Casa Grande Ruins

Casa Grande Ruins

 

If you are looking for a half-day excursion, not too far from Phoenix, then a visit to the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is a great choice. Located South east of Phoenix, in the city of Coolidge, Arizona, Casa Grande Ruins was the first prehistoric and cultural landmark to be established in the United States.Casa Grande Ruins 2

Casa Grande, or “Big House,” as it is translated to, is the main focus of the National Monument, but is surrounded by other ruins, throughout the compound.  The ancient Sonoran people that thrived here built irrigation canals and farmed for over a thousand years.  When these ancient Sonoran people disappeared, so did the reason they built the Casa Grande.  There are several theories as to what it was used for, but no one knows for sure.Petroglyphs

The visitor’s center has a nice display of artifacts and information about the Casa Grande Ruins and the people who built it. The children can participate in the Jr Ranger program by answering questions in the booklet they provide, and earning a badge. I thought the Jr Ranger program here was adaptable to ages 3 and up easily. My kids all learned something new!Civil War Grafitti

If you are going to visit the Casa Grande Ruins in the summer, be sure to bring extra water and a hat or umbrella for shade.  There is air conditioning in the visitor center and gift shop, but the rest of the visit is outside, and there is no real shade. Luckily, the area can be seen in less than a half hour, even if you read all of the signs and take photos.

Jewelry BoardThey do have free tours provided by the rangers. We caught the end of the tour and it was very informative. I would recommend it, if you can. Also, be sure to visit the ball pit across the parking lot for an interesting view.  We have visited the ruins many times, usually because we are bringing friends who are from out of town. I don’t think we have ever stayed more than an hour and a half.

There are bathrooms, water fountains, and picnic tables at the National Monument. There is also ample RV parking and pet areas. Pets are also allowed in the facility, if they are leashed and well behaved.  The Visitor center, bathrooms and Ruins Trail are all handicap accessible. And, just outside of the monument area is the small town of Coolidge, Arizona. In Coolidge, there is food, gas, and grocery stores. Display

The Casa Grande Ruins is a great place to get some quick history on the ancient desert dwellers and to see the mysterious ruins that stand stoically in the middle of the desert.  It is also a very unique place to take photos and gives you a really great view of the surrounding desert area.

Casa Grande Ruins Sign

You can find The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument at:

1100 West Ruins Drive Coolidge, Arizona 85128
(520) 723-3172