Tonto Na­tional Mon­u­ment, AZ


Backpacker - - CONTENTS -

Arizona Trail thru-hik­ers shouldn’t miss this de­tour to 700-year-old cliff dwellings.

“Hike your own hike” is fine ad­vice, but there are still a few other tenets among the thru- hiker tribe worth fol­low­ing. Here’s one: Don’t miss an­cient ruins. Just as it’s un­der­stood that Gila Cliff Dwellings Na­tional Mon­u­ment is a must-see off the CDT, so it is with the Sal­ado cliff dwellings at Tonto Na­tional Mon­u­ment off the 800- mile Arizona Trail. It’s just a 2.5- mile spur to the Vis­i­tor Cen­ter from Thomp­son Spring (in­clud­ing a short road walk on AZ 188). When you ar­rive, visit the 13th- and 15th- cen­tury Up­per Cliff Dwelling on a sep­a­rate 3- mile out- and- back (call ahead; you must be ac­com­pa­nied by park staff). The 700-year- old ruins fea­ture 40 pre­served rooms. Oh, and the view: “You can see saguaro cac­tuses dot­ting the hill­sides, the gleam of Roo­sevelt Lake shin­ing back at you, and the desert stretch­ing into the hori­zon,” says pho­tog­ra­pher Larry Lin­dahl. Con­tact nps. gov/tont

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