Driving approximately 15 miles; about 1/2 hour. Walking about 1 mile on Island Trail at Walnut Canyon; approximately 1 hour with stops; paved trail; descend and ascend 185 feet via 240 steps. Rim Trail is about 1 mile; approx. 1 hour; paved and level. Elevation at 6,700 ft.
At the hotel, we will have a buffet including waffles, eggs, bagels, cereal, muffins, and fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, juices, milk, water.
We will load our vans to begin our adventure and better acquaint ourselves with the native cultures and natural history of the Grand Canyon region. To start, we’ll engage in a docent-led exploration of the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA), which was founded in 1928 to honor the natural and cultural heritage of northern Arizona and the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau. At the end of our visit, we will have some time to explore independently.
At a local restaurant, we will have a choice of entrees featuring a variety of selections, plus coffee, tea, soft drinks, lemonade, water; other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll then travel to Walnut Canyon where we will go on our next field trip to the Sinagua Ruins, the visitor center, and the museum at Walnut Canyon National Monument. Upon arrival, we’ll set out on a hike led by our Group Leader down into Walnut Canyon on the Island Trail, which will bring us face to face with ancient cliff dwellings. Walnut Canyon is a spectacular scenic attraction in its own right and contains diverse plant and animal communities to be enjoyed from all vantage points with interpretive signs to supplement viewing. For those who choose not to go into the canyon, a lovely rim walk led by one of the Group Leaders also offers excellent views and access to Sinagua Ruins. We will return to Flagstaff in the mid-afternoon with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
At a festive local Greek restaurant, we’ll enjoy a choice of plated entrees with something for all palates, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
At a classroom on the NAU campus, we will have an introduction to the region’s geology with an emphasis on the Grand Canyon presented by a local expert. We’ll gain a background on the forces that created this world wonder which will then make our next day’s field trip to the Grand Canyon even more meaningful.