Tuzigoot National Monument
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Sitting on the summit of a desert hilltop, Tuzigoot National Monument (off of Broadway between Clarksdale and Old Town Cottonwood, 928/634-5564, www.nps.gov/tuzi, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Sep.–May, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily Jun.–Aug., $5 adults, children free) was once the home of the Sinagua people, who lived in the 110-room village between 1125 and 1400.
The three-story pueblo ruins, constructed from limestone and sandstone rocks, formed an intricate complex of living, cooking, and large storage spaces that were used by Sinaguan farmers, who traded with communities hundreds of miles away. Unlike at the cliffside Montezuma Castle, visitors can explore the ruins’ rooms up close and trace its well-preserved walls, which rise a few feet high.
The largest room at the top of the Tuzigoot complex has been reconstructed, giving views of the surrounding landscape and a sense of what it must have been like living in this close-knit community.
Be sure to check out the nearby tailings pond, which Jerome’s former United Verde Copper Mine used to deposit leftover minerals and sediment. The impact on the landscape is quite extraordinary.
Getting to Tuzigoot National Monument
A trip to Tuzigoot National Monument can be easily paired with a visit to Jerome by following Highway 89A to Highway 260, which turns into Broadway between Clarksdale and Old Town Cottonwood. Look for the turnoff just south of Clarksdale.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition