Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuzigoot National Monument

If you were following along while we were living in Germany, you know that I absolutely love castle ruins. Thankfully, in Europe there is not shortage of ruins. Since the USA is such a young country and we tend to destroy things rather than preserve them, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are ruins here in the USA! To be fair, Tuzigoot isn't actually castle ruins, they are ruins, but from a distance they look like castle ruins.

After our visit to Montezuma Castle, while browsing the gift shop, we came across a picture of Tuzigoot. It looked just like a ruin and both Drew and I agreed that if it was nearby we would go and see it. We asked a Ranger where it was located and she told us it was about 30 minutes away in Clarkdale. Turns out the ruins, were about 10 mins away from our hotel (what are the odds?)

Tuzigoot National Monument preserves a 2- to 3-story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge just east of Clarkdale, Arizona, 120 feet above the Verde River floodplain.
Tuzigoot is the largest and best-preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo ruins in the Verde Valley. The ruins at Tuzigoot incorporate very few doors. Instead they use trapdoor type openings in the roofs, and use ladders to enter each room.

At this site, remains of pithouses can be seen as well as petroglyphs, although the petroglyphs can only be viewed on certain days of the week.

We arrived to Tuzigoot a little after 3:30p, although we have the NPS pass, they stop charging an entrance fee at 3:30 (for those who want a save a few dollars). If you're looking to save some money, check it out at after 3:30. You can walk up to the ruins and see everything in less than 30 minutes. A self-guided, 1/3-mile loop trail leads you around and through an incredible 110 room pueblo. The trail also offers outstanding views of the Verde River and Tavasci Marsh. Follow the road another 1/2 mile round trip, it will take you to a beautiful constructed overlook of Tavasci Marsh. (Much better than the 4km one way to check out ruins!)

Tuzigoot is an elongated complex of stone masonry rooms that were built along the spine of a natural outcrop in the Verde Valley. The central rooms stand higher than the others and they appear to have served public functions. Tuzigoot is Apache for "crooked water", from nearby Pecks Lake, a cutoff meander of the Verde River. Historically, the pueblo was built by the Sinagua people between 1125 and 1400 CE.

This was such an interesting site to see. Unfortunately mother nature wasn't cooperating with us, so we didn't get to stay quite as long as we would've like. But if you're in the area, it is a must see!

Additional Info:
GPS: 25 Tuzigoot Rd, Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Cost: Adults $10 // Children (15 & Under:) Free
National Parks Services Pass: Free
Hours: 8a-4p Daily // Christmas Day: Closed
Pet Friendly
Stroller Friendly