Tonto National Monument Cliff Dwelling

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This morning was overcast, but still a great day to go see the cliff dwellings.  When you think of cliff dwellings, the famous Pueblo cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde N.P., Colorado come to mind.

However, at about the same time, the Salado people were building cliff dwellings in the Tonto Basin of Arizona.  Today, I went to see the lower cliff dwelling at the Tonto National Monument.

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The ruins overlook the Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto basin to the east.

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No one is sure why they built these cliff dwellings and are not sure why they were abandoned.

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Here are photos of what I saw walking around.

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While walking down from the cliff dwellings, Yuma managed to meet a new friend.

Couldn’t resist these beautiful yellow flowers for all you flower lovers out there.

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While in the ruins, the ranger mentioned this weekend is Heritage Days 2015.  The upper cliff dwellings that are only accessible by guided tour will be open to the public this weekend without reservations.   Also, there will be Indian native dancing and the new museum at the visitor center will open this weekend.

Unfortunately, they do not allow pets, so Yuma will be staying in the motorhome while I make this visit.  Will see how he behaves while I am gone for a couple of hours.

After lunch, Yuma and I took another walk on a jeep road into the mountains to see what we could find.  We did manage to find the biggest Gila Monster so far.  This guy was at least 18 inches, so he was nearly full grown.   He had a huge head and a mean disposition.

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See you later.

6 comments:

  1. What wondrous Suguarros around the cliff dwellers former homes! It looked like there were tools and eating utensils inside the homes, but it's hard to tell. I finally got a good view of tha big gila monster's head! He could do some serious damage! I wouldn't want to step on one!!

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    1. The Salado people had a nice place to live. And they did leave utensils and pottery around when they left. Unfortunately a lot of it was stolen before Teddy Roosevelt declared the area a national monument in 1906.

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  2. Replies
    1. Getting to be a habit. Three in three days. They are not as hard to find as one would think for an endangered species. This is the time of year they are on the move though. Better them than the rattlesnakes.

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  3. The cliff dwellings are so neat! Are you going to do some Indian Native Dancing? Sounds like a cool field trip! And those Gila monsters freak me out! 5 weeks till the baby is here...come home soon Grandpa! 😄

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    1. On my way starting Monday. Hope to see some Indian Native Dancing, but will not join in though.

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