attention. The remains of the pueblos in this area are from the 1100’s when the people banded together to build a farming community. Sunset Crater’s eruption left a thin coat of ash that enriched the soil by absorbing moisture and preventing evaporation. By 1180 thousands of people were farming here. By 1250 the buildings stood empty and the people had moved on. Some resettled in areas close by and their descendants still live in the area.
|Artist's concept of the original pueblo|
I found the techniques of building with rock interesting. There was a variety of natural color, shapes, textures and craftsmanship.
|The rock work combined the sandstone and the lava.|
|Rocks stacked neatly. Many foundations gave a good sense of the room sizes.|
The pueblos are in amazingly good condition. It was really windy when we were there especially at the large pueblo at the visitor center. We took all the short hikes to the many remains and got some pictures of beautiful collared lizards and a better understanding of the lives of the early puebloans.
|Beautiful Collared Lizard just checking me out!|
The Sunset Crater became a national monument because in 1928 filmmakers wanted to create a landslide at the crater. Lots of people were concerned about the possible irreversible damage to this area and pushed for protection.
|Sunset Crater from Wupatki|
In 1930, President Hoover made it a national monument. The mountain is now closed to climbers. The black lava is eerily fascinating.
This was a great trip and I hope you enjoyed it too!