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Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale

#2 of 13 in Things to do in Clarkdale
Must see · Ruin · Tourist Spot
Tuzigoot National Monument (Yavapai: ʼHaktlakva, Western Apache: Tú Digiz) preserves a 2- to 3-story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge just east of Clarkdale, Arizona, 120 feet (36 m) above the Verde River floodplain. The Tuzigoot Site is an elongated complex of stone masonry rooms that were built along the spine of a natural outcrop in the Verde Valley. The central rooms stand higher than the others and they appear to have served public functions. The pueblo has 110 rooms. The National Park Service currently administers 58 acres (23 ha), within an authorized boundary of 834 acres (338 ha).
″Tú Digiz/Tuzigoot″ is a Tonto Apache term for "crooked waters," from nearby Pecks Lake, a cutoff meander of the Verde River; from Tú Digiz one principal Tonto Apache clan gets its name. The pueblo was built by the Sinagua people between 1125 and 1400 CE. Tuzigoot is the largest and best preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo ruins in the Verde Valley. The ruins at Tuzigoot incorporate very few doors; instead, the inhabitants used ladders accessed by trapdoor type openings in the roofs to enter each room.

The monument is on land once owned by United Verde/Phelps Dodge. The corporation sold the site to Yavapai County for $1 so that the excavation could be completed under the auspices of federal relief projects. The county in turn transferred the land to the federal government.
Tuzigoot was excavated from 1933 to 1935 by Louis Caywood and Edward Spicer of the University of Arizona, with funding from the federal Civil Works Administration and Works Project Administration. In 1935–1936, with additional federal funding, the ruins were prepared for public display, and a Pueblo Revival-style museum and visitor center was constructed.
Franklin D. Roosevelt designated Tuzigoot Ruins as a U.S. National Monument on July 25, 1939. The Tuzigoot National Monument Archeological District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
The ruins are surrounded by the tailings pond of the former United Verde copper mine at Jerome. The tailings have recently been stabilized and revegetated.
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Tuzigoot National Monument reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
735 reviews
  • Great place to learn about the history of the area and its native peoples. Well done informative plaques and great museum.  more »
  • A small comprehensible look back in time. Museum is small but interesting. The ruins have 1/3 mile walkway around them giving a great idea of how people lived. Caution the walkway around the...  more »
  • What a cool visit! I mean, it was actually very hot but, you know what I mean. The museum in the visitor center was really impressive however, I'm an archeologist so what do I know 😉. Be aware that although the trail around the ruins is easy, there is some elevation to comment with if you have any trouble with ambulating. Combining this with Montezuma Castle National Monument and Lunch at Bing's Burgers in old Town Cottonwood made for a wonderful day outing.
  • Having visited a number of sites in the Southwest, this site seems to have been the most reconstructed from rubble. While a decent effort was made in the early 20th century to completely rebuild the site, it loses some of the authenticity of what 600 years had done to this place. There are other sites in the area better for history as it was during the European arrival.

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