Wupatki is the largest pueblo in the park. A self-guided trail begins behind the visitor center.
People gathered here during the 1100s, gradually building this 100-room pueblo with a community room and ballcourt. By 1182, perhaps 85 to 100 people lived at Wupatki Pueblo, the largest building for at least fifty miles. Within a day's walk, a population of several thousand surrounded Wupatki.
Wupatki appears empty and abandoned. Though it is no longer physically occupied, Hopi believe the people who lived and died here remain as spiritual guardians. Stories of Wupatki are passed on among Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and perhaps other tribes. Members of the Hopi Bear, Sand, Lizard, Rattlesnake, Water, Snow, and Katsina Clans return periodically to enrich their personal understanding of their clan history. Wupatki is remembered and cared for, not abandoned.
ninjababe and I have been here several times over the years, and this visit mimicked our first - arriving at sunset after the last ranger had gone home for the evening. If you're ever in the Flagstaff area, I highly recommend you take the time to visit this remarkable historic site.