Tonto National Monument, Roosevelt

#65 of 129 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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164 reviews
  • July 24, 2017
    only one hour and a half from fountain hills. Nice little 1/2 mile hike up from the center. Take water and do it in the morning. Great view of the lake. Ranger at the dwellings gives you facts and ans...  more »
  • July 16, 2017
    2 sites of houses troglodytes, old over 700 years are protected by this park. Upper cliff dwelling, the greater of the 2 sites is only accessible by guided tour, charged 4 hours hiking (AR) for the visit. Lower cliff dwelling, more easily accessible (steep but very well maintained trail count 1 h) is still very impressive. This is a unique opportunity to learn the Salado (also known as the Hohokam) nation that has populated the nation before the arrival of Europeans. Plus a great view of the Salted River.
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  • June 13, 2017
    Actually, we wanted to not dare the ascent to the cliff dwellings at almost 100 degrees F because we some time ago ever faced this problem were and wanted to take this possible strain on us. But then won but the curiosity. Equipped with water we run the small fortified way slowly upwards. Beautiful cacti in all sizes are everywhere. The ruins, we are welcomed by 2 Rangers, who like to tell us something about the House and its former inhabitants. We have seen quite a few cliff dwellings and climbed and yet each is different. Ultimately way was worth upward, especially since you have beautiful views over the countryside and the Roosevelt Lake during the ascent.
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  • May 2, 2017
    Very cool hike to upper area. Susan, our guide, was very well informed and gave the group much great insight as to the history and local habitat. All in all a very good trip. Would definitely do it again--also great views of Roosevelt lake.
  • July 1, 2017
    If you like history of the west and of the ancient Native Indian population, you need to visit. Will be going back to explore again.
  • June 4, 2017
    It was really nice to walk up and see some history and look down in the exact same area as many did many years ago.
  • April 18, 2017
    Our volunteer guide to the upper dwelling was very knowledgeable and kind. We had a wonderful experience seeing one of the only preserved, not reconstructed cliff dwellings. A definite highlight of my vacation in Arizona!
  • January 10, 2017
    Great family type experience. If you are an experienced off the beaten path explorer and hiker this will bore you. But the staff and facility is amazing! They run a great tour with great volunteers. The upper dwelling is much better too if you are up for a better harder hike!

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