Tonto National Monument, Roosevelt

4.8
#62 of 130 in Nature in Arizona
Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in the Superstition Mountains, in Gila County of central Arizona. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion, an arid habitat with annual rainfall of about 16 inches (400 mm) here. The Salt River runs through this area, providing a rare, year-round source of water.Cliff dwellingsWell-preserved cliff dwellings were occupied by the Salado culture during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. The people farmed in the Salt River Valley, and supplemented their diet by hunting and gathering native plants. The Salado were fine craftspeople, producing some of the most flamboyant polychrome pottery and intricately woven textiles to be found in the Southwest. Some of the artifacts excavated nearby are on display in the visitor center museum.The Tonto National Monument Archeological District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Tonto National Monument, Lower Ruin and Tonto National Monument, Upper Ruin are archeological sites that were NRHP-listed in 1989.
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Tonto National Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
183 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We made reservations for the upper cliff dwelling tour, and loved it. I was a little nervous bringing the kids, ages 8 & 10. The website says the hike is difficult and recommendations no kids 8 & unde...  more »
  • It's a cool little site. A steep, paved pathway leads right up to the dwellings & you can actually walk into the dwellings & look around. Great overview & vistas from the site as well. Clean washrooms...  more »
  • The Monument preserves ruined cliff dwellings. The Lower Cliff Dwelling (the only one accessible without reservation) has deteriorated a lot but there is still enough to give a good appreciation of ho...  more »
Google
  • Love this place! We got in free with our national parks pass, but it's not very expensive if you don't have the pass. The trail up to the cliff dwellings is fairly short and very well paved, but it is rather steep. We brought our kids, the 1 year old was in a baby carrier, the 3 year old probably could have walked the whole way up but ended up being carried. Coming down he was definitely able to do independently.
  • Very cool. There are cliff dwellings you can look around inside. The lower cliff dwelling is accessible up a 1/2 mile trail, but be warned, its kind of steep, you ascend up 350 ft in that 1/2 mile. There are benches and spots to take a short rest if you need it. The view as you go up is beautiful, you can see Roosevelt Lake. At the top there is a ranger who can give you a info about the structures. There is also an upper cliff dwelling at another trail, a 1 1/2 mile walkup but the ranger said it is not as steep. You have to make a reservation for a tour for the upper dwelling(by calling in advance) but not the lower one, you can just go during open hours. The Ranger and the people who worked in the visitor center were very friendly and helpful. The price was $5 per person 16 and over, under 16 is free.
  • Established in 1907, Tonto NM protects the cliff dwellings and the archeological remnant history of the Salado culture (Rio Salado) that farmed in the Salt River Valley of the Tonto Basin. From 1250 to 1450 CE, the Salado culture flourished. Around 700 CE, the Ancient Sonoran Desert People (the Hohokam from the Phoenix basin) moved to the Salt River in the Tonto Basin and mixed with local groups. Around 1100-1150 CE, the Ancestral Puebloans and the Mogollon People also occupied this area, searching for water and land resources. These combined groups became the Salado culture. The combined characteristics of the Salado People brought about a culture known for its masonry cliff dwellings along with distinctive pottery and textiles. Today, Tonto NM encompasses over 1,000 acres. Located near Roosevelt AZ, the visitor center offers information and exhibits about the Salado who lived in the area 700 years ago. There is also a theater and small educational bookstore. From here, one can take a steep 0.5 mile trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling (20 rooms) along a paved path. The hike usually takes one hour RT and must be started before 4:00 pm. In the summer, it is suggested to begin before 12:00 noon. The Upper Cliff Dwelling (40 rooms) is accessed through guided trips only, reservations required. This tour only occurs on weekends November through April, and takes 3-4 hours.
  • A great little-known monument with very well preserved cliff dwellings. A paved walk is steep, but those without walking restrictions will be rewarded. The visitor center has an excellent movie and good displays.
  • This place isn't amazing, the scenery is breathtaking. I definitely recommend it to anyone ❤️❤️❤️

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