Tuzigoot National Monument was created to preserve the Indian culture of the area. The name Tuzigoot is an Apache word for “crooked water”. The site covers 42 acres and has so many things to offer its visitors.
The Sinaguan Indians built Tuzigoot in 1000 A.D. Tuzigoot was once the home of 250 Sinagua Indians. They created a limestone pueblo that stood two stories high and included 100 rooms. It is believed that the Sinagua Indians came to this spot because of survival. Their population was going and they needed a better place to live. The Sinagua Indians worked the land and traded with other cultures. Then in 1400 the Indians just vanished. Tuzigoot National Monument is the remains of their village or pueblo. Today the remains of the walls stand on top of a hillside overlooking the Verde Valley.
Visitors will discover two popular trails when arriving at Tuzigoot National Monument, the Ruins Loop Trail and the Tavasci Marsh Overlook trail. The Tavasci Marsh Overlook Trail is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs and strollers are not recommended on the Ruins Loop Trail. These trails are approximately a quarter-mile long and give visitors a terrific opportunity to see the structures up close. Hikers are asked to keep pets on leash and stay on the trail for their safety and protection. Due to the monument’s fragile state, visitors are also reminded that climbing or sitting on the pueblo walls is prohibited.
The Tavasci Marsh Overlook Trail goes to the Tavasci Marsh. This is one of the few freshwater marshes found in Arizona. The marsh is a habitat for birds and wildlife. Some of the different animals living in and around the marsh are beaver, muskrat, deer, javalina and a variety of birds. The Arizona Game and Fish Department manages this wildlife sanctuary. If you would like more information on this marsh, you may call 520-692-7700.
The Visitor Center has a special area dedicated to the culture of the Sinagua culture. There are many artifacts on display. These artifacts were found at the site. The bookstore has many pamphlets and books describing the area. There are talks and guided tours offered everyday depending on the staff availability. Junior Ranger Program guides are also available on request. There are no concession or camping facilities offered at the monument
The monument is open everyday, except Christmas Day. The hours vary depending on the season. In the summer the hours are 8:00 to 7:00 pm and during the winter the hours are 8:00 to 5:00 pm. The entrance fee is $2.00 a person and children under 16 are free. The Golden Eagle Passport is accepted at the monument. The most popular months to visit are March through September.
You will enjoy your visit so much more, if you come prepared. Make sure you allow at least 45 minutes to take in the monument and wear comfortable shoes. If you would like more information on Tuzigoot National Monument, you may call 520-634-5564.
You can get to the monument from Cottonwood by taking the Main Street north toward the town of Clarkdale. On the way to Clarkdale there are the signs to Tuzigoot National Monument. It is approximately two miles from Cottonwood. If you are coming from Phoenix or Tucson, you will take Interstate 17 north out of town. Then take exit 287 off the Interstate and head west on State Highway 260. Continue on State Highway 260, until you get to Cottonwood. Once you are in Cottonwood take the Main Street north toward the town of Clarkdale. On the way to Clarkdale there are the signs to Tuzigoot National Monument. If you are coming from Flagstaff, you will take State Highway 89A southwest out of town. Continue on State Highway 89A through Sedona and follow the signs into Cottonwood. Once you are in Cottonwood take the Main Street north toward the town of Clarkdale. On the way to Clarkdale there are the signs to Tuzigoot National Monument. If you are in Jerome, take State Highway 89A east to the town of Centerville and then turn toward Clarkdale. Once you are in Clarkdale follow the signs to Tuzigoot National Monument. It is approximately one mile from Clarkdale.
This monument give visitors a unique look into an ancient culture. It an interesting experience.Crowning a desert hilltop is an ancient pueblo. From a roof top a child scans the desert landscape for the arrival of traders, which are due any day now. What riches will they bring? What stories will they tell? Will all of them return? From the top of the Tuzigoot Pueblo it is easy to imagine such an important moment.
Tuzigoot is an ancient village or pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. The first buildings were built around A.D. 1000. The Sinagua were agriculturalists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles. The people left the area around 1400. The site is currently comprised of 42 acres.