There are many fantastic national parks in the US that you don’t hear about often. This can be good for you if you can find out about them. If you can come across these gems, you can avoid crowds, feel less rushed, examine things more thoroughly, and have a more relaxing experience.
Tuzigoot National Monument is one of these places, and it is definitely worth seeing. The park itself is located within easy access of both Phoenix and Flagstaff and ideal for people driving between the two. Also, the entrance fees for this great park are a really low, $3, and kids under 16 are free. You just can’t beat those prices.
The park itself is based around an old pueblo built in 1,000 AD. Considering its age, the walls are still amazingly intact. I was really surprised this site didn’t get more visitors. On the day we went there was only one other family there, and they were leaving as we were arriving. To me, this is a much better place than the extremely packed and non-interactive Montezuma’s Castle.
The pueblo itself sits atop a hill and commands quite a view and must have been a formidable defensive position in its day. There were, at its peak, over 110 rooms in this community, and it dates back to 1,000 AD. Since it is located on a hill, there will some incline walking involved. The trails are good and mostly paved, but it’s something that should be considered.
What makes this park so great is the interactive aspect of it. You can actually walk around and touch or examine the pueblo itself. We were really amazed that you could get this close to such an ancient building. It was also humbling to think that a community of this size was here so long ago and that they left their mark with this building. It’s amazing to think that people of so long ago could build such immense and lasting structures with primitive materials and tools.
You can fine their website with more information below.
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April 7, 2009
From journal Our Week in the Desert Sun
February 11, 2005
From journal Two broke students, a $400 car, and 4,700 miles