National Monuments in Arizona - Best Western Hotels


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Visit Arizona's National Monuments

Wupatki National Monument

Situated north of Flagstaff, Wupatki National Monument offers picturesque views and several historic sites. Begin your tour at the visitor center and explore Wupatki Village. Constructed by the Sinaqua tribe, the Wupatki pueblo features more than 100 rooms, a ball court and a community area. The fortress-like Citadel sits on a hill and has 30 rooms. Other ruins include the Lomaki, Wukoki and Nalakihu. From April through October visitors can go on the Crack-in-Rock hike to explore sites not viewable to the general public. The ranger-led hike covers 16 miles. From May through August rangers and volunteers lead daily interpretive programs. The Wupatki Pueblo Walk includes details on the history of the structures and background on the culture of the ancestral pueblo people.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is two miles east of Chinle off AZ-191. Covering over 80,000 acres, the park is part of the Navajo Indian Reservation in the northeastern corner of the state. Tour the park by car or hike to Spider Rock, an 800-ft. sandstone spire. Navajo guides lead tours of the ancient ruins once occupied by early indigenous tribes. Ranger-led tours and programs are also available. Whether you take North Rim Drive or South Rim Drive, you’ll encounter multiple scenic overlooks and fantastic views of the ruins and geologic features. The self-guided White House Ruin Trail descends 600 feet into the canyon and ends at the White House Ruin. The Visitor Center is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Sunset Crater

Accessible from Flagstaff, Winslow and Williams via Route 66, Sunset Crater is one of the most popular destinations in northern Arizona. Created over 1,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption, the cone-shaped crater is 1,120 feet tall at its highest point. Scenic drives and trails are open year-round, but some areas in and around the crater require day or seasonal passes. Enjoy a self-guided hike along Lava Flow Trail and explore the base of the crater. Lenox Crater Trail offers stunning views of the crater and the surrounding ponderosa pine forests. The crater is also a popular area for stargazing. Numerous Night Sky events take place in the summer. Ask about special events at the visitor center, open daily except on Christmas Day.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument is located north of Camp Verde and accessed from I-17. It is just a short drive from Cottonwood, Prescott and Sedona. Notable as one of the best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in the United States, the site became a national monument in 1906.  The Sinagua people chiseled the 4,000 square-foot dwelling into a limestone cliff. Take the self-guided loop trail to view the five-story cliff dwelling from a safe distance. The ruin contains 20 rooms but visitors are no longer allowed inside. A virtual tour at the visitor center provides glimpses of the interior. Browse exhibits on the ruin’s history at the museum or pick up unique gifts and souvenirs. The park is open daily.

Navajo National Monument

Found in the northeastern corner of the Copper State, the Navajo National Monument preserves several ancient cliff dwellings built by the Ancestral Puebloan People. The monument site is just a short drive from Chinle within the northern Arizona Navajo Nation.

Things to do at the monument site include exploring the Mesa Top Trails, including the Sandal Trail, Aspen Trail, and the Canyon View Trail, as well as visiting the site’s on-site museum and visitor center. Guests can also enjoy guided tours of the Keet Seel and Betatakin cliff dwellings for an up close and personal experience.

Organ Pipe National Monument

Visit Arizona's Sonoran Desert and see one of the most unique attractions around. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the only location in the United States to have the largest stand of organ pipe cactus.

The Organ Pipe Cactus can live to be over 150 years old and produce the first bloom at 35 years old. The National Monument was established in 1937 and 95% of it was declared a wilderness area by Congress in 1977.

The Monument allows the Sonoran Desert to flourish and remain unspoiled. Enjoy hiking along one of several trails. Participate in a Ranger-led program, including a van tour or an evening slide show, to learn more about this beautiful environment. Enjoy your travels to Gila Bend and Southern Arizona.

Pipe Spring National Monument

Located in northern Arizona on the Kaibab Indian Reservation, the Pipe Spring National Monument houses a variety of American Indian and western pioneer history. Pipe Spring’s “life-giving” water played an integral part in the settlement of the region, giving way to it being named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1923.

Today, visitors enjoy exploring the monument’s several attractions, each telling its own story about the "Old West". The visitor center and museum houses plenty of artifacts, while guided tours of historic Winsor Castle and the surrounding grounds and historic buildings offer their own educational merit.

Tonto National Monument

Located in central Arizona – just a short drive east of Mesa and Apache Junction – the Tonto National Monument preserves two ancient cliff dwellings dating back to the Salado Phenomena. The monument site houses a plethora of historic artifacts as well, including woven cotton, pottery, and more.

Things to do at the Tonto National Monument include walking through the cliff dwellings and viewing the impressive architecture in person, as well as picnicking and hiking the Lower Cliff Dwelling Trail. Visitors also enjoy picturesque views of the Sonoran Desert landscape and neighboring Theodore Roosevelt Lake.

Tuzigoot National Monument

Situated at the western end of the Tonto National Forest, Tuzigoot National Monument is an ancient hilltop community built by the Sinagua Indians over 1,000 years ago. The site is 52 miles south of Flagstaff via Highway 89-A and 10 minutes north of Cottonwood off I-17. Perched 120 feet above the Verde River floodplain, the site offers incredible views of the Verde Valley. Learn about the Sinagua culture at the museum and see photographs of the miners that helped excavate the site in the 1930s. Hike to the Tuzigoot pueblo and scenic Tavasci Marsh. The limestone pueblo contains 110 rooms on three floors and includes a reconstructed citadel. Ranger-led tours are available at the visitor center.

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area

Accessible from I-8 and US-95, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (NHA) is located in southwest Arizona along the Colorado River. Established as a restoration project to preserve the area’s natural wetlands, NHA draws thousands of visitors each year for its spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation. A three-mile hiking trail through the Yuma East Wetlands begins at Gateway Park. Tour de Yuma is a two-mile, paved and lighted trail that offers beautiful views from West Wetlands Park to the landmark Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge. Visit the Yuma Welcome Center and browse art galleries and museums along the downtown Yuma waterfront. Hike easy nature trails, go tubing or rafting on the Colorado River, or take a tour of the historic Yuma Territorial Prison.

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Located just outside of the northern Arizona in the college town of Flagstaff, the Walnut Canyon National Monument preserves the iconic curved canyon walls and ancient dwellings of Walnut Canyon.

On-site, visitors can become familiar with the canyon’s intriguing history by visiting the visitor center and accompanying museum.

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking the two Walnut Canyon trails – the Island Trail descending into the canyon and into the cliff dwellings, and the Rim Trail, providing a picturesque view of the canyon from above. The monument also offers frequent interpretive programs and often hosts scheduled events.

Chiricahua National Monument

Located in southern Arizona just east of Benson, the Chiricahua National Monument preserves the region’s iconic vertical rock formations known as Hoodoos.

Specific must-see formations include Mushroom Rock, Big Balanced Rock, and Duck on a Rock, among many others.

The 11,000-acre monument is also the home of Faraway Ranch Historic District – home of Swedish settlers whom inhabited the region.

Things to do at Chiricahua National Monument include over 17 miles of hiking trails, an eight-mile paved drive tour, and sight seeing from Massai Point found at the end of the eight-mile drive.