By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/21/2020
Occurred: 9/14/2013
Topics/Keywords: #Arizona #FossilCreek #Montezuma'sCastle #Tuzigoot Page Views: 189
Keith and I knock another site off the old bucket list!

With time to spare after breaking camp early and visiting Montezuma's Castle, Keith and I decided to drive a few miles to Clarkdale to visit another Native ruin, Tuzigoot.

Tuzigoot, occupied by the Sinaguas for about the same period as Montezuma's Castle, is a set of 110 limestone-block dwellings built on a limestone and sandstone ridge. The central rooms have higher ceilings and are presumed to have had public functions. But the Sinaguas didn't spend a lot of time indoors. And who can blame them, with the views afforded them from their roofs?

View from Tuzigoot. View from Tuzigoot. View from Tuzigoot.

There isn't much left of the dwellings, of course—only the walls. These weren't as protected from the elements as the cliff dwellings of Montezuma's Castle.

Ruins at Tuzigoot.

There are no doorways. The Sinaguas built hatchways in the roofs. In times of peace, folks climbed up ladders to the roofs, then down ladders through the hatchways into their own homes. Their equivalent of locking up for the night, was to simply pull up the outer ladders.

Like Montezuma's Castle, this monument is easy to reach and visit for most people. The path is paved and well-maintained; but sections of it are a bit steep for those who aren't steady on their feet. Still, there are handrails everywhere and plenty of room for faster-footed people to pass slower folk.

Keith at Ruins at Tuzigoot.

Things must have been fairly peaceful most of the time, here, based on the fact that there are no fortifications around the agricultural areas surrounding the dwellings.

Agricultural site at Ruins at Tuzigoot.

This wasn't my first trip to Tuzigoot. I had visited in 2000 with my family, including my then-infant grandson, Zach, who even though he couldn't walk, seemed to be fascinated by the architecture, eagerly touching and seemingly studying everything he could reach.

Zach checks out Tuzigoot in 2000.

Anyway, I took one last shot of the distant mountains, and Keith and I headed back to the Valley.

View from ruins at Tuzigoot.

By the time we made it to the 101 Loop, the sun had all but set, illuminating the clouds as if they were in a medieval manuscript.

Sunset-lit cloud. Sunset.

It was, of course, full-on dark by the time we got to my place in Chandler. We unloaded the camping gear and various random plastic bags. I made sure Keith took the box of Danish home to share with his brother (so I wouldn't be tempted to eat any more).

After he had left, I discovered the ill-fated bag of bananas—which weren't so ill-fated at all. In fact, they are in perfect shape, and will do for tomorrow's breakfast!

—A food the Sinagua certainly never enjoyed.