Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is a place of historical significance, and it also offers some amazing views. Casa Grande was the largest prehistoric Native American settlement in Arizona. Casa Grande is a great place to learn about the past in Arizona, and also a wonderful opportunity for some beautiful photography. Explore Casa Grande Ruins National Monument with this article for some information on what you can see in this place.
All About Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is a four-story building from the late Hohokam period, probably 14th century, and contemporary with other well preserved ruins in Arizona such as Tonto Castle. It's situated on flat land just north of Coolidge near Casa Grande where it’s about 15 miles away from a much larger town called that has plenty to offer tourists too.
The structures in the Gila River Valley are a part of an ancient irrigation network that dates back to before colonial times. The area has low elevations, which causes Arizona in summertime temperatures to often exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit and winters aren't any better with daytime highs averaging at 80°F or so.
The 'Great House' can be seen from some distance away owing to its unusual and striking appearance. This is because the structure, which was designed by architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., has a large metal roof supported on four pillars that protect against harsh desert sun rays while still appearing impressive in front of one's view. This must have been necessary for preserving such an important building like theirs during those days though it does seem rather incongruous now since covers replaced earlier wooden structures around 1932.
The scale of the ruin is best appreciated from close up - it's 60 feet by 40 feet wide at the base and has caliche walls over a meter thick. Although visitors aren't allowed into this building due to its delicate state, much can be seen from the outside including details such as construction with wooden beams supporting clay walls, various internal features such as stairways and windows.
The National Monument
The approach to the Casa Grande Ruins from any direction is along straight roads across dusty farmland, Highway 87/287 runs past its entrance, 15 miles east of I-10. The monument has an open daily schedule and provides many insights into the Hohokam culture. Outside, several large desert plants can be found including the ubiquitous saguaro and also a shady picnic area with some entertaining ground squirrels. The door at back leads to Casa Grande itself, which stands in the middle as it's surrounded on three sides by walls made up mostly from fragmented stone blocks used for building purposes throughout history.
Tours Inside The Great House
No tours enter the Great House due to safety and resource protection concerns. There are bats, insects, birds, and other animals that make it their home there. Most of these residents or their droppings can be unhealthy for humans, as well as wearing down on a house from too many visitors over time, especially with an earthquake nearby. So it's best to leave them where they belong, in their natural habitat.
Fees And Reservations
Entrance to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is free. Unless you are bringing a group of 15 people or more, there's no need to make reservations in advance and special tours such as backcountry archeology walks may be offered at times during the year. Please contact park staff for more information about these opportunities.
The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is a site of historic and archeological significance. If you're interested in history, culture, or just want to explore a beautiful natural area with your family then the monument should be on your list of things to do. We hope that this article has provided some valuable insight into our history as well as what visitors can do here at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. If you’ve visited already or if it sounds like something up your alley, please give us a visit.
Gilbert, Arizona is surrounded by some of the most picturesque national parks in the nation. Here’s a shortlist of our favorites you should visit:
- Tonto National Monument
- Agua Fria National Monument
- Water Users Recreation Site
- Phoenix Mountains Preserve
- Recreación Area
- Tonto National Forest
- North Trail McDowell Mountain Regional Park
- Salome Wilderness
All of these wonderful national parks are located just a short distance from our offices located at 1447 West Elliot Road #103 in Gilbert! Stop by for a visit anytime!