Upper Cliff Dwellings Open

Open house at ruins features free admission Saturday


Tonto National Monument near Roosevelt Lake is hosting an open house this weekend to celebrate the seasonal opening of the upper cliff dwellings.

Entrance fees will be waived Saturday and fees of $4 per vehicle will be collected Sunday. Golden Eagle, Golden Age and Golden Access Passport cards will be accepted.

Reservations, which are normally required for upper cliff dwelling tours, will not be necessary during the open house weekend.

Visitors can start up the trail to the 40-room upper cliff dwelling between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The rocky trail ascends 600 feet and is three miles round-trip. Due to trail damage from recent flooding, the upper cliff dwelling trail is more difficult to climb than it has been in previous years.

The public also can hike the easier trail to the lower cliff dwellings. The self-guided, paved trail is a mile round-trip and ascends 350 feet. Visitors may start up this trail between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

At the visitor center, exhibits highlighting the prehistoric Salado culture and an 18-minute video program are available daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the open-house weekend, park staff and volunteers will be available throughout the park to assist visitors and answer questions. Visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes, hats, and sunscreen, and to bring water. Pets are not permitted on the upper dwelling trail.

Regularly scheduled tours of the upper cliff dwelling will be offered Saturdays, Sundays,

and Tuesdays beginning Nov. 9. The tours begin at 10 a.m. and last about three hours.

Reservations are required and tours are limited to 15 people.

For more information or reservations, call 520-467-2241.

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