We recently took a trip up to Tonto National Monument. While I may have visited this place when I was younger, I haven’t visited in my adult life when I of course grew fonder of nature and history. The Tonto National Monument has dwellings of Native Americans that lived there hundreds of years ago. I loved hiking the trail to the upper cliff dwellings and I would recommend this one over the other if you can. The difference is these are two different dwellings and this one has been more preserved because it has less foot traffic and is only available by reservation. The trail is pretty easy and takes you through beautiful scenery including a stream, cactus, and wild flowers. At the top you’ll get to see the full dwelling including getting to walk inside. Total mileage round trip on this trail is about 3 miles. The tour itself does take a few hours but still leaves you with plenty of time to do other things that day. The lower dwelling trail is only about 1 mile round trip.
Trail to the monument
Inside the monument
Visiting Tonto National Monument:
- Information about Tonto National Monument can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/tont/planyourvisit/upper-cliff-dwelling-guided-tours.htm
- Entry is $5 per person or free with the America the Beautiful pass.
- Entry is open daily except Christmas Day.
- The lower dwelling trail is open daily for a hike and the upper monument trail is only open 5 months of the year and require a reservation. The guide will take you up the trail and you’ll get a history lesson too. There is no additional fee for this tour and we highly recommend it.
- Be sure to bring plenty of water!
After your hike, you have a few choices for the rest of your day. You can hang out at Roosevelt Lake, head up to Show Low via the Young highway for a little cooler weather, drive down the Apache trail, or head down to the Globe Miami area before heading back to Phoenix. Whatever way you choose, you’ll get a beautiful drive.