Tonto National Monument, Roosevelt

#66 of 184 in Nature in Arizona
Tonto National Monument is a National Monument in the Superstition Mountains, in Gila County of central Arizona. The area lies on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion, an arid habitat with annual rainfall of about 16 inches (400 mm) here. The Salt River runs through this area, providing a rare, year-round source of water.
Well-preserved cliff dwellings were occupied by the Salado culture during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. The people farmed in the Salt River Valley, and supplemented their diet by hunting and gathering native plants. The Salado were fine craftspeople, producing some of the most flamboyant polychrome pottery and intricately woven textiles to be found in the Southwest. Some of the artifacts excavated nearby are on display in the visitor center museum.
The Tonto National Monument Archeological District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Tonto National Monument, Lower Ruin and Tonto National Monument, Upper Ruin are archeological sites that were NRHP-listed in 1989.
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Tonto National Monument Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
227 reviews
  • Nice to learn about the native people who used to live here. The guide provided very helpful information. Lots of cactus plants, nice wild flowers.  more »
  • These cliff dwellings are testament to the many Indian cultures that occupied the Tonto Basin area hundreds of years ago. As many as 14 different native lines can trace their ancestry to these...  more »
  • The gate at the entrance was only slightly open but we were able to manually open it enough to get the vehicle through. We reported it at the visitor's center & someone went to fix it right away. The trails were not open due to recent fires, that is understandable but the 30 minute video that was supposed to be available did not work. Otherwise I would have given it another star.
  • This was a beautiful place to see. The views we're magnificent! Remember to wear good walking shoes. The walk is paved but it is up hill. There are benches along the way. The gift shop is quaint and there are bathrooms. The pathway to the ruins is closed after 12 pm since it gets hot quick. You are allowed to walk around the ruins but don't touch the walls. There is a guide at the top for questions.

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