Tuzigoot National Park is Located in Clarkdale, Arizona and is approximately 2 hours from Surprise. It is also close to Cottonwood and not far from Jerome.
One interesting thing about our trip out to Tuzigoot from Surprise. After getting off if i17 (rt 260), every mile to two miles there was a round about. I am relatively familiar with roundabouts, having one in my own neighborhood. As I hit the fifth roundabout, it started to get old. But, I could understand the purpose for these roundabouts.
- It slows down traffic. If there were no roundabouts, you could easily FLY down this road at a much faster speed. Having it every mile or so slows down the traffic considerably.
- There is no need for stoplights. There is very little traffic from the side streets, but occasionally there may be a car that comes in. It helps let them have a chance to merge in.
- Stop signs could easily be missed or blown through, so the roundabouts slow the traffic down as well.
This is all my assessment, so maybe there are other reasons! But, I had a few roundabouts to go through and a little bit of time to think about it.
To get to Tuzigoot, you’ll pass through Cottonwood (Check out our post on the Jail Trail). There was one large sign off of S Broadway and then just a small sign that said Tuzigoot Rd, so make sure you are on the lookout for the road!
Tuzigoot is an ancient pueblo, built by the Sinagua people. Also, the same people who built Montezuma’s Castle. When you first arrive, you must stop in the welcome center and purchase your admission. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the welcome center, but there is a small museum with artifacts.
The bathroom is outside of the welcome center, and probably was one of the strangest bathrooms I have seen. It is a multi-sex bathroom and had two urinals and two full stalls in it. It was good for my family because I had the two boys and Giggles and I. However, I could see that it could make some people feel a bit uncomfortable.
Seating and Picnics
There is no food service or any food items available, so make sure you bring your own. But, there were picnic tables that were shaded and garbage bins available. It is a beautiful area to picnic.
On Google Maps, there is a lake, but it was dry! However, during the spring, it will probably be wetter because of higher elevation run off from snow melt. From the Tuzigoot website-until the 1890s, the Verde River was over a mile wide in places.
Each of these was a room for a family. People used ladders to get in and out of each of them! Can you imagine living in one of these rooms with your entire family?
There are a few areas you can even go into! Our boys even decided to find a rock to share!
There were many different signs throughout the park, explaining what you were seeing and what the history was. You can also become a Junior range (no matter your age) to help you really enjoy and experience the Tuzigoot park!
Here is my Daughter and Jana Tingom’s daughter (Phoenix with Kids). Unfortunately, Tuzigoot was undergoing some repairs so we were unable to go inside this area.
The Sinagua people were very prosperous, but it is unknown why they left the area and Tuzigoot. However, there is an online virtual museum that has even more information if you are interested!
There is also Walnut Canyon National Monument which might have to be next on our list!
While this was an interesting visit, I am glad we paired our trip with a few other destinations in Jerome and Cottonwoood!
The walkway was stroller friendly, but it was very steep, so I would not recommend it for wheelchairs.
25 Tuzigoot Rd Clarkdale AZ