National Parks and Monuments in Arizona
Grand Canyon Park
National Parks and Monuments
The Grand Canyon is in the northern part of the state and fifteen other national monuments are scattered throughout the state. Plus, there are over 14.6 million acres of national forests, parks and recreation areas.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is near Chinle on the Navajo Reservation. Five periods of Indian culture are represented in these fascinating cliff dwellers’ ruins situated within red sandstone walls. From Phoenix: 313 miles northeast. From Tucson: 429 miles northeast. 928-674-5500.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is off AZ 87 near Coolidge. A four-story structure, built by the Hohokam Indians over 650 years ago, represents the best of Hohokam architecture. Village sites and irrigation canals are evident. From Phoenix: 50 miles southeast. From Tucson: 70 miles northwest. 520-723-3172.
Chiricahua National Monument, I-10 to AZ 186, features the “Wonderland of Rocks” – giant formations carved by nature from volcanic rock. This is land once controlled by Apaches under Cochise. From Phoenix: 228 miles southeast. From Tucson: 115 miles east. 520-824-3560 ext. 302.
The Grand Canyon National Park and Monument is one of the seven wonders of the world and is absolutely breathtaking. The Colorado River runs through the canyon which is 277 miles long and averages 10 miles in width. The South Rim is open year-round while heavy snows close the North Rim during late October until mid-May. There are numerous nature trails and viewing points plus the Tusayan Ruin and Museum (a small prehistoric pueblo), the Yavapai Museum which offers regional, geological exhibits, and the Visitor Center. From Phoenix: 225 miles north. From Tucson: 341 miles north. 928-638-7888
Marble Canyon National Monument is on the Colorado River and has nearly vertical walls, some 3,000 feet high. From Phoenix: 270 miles north. From Tucson 386 miles north. 928-638-7888
Montezuma Castle National Monument, off I-17, is a five-story cliff dwelling with 20 rooms, built by the Sinagua Indians in the thirteenth century. It is considered to be one of the best preserved dwellings of its kind in the country. A Visitor Center displays artifacts found in the area. From Phoenix: 110 miles north. From Tucson: 226 miles north. 928-567-3322
Navajo National Monument, off US 160, is the site of the largest of Arizona’s cliff dwellings which are the remains of the Anasazi Indian Culture from the thirteenth century. Located on the Navajo Reservation, the most accessible ruin – Betatakin – had 150 rooms. From Phoenix: 280 miles northeast. From Tucson: 396 miles north. 928-672-2700
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is off AZ 85. This section of the Sonoran Desert is the primary location of the organ pipe cactus. Other varieties of cactus and desert plants also contribute to the beauty of this monument. From Phoenix: 125 miles southwest. From Tucson: 120 miles west. 520-387-6849
Petrified Forest National Park, off I-40, has the largest concentration of colorful petrified wood. There are five separate areas within the park for viewing the agatized wood. Special points of interest are: Agate Bridge – a petrified log that spans a forty-foot-wide ravine; Newspaper Rock – bears Indian petroglyphs; Puerco Ruin – remains of an Anasazi pueblo; and Rainbow Forest Museum – contains polished petrified wood, crystals, minerals and fossils plus exhibits about the forest. A drive through the park offers scenic overlooks to view the Painted Desert – an area of sand and stone that displays colors at various elevations. From Phoenix: 217 miles northeast. From Tucson: 270 miles north. 928-524-3567
Pipe Spring National Monument is on the Kaibab-Pauite Indian Reservation off AZ 389. A preserved, 1870s Mormon fort and other structures can be found here. Costumed personnel reenact western nineteenth-century living. From Phoenix: 355 miles northwest. From Tucson: 471 miles northwest. 928-643-7105
Saguaro National Monument comprises two areas – The Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson and the Tucson Mountain Unit west of Tucson. Over 54,000 acres are covered with stands of saguaro cacti. This area is beautiful in April and May when the cacti bloom. A Visitor Center contains plant and animal exhibits. From Phoenix: 120 miles southeast. From Tucson: 13 miles west. 520-733-5153
Sunset Crater National Monument, off US 89, is a volcanic cone – 1,000 feet high with shades of red, orange and yellow cinders leading to its summit – resembling a sunset. From Phoenix: 162 miles north. From Tucson: 278 miles north. 928-526-0502
Tonto National Monument, off AZ 88, is a fourteenth-century Salado Indian pueblo, visible from the Visitor Center. This two-story cliff dwelling is well preserved and a second forty-room dwelling is also accessible by a ranger conducted tour. From Phoenix: 80 miles east. From Tucson: 133 miles north. 928-476-2241
Tumacacori National Monument, off I-19, was once a Pima Indian village which became a Spanish mission in 1697 when Jesuit Father Kino arrived. The ruins of a massive adobe church which was never completed are here, along with a museum. From Phoenix: 160 miles southeast. From Tucson: 42 miles south. 520-398-2341
Tuzigoot National Monument is north off AZ 279. The ruins of a 110-room pueblo are situated here on top of a barren knoll. The Visitor Center displays the artifacts excavated from the site. From Phoenix: 106 miles north. From Tucson: 222 miles north. 928-634-5564
Walnut Canyon National Monument is north off I-40. More than 300 Sinagua Indian cliff dwelling ruins from 1120 AD are on ledges in a 400-foot-deep gorge. These single-family dwellings are visible from the Visitor Center and a self-guiding trail leads past twenty five of them. From Phoenix: 155 miles north. From Tucson: 271 miles north. 928-526-3367
Wupatki National Monument is north off US 89. Hundreds of ruins, from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, are located in this large settlement built by ancestors of the Hopi Indians. The area was a farming community and was one of the most densely populated areas of northern Arizona. Self-guiding trails run through this 35,693-acre monument. From Phoenix: 180 miles north. From Tucson: 296 miles north. 928-679-2349