Tuzigoot National Monument is located 40 miles southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona atop a 120-foot high limestone ridge above the Verde Valley. The monument centers around a 110 room pueblo ruin built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo is thought to have been inhabited by 300 people from about A.D. 1000.
Tuzigoot National Monument
Another impressive Sinaguan site nearby is Montezuma Castle National Monument. It is believed that the pueblo was abandoned in the early 1400s due to an unknown reason.
Common theories for why the pueblo was abandoned include disease, prolonged drought, and conflict. There is a great 1/3 mile trail that leads through the ruins and to an overlook at Tavasci Marsh. The park is open year-round and a great place to visit en route to the Grand Canyon.
The stone ruins here and the visitor experience are very different from the cliff dwellings found at Montezuma Castle and Well. Tuzigoot is the remains of a 110-room pueblo that sits on a long limestone ridge 150 feet above the Verde River floodplain. And what's especially nice for history buffs is that you can get up close and personal with the dwelling and may even walk inside some of the rooms.
Tuzigoot is an Apache word that means "crooked water" and also aptly describes the zigzag appearance of what's left of the structure's walls. Although the stones are original, the park service has reinforced the crumbling mortar with cement.
To see the entire pueblo, climb the circular trail that winds up the hill. At the top, you'll be treated to a panoramic view across the wide Verde Valley. The Tuzigoot visitor center provides even more information on these significant ruins.
With rugged mountains to the north and scorching deserts to the south, you'd expect descendants of the Southern Sinaguans to have remained and flourished in the fertile Verde Valley. Since no separate Sinagua tribe exists today, we'll never know for sure why these stone villages have been left abandoned for 600 years or what became of that ancient culture. Does the mystery pique your curiosity?
If so, then join the other 350,000 travelers who explore these fascinating ruins every year. The remnants are fragile and irreplaceable, and you'll be glad you didn't miss this important piece of America's cultural heritage.
Visit the Visitor Center
The visitor center is the first thing you enter when you arrive at the park. There is a small gift shop, ranger contact area, and interpretive information.
You can also get your National Park Passport Stamp in the visitor center.
Become a Junior Ranger
You can pick up the Junior Ranger program at the Tuzigoot Visitor Center, or you can download it here and turn it into a ranger when you visit. This is a great way to learn more about the park and earn your Junior Ranger Badge!
Check out all of the Junior Ranger Programs you can do from home.
Explore the 1/3-mile loop trail
The 1/3 mile trail leads you to and through the 110 room pueblo along with giving you amazing views of the Verde River and the Tavasci Marsh.
The trail starts with a steep incline and then continues up a hill to reach the ruins. There is no shade along the trail. You will want to be prepared for the bright hot sun!!!
There is one area on the trail that you can walk upstairs to explore the upper levels of the ruins if you feel comfortable.
Like most Southwest National Parks there are signs warning about snakes on the trail.
Things to know when planning a trip to Tuzigoot National Monument
25 Tuzigoot Rd
Clarkdale, AZ 86324
The park is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily, The last car allowed at the gate is at 4:45 pm
The park is closed on December 25th and January 1st
Park Entrance Fees
Tuzigoot Entrance Fee - Per Person - $10.00
Tuzigoot Entrance Fee - Children - $0.00 - Children aged 15 and under are free.
Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle Annual Pass - $40.00
The Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot Annual Pass cover the cardholder and 3 other adults (aged 16 and over) into both Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot for one year from date of purchase. Children 15 and under are free.
Pets/Dogs - Dogs are allowed on the trail but they must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet long.
Cell Service - Cell service is spotty in this area.
WiFi - There is no public wifi at Tuzigoot National Monument.
National Parks near Tuzigoot National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument - 22 miles
Walnut Canyon National Monument - 74 miles
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument - 85 miles
Wupatki National Monument - 97 miles
Grand Canyon National Park - 147 miles
Petrified Forest National Park - 181 miles
Check out all of the National Monuments within the National Park Service.