Arizona has some amazingly well-preserved Native American Indian Ruins throughout the state. These archaeological treasures give us a glimpse of Arizona’s ancient history. They are fun to explore and some even allow you to get up close.
Prehistoric tribes in Arizona included the Pueblo, Hohokam, Mogollon, Patayan, and the Sinagua. Below is a list of some of our favorites in Arizona. They can all be seen within a relatively short distance from popular cities.
Cliff Dwellings, petroglyphs and Native American Indian ruins tell the story of the earliest inhabitants in Arizona.
The Best Arizona Indian Ruins & Cliff Dwellings
- Pueblo Grande Museum and Ruins
- Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
- Casa Grande Ruins
- Tonto National Monument & Cliff Dwellings
- Montezuma Castle
- Tuzigoot National Monument
- Palatki Heritage Site
- Honanki Heritage Site
- Walnut Canyon
- Wupatki National Monument
- Tusayan Ruin
All of these sights are fascinating. So far, our favorite cliff dwellings were Walnut Canyon, Palatki Heritage Site, and Tonto National Monument.
Phoenix Indian Ruins: Pueblo Grande Museum
The Hohokam style is prevalent in the Phoenix area. Pueblo Grande museum is in downtown Phoenix. This interesting museum is built next to native archaeological ruins that are best explore in the cooler months.
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
If you want to see petroglyphs stop by the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. This 40-acre preserve is is tucked away behind north Phoenix neighborhoods in Hedgpeth Hills
. Learn about the southwest’s past in the archaeology museum. A short hike to petroglyphs makes this a great family fun activity in Phoenix.
The preserve has over 1500 petroglphs. You can take a short .25 mile walk. The path is dirt and you can easily spot the petroglyphs in the rocks along the path.
In Arizona you can view three types of petroglyph styles. These include:
- Archaic style dating from 5000 BC to AD 300
- Hohokam dating from AD 300-1450
- Patayan dating from AD 300-1450
Casa Grande Ruins
Casa Grande Ruins are just southeast of Phoenix. This national monument preserves a group of Hohokam structures abandoned in the mid 1400’s. The “big house” is the 4 story caliche structure.
Tonto National Monument & Cliff Dwellings
If you take the epic Apache Trail road trip, which I highly recommend, you will end up near these amazing cliff dwellings. The Tonto National Monument and Cliff Dwellings have a great view of Roosevelt Lake.
Montezuma’s Castle: Indian Ruins Near Sedona
Sedona and the Verde Valley are home to several Native American Indian ruins. Montezuma Castle’s easy access from the freeway and the fact that it is the most well-preserved Sinagua complex in Arizona makes this one of the most popular ruins to see.
If you’re here don’t forget to take a drive and hike the shaded area of Montezuma’s Well. Read more about Montezuma’s Castle
Tuzigoot National Monument
If you’re in Verde Valley Tuzigoot National Monument is a great site to explore. Just over 20 miles from Montezuma’s Castle, this scenic spot gives you beautiful views of the valley. You can explore the remnants of one of the largest pueblos built by the Sinagua. Learn more about Tuzigoot.
Palatki Heritage Site
Palatki Cliff Dwellings and Honanki Heritage Site are often visited on the same day. Both are in Sedona and will require a spirit of adventure to get to. You can view ancient Sinagua ruins and petroglphs.
Honanki Heritage Site
To see Honanki Heritage Site you will need a high clearance vehicle. This site is free to visit. While it is only a few miles from Palatki the drive is about 20-30 minutes due to the rough roads.
Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellings Near Flagstaff
Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are home to several Native American Indian ruins. Walnut Canyon is just east of Flagstaff. This fun hike takes you to view 700-year old Sinagua dwellings and yes you can walk right up to many of them.
Wupatki National Monument
Tusayan Ruin is near the east entrance of the Grand Canyon. This Native American ruin gives you a glimpse of how the Pueblo Indians lived some 800 years ago.