Arizona Journals

National Monuments of the NPS - Arizona (NPS #5)

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A March 2005 trip to Arizona by MilwVon

A Close-Up View Photo, Camp Verde, Arizona More Photos
Quote: This journal includes reviews of five of the monuments documenting the history of some of Arizona's native inhabitants dating back hundreds of years.

Wupatki National Monument

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Attraction

Entering the Park Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
Quote:
Wupatki National Monument is located just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona and pays tribute to the pueblo people of the Colorado Plateau near the Little Colorado River. There is a 35 mile loop road that cuts through the park. There are several remains of pueblo ruins within the park, although the largest and most well preserved is the Wupatki Pueblo for which the park is named.The Wupatki Pueblo had over 100 rooms, with a beautiful view over the painted Arizona desert. Most pueblos in this area were more like single family dwellings, but it is believed that the multi-level Wupatki Pueblo housed several families when built in the 1100s. With the rumblings of the nearby volcano, it is believed that...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2006

Wupatki National Monument
County Road 395
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 679-2365

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument

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Attraction | "Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument"

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
Quote:
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is the first of two US National Park Service sites located approximately 10-15 minutes outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. Connected to the Wupatki National Monument by a 35 mile loop road, the main entrance off Hwy. 89 has the visitors’ center for both sites.This region known as the San Francisco Range contains more than 600 hills and mountains created and formed by volcanic activity over the course of what is described as a “six million year history.” The cinder cone that is now known as Sunset Crater Volcano is 1,000 feet high. Today a dormant volcano, Sunset Crater erupted in 1064-1065 and then again a little more than a century later in 1180. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2006

Sunset Crater Volcano Monument
Route 3
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 526-0502

Walnut Canyon National Monument

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Attraction

Walnut Canyon National Monument Photo, Flagstaff, Arizona
Quote:
Perhaps the most fascinating of all of the National Park Service locations that depict the lives of the people native to Arizona, Walnut Canyon National Monument should not be missed! Located within 15 minutes of downtown Flagstaff, it is worth a morning or afternoon of exploration.The Walnut Canyon rise high above the Walnut Creek, and is very steep. The sheer rock walls appear to be hardly inhabitable even today. The Sinagua are the people who were known to live in this area, arriving sometime around 600 AD. It is believed that after the 1064/5 eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano, the Sinagua began building cliff dwellings in the canyon walls here at Walnut Creek. “Sinagua” means “without wate...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 28, 2006

Walnut Canyon National Monument
I-80 Exit 205, 7.5 Miles East Of Flagstaff
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
(928) 526-3367

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Attraction | "Montezuma's Castle"

Montezuma Castle Photo, Camp Verde, Arizona
Quote:
Montezuma Castle has a bizarre name because earlier explorers thought that the Aztec Indians built this cliff dwelling was built for their Mexican Emperor Montezuma. It is now known that he never lived this far north and that the cliff dwelling was built by and for the Sinagua Indians who lived throughout Central Arizona. The name, however, has since remained.Montezuma Castle is a spectacular example of the Native Indians’ ability to adapt to their surroundings. This “castle” is actually a five story housing structure, with over 20 rooms. The US National Park Services tout this as “one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America”. The ruins are in rather remarkable condition and can...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2006

Montezuma Castle National Monument
2800 Montezuma Castle Hwy Off Highway Southeast Of Oak Creek
Camp Verde, Arizona 86322
(928) 567-3322

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

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Attraction

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Photo, Coolidge, Arizona
Quote:
Located about 45 minutes from Phoenix out in what seems like the middle of nowhere in the Arizona desert is Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The closest town is Coolidge. As I drove through the small town in search of Casa Grande, I was taken aback when I literally pulled up upon the large covered structure. The National Park Service is protecting this ruin with what appears to be a large tent-like cover that was built in the 1930s. It is amazing to me that if Casa Grande is as old as they say it is, it has survived the hundreds of years out on the hot and dry Arizona desert.This prehistoric “Big House” was discovered in ruins by European settlers and has remained a mystery for centuries. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 28, 2006

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
1100 W. Ruins Drive
Coolidge, Arizona 85228
(520) 723-3172