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National Monument
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Ruins at Tuzigoot.

Related Areas

You may see many types of ruins in the Verde Valley and in other parts of the Southwest. Most common are the pueblos. Most of them were occupied between A. D. 1100 and 1400. They range in size from 4 or 5 rooms up to more than 1,000 rooms. Many still stand several stories high. A few have open courts in which the people could gather for social or ceremonial purposes. None of the pueblos in the valley contain kivas, the ceremonial chambers so common in northeastern Arizona and adjoining districts of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Conversely, ball courts are found in the Verde Valley and around Flagstaff but not in other Pueblo areas.

Two miles east of Clarkdale, Ariz., is Tuzigoot National Monument—an Indian pueblo of more than 100 rooms. Tuzigoot was occupied by Indians similar to those of Montezuma Castle, but they lived under somewhat different circumstances. They found tillable land and water for irrigation, but there were no caves to shelter their homes. Instead, they chose the end of a steep ridge that rises 120 feet above the Verde River. For defense, these Indians built their pueblo with few exterior doors; instead they used hatchlike openings through the roof. The pueblo was entered by ladders which could be removed. The ruins and an extensive museum are open between 8 a. m. and 5 p. m. every day.

Aside from the pueblos included in Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle National Monuments, there are other examples to be seen on the many buttes and mesas in the Verde Valley.

Among the thousands of open pueblo sites in the Southwest, the National Park System includes, besides Tuzigoot, the following outstanding examples: Casa Grande and Wupatki National Monuments in Arizona; Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, and Chaco Canyon National Monuments in New Mexico; and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

Walnut Canyon
Walnut Canyon dwellings.

Many interesting areas can be reached easily from Flagstaff, Ariz. They include Walnut Canyon National Monument, a natural area of great beauty featuring 5 miles of cliff dwellings clinging to rock ledges; Wuptaki National Monument, a series of remarkable pueblo dwellings; and Sunset Crater National Monument site of the last active volcano in the Southwest. Sunset Crater was formed by an eruption which covered many early pithouse dwellings about A. D. 1064. The Museum of Northern Arizona, containing very fine archeological and geological exhibits is located near Flagstaff, on Fort Valley road.

One hundred and seven miles south of Montezuma Castle, near Roosevelt, Ariz., is Tonto National Monument, where other cliff dwellings may be seen.


Montezuma Castle National Monument is administered by the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior. A superintendent, whose address is Camp Verde, Ariz., is in immediate charge.

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Last Modified: Tues, Jan 2 2001 10:00:00 pm PDT

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