Tonto Monument Hosts Open House, Walks To Upper Cliff Dwelling

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Tonto National Monument will join the statewide celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month by hosting an open house Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.

Visitors may hike to the Upper Cliff Dwelling on their own. The Upper Cliff Dwelling is normally available only on ranger-guided tours and requires an advance reservation.

During this weekend activities will also include various prehistoric technology and traditional Native American craft demonstrations. Volunteers from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in north Phoenix will present an assortment of live animals and birds.

The park visitors center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers exhibits, an orientation video program, bookstore and restrooms. A picnic area with several shaded tables is open until 4:45 p.m.

The trail to the Upper Cliff Dwelling will open at 9 a.m. This three-mile round trip, backcountry hike climbs 600 feet along a moderately strenuous, rocky trail and culminates with a number of switchbacks before reaching the Upper Cliff Dwelling.

Part of the trail passes through a wash with many loose rocks and boulders. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots, a hat and sunscreen.

The trip lasts two to three hours, depending on your physical condition or the number of photos you want to take along the way.

The trail to the Upper Cliff Dwelling will close to uphill travel at 2 p.m.

Pets are not permitted on the Upper Cliff Dwelling trail.

The paved trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling is one-mile round trip, climbs 350 feet, and usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

The trail closes to uphill travel at 4 p.m. Pets are permitted, on a leash, on this trail.

The normal fee of $3 per person will apply for persons ages 16 and older. Tonto National Monument accepts Interagency Annual Passes, Interagency Senior Passes and Golden Age Passports, and Interagency Access Passes and Golden Access Passports.

For additional information about Tonto National Monument, please call (928) 467-2241.

Tonto National Monument is located four miles east of Roosevelt Dam on State Highway 188.

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