Wupatki National Monument

Visit the largest free-standing pueblo in Northern Arizona, less than an hour north of Flagstaff.

Located between the stark Painted Desert and the dense pine forests of Flagstaff, the Wupatki heritage site preserves many stories of indigenous people including the Hopi, Zuni and Ancestral Puebloan tribes that lived in or passed through the area. Visitors learn about the ancestors of modern pueblo communities who lived in these prehistoric villages that served as trading centers for tribes from hundreds of miles in every direction. Discover multiple pueblos that were occupied nearly 1,000 years ago in the high prairies of the Colorado Plateau.

Tour the Pueblo

Directly behind the visitor center, a scenic overlook frames this wondrous site. More than 100 rooms once filled this bustling trade center and thriving agricultural community. Visitors take a half-mile hike to get up close to the remnants of this amazing structure. The site includes remnants of an ancient ball court and a natural blow hole. Keep an eye on nearby mesas and ridgelines to spot remnants of other heritage sites, but always stay on the designated trails and leave no trace during your visit.

Discover More Ruins

Thousands of people lived in this area supported by reliable water sources, innovative agriculture techniques and expert hunting methods. Drive 2.5 miles from the visitor center to access a short trail to Wukoki, a three-story pueblo with eight rooms. Drive 10 miles from the visitor center to discover the massive Citadel, a 50-room pueblo. Visitors can spend an entire day in the area, walking along four trails to find seven ancient pueblo structures. Trails and ruins are open sunrise to sunset year-round, and the Wupatki visitor center and museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"While Wupatki is protected specifically for its unique archaeological resources, that's only part of the story. If you visit, you will see incredible examples of geology, plant life, wildlife, and dark skies."

– Lauren Carter, Lead Interpretation Ranger

Wupatki National Monument

Visit Flagstaff’s National Monuments

After exploring Wupatki National Monument, take a scenic loop drive that connects to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The volcanic eruption and lava flows disrupted life for indigenous people in the area, many of whom are believed to have relocated to Wupatki’s higher ground. Just south of I-40, Walnut Canyon National Monument preserves cliff dwellings, pit houses and other evidence of indigenous pathways and culture. In the warmer months, set up camp under the stars in the surrounding Coconino National Forest. Or make a Flagstaff hotel base camp to tour the important heritage sites of Northern Arizona.

Visit Destination Website

More to Discover Near Wupatki National Monument

Family Activities

25 Things to Do in Flagstaff

Consider this your definitive guide to Flagstaff—from stargazing to craft beer tasting, here are our favorite things to do in this mountain town.

Heritage & Culture

Stories of the Ancients

To truly understand Arizona means walking ancient paths. Take time to learn about the first peoples that populated the land as you explore...

Hopi Tribe

Hopi tribal lands are sacred regions that require a bit of effort to visit. Discover how to explore this special place and leave with a deeper...

Navajo Nation

Covering more than 27,000 square miles of desert landscape around the Four Corners region, Navajo Nation has many treasures to explore.



Nestled along the Colorado River gorge, Cameron is more than just a place to stretch your legs: it's a cultural and geological stop.


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.