PDF format map of Tuzigoot National Monument
, from the National Park Service (764 kb).
The Ruin at Tuzigoot
Tuzigoot National Monument has a small visitor center that seems rather over-staffed, built in a similar style to the ruins, and containing a fine display of Indian artefacts, most of which have been found on-site. Outside are the usual examples of local cacti and shrubs, and a short wheelchair-accessible loop path that leads up the hill, round some of the ruins to the summit and then back to the carpark. Most of the rooms are just crumbling, partly-preserved walls a few feet high although the largest dwelling, on top of the hill, is complete - with a reconstructed ceiling plus a ladder up to the roof, and it provides a cool refuge in summer. At one time the settlement was home to around 250 people and had up to 80 rooms, some on two storeys, but all were abandoned sometime in the fifteenth century.
Views from the Ruins
Tuzigoot is interesting enough, but it is perhaps the least exciting of the ancient NPS sites in Arizona. It is also quite difficult to photograph effectively. The best aspect is the view from the summit, which is extensive, looking out over layered cliffs and ridges in all directions, the lower end of Sycamore Canyon
to the north, and a long stretch of the Verde River running northwest to south. Five miles west, large colorful spoil heaps are clearly visible, from old copper mines in the Black Hills around the historic town of Jerome
. In the north, the view includes Tavasci Marsh
, at the east end of Pecks Lake - this is one of the largest areas of marshland in Arizona and was added to the national monument in the spring of 2006, as a part of a land exchange deal between the BLM and Phelps Dodge Corporation. The marsh is an important location for migratory bird gatherings, and may be viewed by a quarter mile overlook trail that begins at the visitor center.