Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale

#3 of 6 in Things to do in Clarkdale
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 (36 m) above the Verde River floodplain. The Tuzigoot Site 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. The pueblo has 110 rooms. The National Park Service currently administers 58 acres (23 ha), within an authorized boundary of 834 acres (338 ha).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. 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.The monument is on land once owned by United Verde/Phelps Dodge. The corporation sold the site to Yavapai County for $1, so that the excavation could be completed under the auspices of federal relief projects. The county in turn transferred the land to the federal government.
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Tuzigoot National Monument Reviews
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  • You can certainly see why this has been settled for thousands of years. The park service has done a good job of preserving this site and it makes an excellent place for a visit on a nice fall day. I w...  more »
  • Very small monunent with rich history. Not enough area for any trails so don't expect much besides getting out of your car for a few minutes. The small trail that does exist does have some interesting...  more »
  • This pueblo is built on the top of a hill. The stonework looks a bit different to my eye. Most pueblos have brown rectangular/flat stone in their walls. This site has a lot of colorful roundish rocks....  more »
  • Interesting piece of history, however the admission is fairly steep for what's there. The museum is small and doesn't contain a whole lot. The ruins themselves could have done with a little more in the way of descriptive signage or visualizations to help understand what took place in them. The high point though is definitely the views of the whole Valley from atop the ruins.
  • An excellent exploration place. Even the kids will enjoy hiking around in the ruins. The museum, though, is the best part.
  • Fascinating, and as close to a Machu Picchu experience as you could have without being in Peru. The discovered rooms are preserved and protected from viewers while giving you a close view. Also, just a view rooms have been reconstructed to help you understand and experience the architecture. Truly enthralling, and the associated little museum had rather informative background about the site.
  • The parks Department have done an excellent job of preserving and sharing this historical area. Very knowledgeable staff. I'm very grateful we have these things preserved to be able to visit and learn of our history. There are interactive informational maps, excavated pottery, tools, clothing, etc. The on site educational building is very well done . It's self guided but the park rangers are on site and really are enthusiastic about this site. They know back history, side notes, etc,and love to share it with you. So impressed by our National Park Service. There is a very small fee, that actually covers two monuments. But it's so well worth the experience. It doesn't take alot of time to explore the interior building or the outside self guided, well marked, and very detailed placards. We found ourselves taking in the beauty of the entire surrounding area from the top of the site. It's a gradual incline, but there are steps that can be taken, but don't have to be, to go through the whole site. You can pick your level of experience. When you're coming down, if you stand real still, dozens of little tiny birds will jump out of the low bushes to peck at plant seeds. 🙂 I recommend this site as a place to visit, definitely!
  • +JMJ...This is a must visit monument/park!! Spent my time here walking the well paved walkways which featured very picturesque info boards that gave details about many aspects of the ancient dwellings, the grounds, and the usage of herbs and plant life. Particularly enjoyed the walkway that ended in an area that was a former water-rich wetland. It too had many little placards that described the flora that was not just decorative but had/have medicinal purposes. The walkways are pretty extensive, so one should wear very comfortable shoes, a hat, and bring water along. Very lovely way to spend a few hours out in the expansive Verde Valley.

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