Casa Grande National Monument Travel Guide

  • The Casa Grande National Monument of Arizona
    The Casa Grande National Monument of...
    by jumpingnorman
  • Museum at Casa Grande Ruins, Arizona
    Museum at Casa Grande Ruins, Arizona
    by jumpingnorman
  • Museum at Casa Grande Ruins, Arizona
    Museum at Casa Grande Ruins, Arizona
    by jumpingnorman

Casa Grande National Monument Things to Do

  • Casa Grande Visitor Center

    These places are such a wealth of information, education, and a place to escape from the heat or cold when visiting a national park. Here is where the entrance fee collection station, the bookstore, the museum, a fifteen minute video, and restrooms.

    more
  • Casa Grande the Community

    The plaque reads: This three story building is one of the many houses that once stood inside the compound. It was built directly against the compound wall, and was possible occupied by one large family. By looking to your right, you can see the Casa Grande and many of the orther structures within this two acre compound. Imagine the scene in the...

    more
  • Casa Grande Main Structure

    Part of the plaque reads:Casa Grande was built around the 1300's and is the tallest and most massive Hohokam building known, standing 35 feet tall and containing nearly 3,000 tons of caliche. Caliche mud was piled up in layers about two feet high; bricks or blocks were not used. Notice the horizontal cracks about two feet apart across the surface...

    more
  • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

    It was a wonderful weekend and so we decided to go to Tucson, but then the winds were noticeably very strong on the freeway as we were driving from Phoenix. So, we just decided to cut our trip to Tucson short which is about two hours away, and just visit the Home of the Casa Grande Ruins in Coolidge (just 56 miles southeast of Phoenix, 69 miles...

    more
  • Picnic Areas

    The Casa Grande National Monument has a nice picnic area, complete with grills set up across the parking lot from the Visitor Center.

    more
  • Is This an Observatory?

    One of the uses of Casa Grande may have been as an Observatory and calendar. Different openings in the building align with the sun and the moon at different times. The small round opening on the west wall shown here aligns with the setting sun on the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year). Could the Hohokam have designed this to tell them...

    more
  • Interpretive Ramada

    They have an Interpretive Ramada on site where you can study the area and where they sometimes have lectures about Casa Grande and the Hohokam.

    more
  • Other Village Ruins

    Casa Grande was only one building of several in a large compound that was like a modern neighborhood. There were also at least four other compounds that made up the entire village. Casa Grande, however, was unique amongst all the compounds and villages of the Hohokam.

    more
  • Caliche

    This is a close view of what the concrete-like mixture of sand, clay and limestone called caliche (cuh-LEE-chee) looks like.

    more
  • The Casa Grande

    Casa Grande (or Great House) is the centerpiece of a Hohokam Village and was built in the 1300s. It is four stories high and 60 feet long. It took nearly 3000 tons of a concrete-like mixture of sand, clay and limestone called caliche to build this, the largest known Hohokam structure. Casa Grande received its name from early Spanish explorers like...

    more
  • Hohokam Ballcourt

    This unexcavated mound is a prehistoric ballcourt that was probably used by the Hohokam in the 1100 to 1200 timeframe. It had room for about 12 players. Ballcourts were probably used for competitions within the village and with other villages. It is also possible the ballcourts were used for other social and religious events. A large green polished...

    more
  • See the Museum and Learn about the...

    Here are some of the displays in the museum. They explain about the Hohokam and their way of life. Photo 1 shows what the archeologists believe a typical Hohokam house would look like; photo 2 shows how a pithouse (the most common Hohokam structure) is constructed; photo 3 is a Ramada. the Hohokam constructed these for outdoor activities especially...

    more
  • Visitor's Center

    Your first stop will be the Visitor Center where you pay your entrance fee of 5.00 and where you can see the displays in the rather well-done museum. You can also get an informative brochure about the park, information about other area attractions, and buy gifts and souvenirs.

    more
  • The Casa

    The ruins are from about 600 years ago and include a large multi-story structure with lots of smaller, one-story walls around it. Over the "casa grande" is a metal roof that is meant to protect it from erosion. The Hohokam people abandoned it after a few hundred years. You get to walk around the "village" and see all the structures from up close....

    more
  • Casa Grande National Monument

    One thing we can be fairly certain of, the Great House was completed in the late-Classic period of Hohokam culture, sometime around 1350. The big question though, is identifying its purposes. Some think it was for storage, others think it was a governmental or religious center of the community. There is also eveidence that it might have been a...

    more

Casa Grande National Monument Shopping

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    3 more images

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 6, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What I like about the visitor center gift shops is they have lots of wonderful books for children. Very educational books about local wildlife. There is also lots of books too for adults. My favorite is also picking up postcards or a magnite. Oh, they have a little theatre too with a film about the park.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Casa Grande National Monument Local Customs

  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    by sambarnett Updated Oct 6, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Roundtail Ground Squirrel. You'll probably notice a lot of these cute litle buggers scampering around the site. Don't feed them! You'll be doing much more harm than good.

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Casa Grande National Monument Warnings and Dangers

  • Bats~Sign Posted

    Bats and other wildlife are common at Casa Grande Ruins. Recently a large amount of bats have taken residence inside the "Great House." As a result of this large increase in bats you may have the chance to see them, hear their clicking/chirping sounds, and also notice guano (bat droppings) around the buidling. Public Health and Safety tells us that...

    more
  • Do NOT Feed the Squirrels

    I live in the moutains, but lived in the desert too. As cute as some folks think they are, you do not want to get bit by one of them or get into the habit of approaching humans. Lets keep them safe and your family safe.Casa Grande Ruins NM1100 W. Ruins DriveCoolidge, AZ 85228The park is in Coolidge, Arizona, about an hour-long drive from either...

    more
  • Damage and Vandalism

    The walls of the ruins are fragile; please stay off the walls to help preserve them for future generations to enjoy. In the 1800s Casa Grande was a big tourist attraction. Unfortunately, people took souvenirs, scratched their names on the interior walls, and vandalized or accidentally damaged the structures. In 1892, Casa Grande became the nation's...

    more

Casa Grande National Monument Favorites

  • Picnic Areas

    Picnic areas are essential if your traveling with a family and pets. While my son and myself was exploring the ruins, my hubby, other son and our Bear-Bear took it easy and ate some snacks and took in much needed drinks while waiting on us. All the picnic areas here are covered and plenty of trash bins to keep the area clean.1100 W. Ruins Drive,...

    more
  • Prehistoric Observatory

    One thing very special about Casa Grande is if notice the small circular window in the upper left portion of the west wall. This opening aligns with the setting sun on the summer solstice (June 21), the longest day of the year. The square hole in the upper right wall aligns once every 18.5 years with the setting moon at an extreme point in its...

    more
  • Casa Grande Main Metal Roof

    The General Land Office took over management of the ruins and hired a young man named Frank Pinkley in 1901 to be the first on-site custodian. In 1903 a shelter roof of corrugated iron supported by redwood timbers was built over the Casa Grande, and between 1906 and 1908 major excavations and repairs of the ruins were conducted under the direction...

    more

Instant Answers: Casa Grande National Monument

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Casa Grande National Monument
Map of Casa Grande National Monument

View all Casa Grande National Monument hotels