If you're thinking an RV adventure is just what the doctor ordered, why not plan to stop by Tuzigoot National Monument in Arizona on your travels? It's a great place to get in a little extra exercise and learn about one of America's oldest Sinagua civilizations.
Tuzigoot National Monument is found in Camp Verde, located to the south of metropolitan Flagstaff. The property consists of an ancient pueblo dwelling which rests atop a large hill in the midst of the desert. This region was once the home of the Sinagua people who began construction of the pueblo in 1125 and permanently left the premises in 1400. The Sinagua tribe largely consisted of farmers and artists who established connections with other tradesmen throughout the region for equitable exchange of goods and services.
The name Tuzigoot is of Tonto Apache descent and means "crooked waters," a reference to the nearby Peck Lake which flows into an off shoot known as the Verde River. The grounds cover 42 acres, allowing families ample place for exploring the sampling of buildings scattered throughout the long sandstone ledges.
Tuzigoot National Monument bears the distinction of being the largest and best kept ruins of the Sinagua civilization. An interesting hallmark of the remaining buildings is that they were built to include very few doors, instead favoring the use of ladders and trapdoors for entering and exiting the premises.
The ruins found at Tuzigoot were designated a national monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 25th, 1939.
Tuzigoot National Monument is located 52 miles to the south of Flagstaff, Arizona. The journey to the monument and park grounds traverses over roads of both two and four lanes. The highways are kept in good condition year-round, making travel easy. Traffic progresses well, and road construction is an infrequent occurrence.
It is important to note that the Main Street in Cottonwood is full of twists and turns, but the route is well-marked to ensure you don't get lost.
Parking is available via a lot at the entrance to Tuzigoot National Monument.
There is no public transportation available to this property.
Dead Horse Ranch National Park Campground is located near Tuzikoot National Monument and offers RV and tent camping by reservation year-round. There are 100 RV campsites, all of which are quite large in size. Generator use is not permitted on the grounds. Dogs may visit the property with their owners but must remain leashed at all times.
The on-site amenities at Dead Horse Ranch National Park Campground include drinking water, power hookups, picnic tables, modern bathrooms with showers, and flush toilets.
Tuzigoot National Monument is an excellent place for families who enjoy viewing unusual species of plant and animal life. Though the animal-dwelling section of this property is quite small, it is a haven for a large variety of animals including several types of birds, mammals, lizards, and rodents.
Be sure to check out the area at night as well when desert-dwelling animals prefer to make their appearance. Some of the animals you may spot include woodrats, pocket gophers, skunks, ringtails, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, bats, and owls.
Tuzigoot National Monument's property is bordered by the Verde River, a body of water which flows off Peck Lake. After spending the morning perusing the ancient pueblo and its grounds, you can take a quick dip in the river to cool off. Swimming is unsupervised here, so be sure to proceed with caution.
There is a small sandy area that is well-suited to a leisurely stroll or reclining in the sand. Your dog may join you on your beach adventure but must remain leashed.
Bring along drinking water, snacks, and some sunscreen.
The grounds at Tuzigoot National Monument are an excellent spot to enjoy a picnic lunch. Meander through the property in search of the perfect place to unfurl your picnic blanket or enjoy your meal from one of the tables in the picnic areas.
Bring along a packed lunch from home and plenty of drinking water. Your pooch is welcome to tag along, but be sure to clean up after them and properly dispose of their waste. In addition to this, all dogs visiting Tuzigoot National Monument must remain on a leash.
With 42 acres of property in total, there is ample opportunity to do some hiking at Tuzikoot National Monument. The grounds are quite rocky, so be certain to wear comfortable walking shoes and to dress for hiking conditions.
There are many trails for you to choose from with something sure to suit the age and activity level of each member of the family.
The on-site museum at Tuzikoot National Monument which reopened in June 2011 is an excellent place to learn more about the Sinagua people who once inhabited this land. Here, you will discover ancient artifacts uncovered during excavation on the property as well as unique historical facts.
The museum is open year-round for families to enjoy. Consult the monument's website for hours of operation and any associated fees.
Tuzigoot National Monument is an incredibly picturesque property. From the sandstone cliffs to the ruins of the pueblo buildings to the interesting plant and animal life, you won't have to look far for subject matter for your camera lens.
Be sure to bring your camera and some good walking shoes as there is plenty of land to explore in search of the perfect shot. Since the climate remains hot and humid year-round, bringing along drinking water is a very good idea.