Tuzigoot National Monument is an ancient dwelling in the Verde Valley of Arizona. Originally, it was a 2 to 3 story pueblo with 110 rooms. Like nearby Montezuma Castle, it was abandoned some time around 1450 A.D.
About 500 years later the site was owned by a mining company. When it was discovered that this ridge top held an archeological site, it was sold to the federal government for $1. Next, excavation began and the rock strewn ridge quickly revealed the foundation of an ancient dwelling. Most of what you can see today is reconstructed. Click below for our adventures at Tuzigoot National Monument:
Tuzigoot vs Montezuma Castle
You should seriously just go see them both. Especially because an entrance fee at either site allows you to see the other one within 7 days. An America the Beautiful pass works too. Also, they are only 23 miles apart from one another.
Montezuma Castle is impressive both for its size and being built into a cliff. Tuzigoot feels a little more interactive since you can walk through it and explore. Both sites do a great job of portraying and explaining the history of the area. If we had to choose one, we would say we liked Tuzigoot a little better.
Make a Day of It
Tuzigoot National Monument is pretty small but it’s also really close to some interesting towns. The historic downtown area of Cottonwood would make a great lunch destination after your visit. The old mining town of Jerome is also nearby and is absolutely worth a drive. It’s perched on the side of a mountain, has a really interesting downtown area, and stunning views of the entire valley!
You could quickly see Montezuma Castle and be on your way again in an hour. However, the two units combined make for a great day trip. Go see the castle first and go early! The parking lot is small and often times fills up. The well on the other hand sees a lot less visitation and has a fantastic picnic area. Since we were in the area for a while, we came back to the Montezuma Well picnic grounds multiple times to picnic and let the kids play. They do close the entry gate at 4pm though.
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If you’d like to read about our RV and other RV adventures, then check out some of our other posts :
- Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma Well in Arizona
- Chiricahua National Monument | Echo Canyon Loop Hike
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
- Cathedral Gorge State Park
- RV Solar System Lessons Learned
- The Ghost Town of Rhyolite, Nevada
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