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.
The Best Arizona Indian Ruins
- Pueblo Grande Museum and Ruins
- Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
- Casa Grande Ruins
- Tonto National Monument & Cliff Dwellings
- Montezuma Castle
- Tuzigoot National Monument
- Ruins of Palatki
- Walnut Canyon
- Wupatki National Monument
- Tusayan Ruin
Phoenix Indian Ruins
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.
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.
Cliff Dwellings Near Roosevelt Lake
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.
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.
Tuzigoot National Monument is another one to visit while in the Verde Valley. 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.
Ruins of Palatki are in Sedona. You can view ancient Sinagua ruins and petroglphs.
Native American Indian Ruins 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 was a large farming community surrounded by small dwellings. At one time, more than 2,000 people called this area home.
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.