Wupatki National Monument
The area has geological formations and abrupt elevation changes that, within only a few miles, provide six different eco-systems, and a wide variety of habitats for plants and animals. The effects of elevation are visible along the 36 mile loop road connecting Wupatki with Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument to the south.
A drive along this road is a journey from desert grasslands (at less than 5,000’ elevation) to Ponderosa pine forest (near 7,000’). In October, the desert floor springs to life with flowers and new growth. Rabbitbrush glows bright yellow against the black cinders, remains from the nearby volcaic eruption, the red rock in the distance, and the blue sky.