Looking to take in some of Arizona's most popular sites on your next RV vacation? Plan a trip to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. It's a great place to learn more about America's history.
Casa Grande Ruins Monument is situated approximately 15 miles outside the town of Casa Grande, and forms the midway point between Phoenix and Tucson. The landscape is dotted with saguaro cactus plants that are indigenous to the region and flourish in its arid climate. Casa Grande Ruins Monument sits in the middle of the desert and experiences temperatures in excess of 110 degrees, making the air extremely hot and dry year-round.
It is believed that the monument sits in the midst of what was once a vast network of canals for irrigation that were very sophisticated for their time. Developed in 1350, the property was once home to a large trade irrigation operation for a period of one thousand years. In later years, a sampling of earthen structures and red on buff pottery was discovered on the property, a memorial to the Ancestral Sonora Desert People who made this area their home. These desert nomads left behind no written language, so all that is understood about their history, culture, and way of life has been gleaned from artifacts and journals written by explorers to the region.
Casa Grande Ruins Monument sits on the banks of the Gila River. Guided tours of the grounds and ruins are available by reservation and for a fee. The area is also extremely picturesque, littered with many picnic tables and pavilions where families can enjoy a packed lunch out of the heat of the sun.
For an interesting day exploring one of America's oldest and most mysterious civilizations, plan a trip to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. You'll have an amazing time.
The drive from Phoenix, AZ to Casa Grande Ruins Monument covers 55 miles of ground. To get to the monument, begin by taking I-10 E and continuing until you reach exit 185 for AZ-387 N in Pinal County. Take the exit and remain on this road, following the exit for AZ-87 S. This highway will lead you to W Ruins Road in Coolidge. Here you will find the monument. The stretch of highway from Phoenix is well traveled. The roads are in good condition and consist of both two and four lane highways. Traffic moves well, and occasionally, road construction occurs.
To reach the monument from Tucson, you will travel 68 miles in total. To take this route, begin on I-10 W, continuing until the turn off for AZ-87 N. Remain on this road until you see the turn for W Ruins Road. This road will take you directly to the monument. All highways along this route are kept in good condition and alternate between two and four lanes. Traffic remains fluid, and construction is rarely seen.
Parking is available via an on-site lot.
There is no public transportation available to Casa Grande Ruins Monument.
There is a small camping facility near to Casa Grande Ruins Monument. There are five sites available on a first come, first served basis; all are suitable for tent or RV camping. The campsites are large enough to accommodate trailers or RVs up to 50 feet in total length.
Though there are no on-site amenities provided here, generator use is permitted, and dogs are allowed to join their families on their camping adventure but must remain leashed.
Campfires are allowed on the premises, and Wifi is available.
Casa Grande Ruins Monument is a treasure trove of places for families to explore. You can wander through the grounds alone or schedule a guided tour to learn more about the mysteries of the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People's remaining earthen dwellings, their unique and profitable irrigation system, and their handmade red on buff pottery.
The monument sits on terrain that is largely flat in the heart of desert country. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, to bring sun protection, and to have an ample supply of drinking water with you as temperatures in this region regularly exceed 110 degrees.
Casa Grande Ruins Monument sits on a large plot of land along the Gila River. Though the property is largely flat, there is lots of it to explore and near the monument is a mountain range that is picture-perfect and worth exploring.
A day of hiking at Casa Grande Ruins Monument will mean extremely hot temperatures, so you will need to be prepared with hats and sunscreen to protect against sunburn. Bring along drinking water as well and keep an eye for desert wildlife such as scorpions and snakes, giving them a wide berth.
Dogs are welcome on the property, but avoid doing any hiking with them during the hottest parts of the day.
There are several trails throughout the monument property as well as at the nearby campground Million Dollar Views Camping. The trails are well-marked and meander through sections of sandy desert that is earmarked by the region's beloved saguaro cactus plants.
You can travel the trails on foot or on horseback. It is best to restrict horseback riding to earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid extremes of temperature.
Picnicking is a popular activity at Casa Grande Ruins Monument. There are many different areas with picnic tables and pavilions where you and your family can enjoy a packed lunch from home away from the heat of the sun's brilliant rays.
Fancy the ripping sound of the river during your meal? You can walk down to the edge of the Gila River and spread out your feast there for all to enjoy.
The Gila River found on the grounds of Casa Grande Ruins Monument is an excellent spot for doing some fishing. This body of water connects to a vast array of irrigation systems, providing ample opportunity for avid fishermen to get out on the water to try their hand at reeling in "the big one."
You can paddle out to the depths of the river in a canoe or fish right from the banks of the river.
A short distance from Casa Grande Ruins Monument, you'll find mountainous desert terrain, making it the perfect spot for doing some rock climbing. Be sure you have the correct equipment with you for engaging in this sport to prevent accidents or injuries. If in doubt, you can always inquire about hiring a local guide to accompany you and your family during your climbing adventure.
This is a good activity for the winter when temperatures cool down.