Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Casa Grande Grand

Anyone who travels knows that there are sites that simply overwhelm you like the Grand Canyon or The Louvre.  Then there are the gems that you can see and get  your head  around in a couple of hours.  Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is one of those nuggets. 

It is easily reachable from Tucson or Phoenix and a perfect stop if you are going either direction. 

There is a small museum in the visitor center. Below is a reconstruction of what the "grand house
might have looked like in its heyday. A fine film on the history of the site also runs hourly.

The real thing can be seen on a guided tour,

but the site is so small that as long as you have some explanation you can easily go it alone.

 Without the guide though you will probably miss the owl roosting in the corner high up in the covering shed.

All of this can be accomplished in a couple of hours. Along the way you will have picked up a nice introduction to the long history of the Ancestral Peoples of the Sonoran Desert and seen  a striking architectural monument that has created wonder in the eyes of its beholders since the 1300's. 

 For an added treat pack a picnic or stock up on edibles in Coolidge and have a lunch under one of the park's shady ramadas. 






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