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October 11, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument, just twenty minute drive north of Flagstaff, Arizona, was established by the National Park system to preserve Native American archeological sites dating from the 1200s and the surrounding lands.
Pueblo Ruins

Pueblo Ruins

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.

Desert in Bloom

High Desert Grasslands in Bloom

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.


  1. montucky / Oct 11 2008 10:56 am

    Good to see photos of that area! I used to visit there often.

  2. Anna Surface / Oct 11 2008 12:32 pm

    Beautiful! I especially like the photo of the High Desert Grasslands in bloom. 🙂

  3. ybonesy / Oct 11 2008 5:05 pm

    Gorgeous, Bo. Best time to be there.

  4. Debi / Oct 12 2008 7:28 am

    Arizona is one of my all-time favorite states. Traveling once from the Phoenix area to the Grand Canyon revealed completely different topography with every turn. The Flagstaff area is bsolutely one of the most fascinating places on this earth. But then again, I simply love everything about Arizona. I’m envious that you are there and I am here!

  5. amuirin / Oct 13 2008 11:26 pm

    Oh, I *love* the Pueblo Ruins picture.

  6. Gandalf / Oct 14 2008 9:44 pm

    pretty awesome. I’m a big fan of the National Parks. We need to preserve the special areas.

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