Western Earth Surface Processes

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Navajo Nation

U.S. Geological Survey
Scientific Investigations Map 2958

Geologic Map of Wupatki National Monument and Vicinity, Coconino County, Northern Arizona

By George H. Billingsley, Susan S. Priest, and Tracey J. Felger


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The geologic map of Wupatki National Monument is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and the Navajo Nation to provide geologic information for resource management officials of the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Navajo Indian Reservation (herein the Navajo Nation), and visitor information services at Wupatki National Monument, Arizona. Funding for the map was provided in part by the Water Rights Branch of the Water Resources Division of the National Park Service. Field work on the Navajo Nation was conducted under a permit from the Navajo Nation Minerals Department. Any persons wishing to conduct geologic investigations on the Navajo Nation must first apply for, and receive, a permit from the Navajo Nation Minerals Department, P.O. Box 1910, Window Rock, Arizona 86515, telephone (928)-871-6587.

Wupatki National Monument lies within the USGS 1:24,000-scale Wupatki NE, Wupatki SE, Wupatki SW, Gray Mountain, East of SP Mountain, and Campbell Francis Wash quadrangles in northern Arizona. The map is bounded approximately by longitudes 111° 16’ to 111° 32’ 30” W. and latitudes 35° 30’ to 35° 37’ 40” N. The map area is in Coconino County on the southern part of the Colorado Plateaus geologic province (herein Colorado Plateau). The map area is locally subdivided into three physiographic parts, the Coconino Plateau, the Little Colorado River Valley, and the San Francisco Volcanic Field as defined by Billingsley and others (1997) [fig. 1]. Elevations range from 4,220 ft (1,286 m) at the Little Colorado River near the northeast corner of the map area to about 6,100 ft (1,859 m) at the southwest corner of the map area.

The small community of Gray Mountain is about 16 mi (26 km) northwest of Wupatki National Monument Visitor Center, and Flagstaff, Arizona, the nearest metropolitan area, is about 24 mi (38 km) southwest of the Visitor Center (fig. 1). U.S. Highway 89 provides access to the west entrance of Wupatki National Monument. A paved Coconino County road provides a loop from Wupatki National Monument south to Sunset Crater National Monument and back to U.S. Highway 89 about 10 mi (16 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Access to Coconino National Forest is via dirt roads maintained by the National Forest Service. Several unimproved dirt roads on Babbitt Ranch lands provide limited access to remote areas north of Wupatki National Monument. Travel is mostly restricted to paved roads within Wupatki National Monument, and a dirt road that crosses the Little Colorado River provides access to the Navajo Nation area east and northeast of the Little Colorado River. The Little Colorado River crossing is not bridged and can be impassable when the river is flowing. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended but not necessary for travel in remote parts of the Navajo Nation. Extra food and water are highly recommended for travel in this sandy area.

Land ownership north of Wupatki National Monument forms a checkerboard pattern between private and State land. Coconino National Forest manages lands south of Wupatki National Monument and the National Park Service manages Wupatki National Monument. The Leupp and Tolani Lake Chapters of the Navajo Nation manage the area northeast and east of the Little Colorado River (see land management boundaries on map).

The geologic map of Wupatki National Monument provides updated geologic framework information for this part of the Colorado Plateau. The geologic information supports Federal, State, and private land managers when conducting geologic, biologic, and hydrologic investigations and will support future and ongoing geologic and associated scientific investigations of all disciplines within the Wupatki National Monument area

Files for viewing and printing

Download the map as a ~44" x 40" PDF file (SIM-2958_map.pdf; 3.4 MB)

Download the Pamphlet to accompany the map as an 18-page PDF file (SIM-2958_pamphlet.pdf; 576 kB)

Files for GIS

The data for this map is covered in the database for Geologic Map of the Cameron 30' x 60' Quadrangle, Coconino County, Northern Arizona , USGS Scientific Investigations Map 2977, By George H. Billingsley, Susan S. Priest, and Tracey J. Felger.

For questions about the content of this report, contact George Billingsley

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Page Last Modified: December 18, 2007