Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

The iconic "Great House" with its protective ramada

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is in South Central Arizona in the United States of America.

Understand

Casa Grande Ruins NM preserves an ancient Hohokam farming community and Great House. The monument, located just north of the town of Coolidge, is very small, only about 3/4 of a square mile (1.2 km2).

The monument is open every day of the year from 8AM-5PM except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Contact information

History

The Hohokam were a nation that lived in the south-central region of Arizona. Their community was centered around large adobe structures. For unknown reasons, the Hohokam abandoned their structures and left the region around 1450 CE.

The first written records of Casa Grade occurred in 1694. With the advent of train travel, more people began to visit the site between the 1860s and 1880s. During this period, souvenir hunting, graffiti, and vandalism took its toll on the site leading to the creation of the archaeological reserve. In 1892, Casa Grande was the designated as the first archaeological reserve in the United States. It was declared a National Monument in 1918.

To protect the structure from the elements, a wood-and-corrugated-iron shelter was built over it in 1903. In 1932, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed a more substantial steel shelter over the structure, which is still in use today.

Landscape

The monument lies within the Sonoran Desert but is surrounded by agricultural fields. Within the boundaries of the monument, natural desert terrain is maintained and is pretty much flat land.

Flora and fauna

Mammals such as the javelina, coyote, Mexican Wolf, bighorn sheep, and bobcat live in this area of the desert. Other animals like the bat, fox, skunk, cottontail, and jackrabbit also make this their home.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 67 71 77 86 96 105 106 104 100 89 76 66
Nightly lows (°F) 36 39 44 50 59 67 76 75 68 55 42 36
Precipitation (in) 1.0 1.0 1.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 1.1 1.3 0.8 0.6 0.6 1.1

   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Casa Grande Ruins is in the desert.

Summer daytime temperatures frequently exceed 100 degrees. Winter temperatures range from the 60's to the 80's. Spring and fall are warm and dry, with highs in the 80's and 90's. During summer months, be prepared for hot temperatures. Protective clothing, hats, sunscreen and personal water containers are highly recommended.

Get in

By car

The monument is about 20 miles from Interstate 10 and the city of Casa Grande. Take exit 194 and head east on Highway 287 for 10 mi (16 km) to Highway 87. Turn left on Highway 87 and head north for 8 mi (13 km), turning left into the monument. The monument is about a one-hour drive from either Phoenix or Tucson.

By air

The nearest commercial airports are in Phoenix and Tucson.

The city of Casa Grande operates a public general aviation airport. 3225 N. Pinal Ave, Casa Grande. 1 520 426-3616. Transient tie-downs are available: the first three days are free, $4 per day thereafter.

Fees/Permits

Entrance Fees for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is charged per person and is valid for 7 days from date of purchase. Each adult (16 years or older) will be charged $5.00. Children 15 and younger are free.

Commercial Tour Groups are charged the same $5.00 per person entrance fee.

School Groups may apply for an Educational Fee waiver, which must be approved prior to the visit. Please call ahead.

There are several passes that allow free entry for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes are valid at all national parks including Casa Grande Ruins National Monument:

In 2016 the National Park Service will offer several days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 16-24 (National Park Week), August 25-28 (National Park Service's 100th birthday weekend), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

Get around

As this monument is so small, foot travel is sufficient to experience the entire site.

See

Do

Buy

The visitor center has a bookstore.

Eat

There are no food facilities within the park aside from a picnic area. Food may be purchased in nearby Coolidge.

Sleep

There are no sleeping facilities within the monument.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, October 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.