Ancient people occupied Casa Malpais for about 200 years before mysteriously abandoning the site sometime around 1400 A.D. A hike to the top of the mesa reveals a dramatic view of the entire pueblo and the site's centerpiece, the Great Kiva, constructed from volcanic rock.
Casa Malpais, located near Springerville Arizona, is the premiere archaeological site in Arizona's White Mountains. This unique site features an astronomical calendar, a great kiva (constructed of volcanic rock), ancient stairways and rock art from the Mogollon culture. The museum features artifacts from Casa Malpais and a video introduction by Hopi and Zuni elders.
The name Casa Malpais translates to "House of the Badlands," but was not the original name given to it by the ancient peoples who resided there. For nearly 200 hundred years, the Mogollon culture occupied the site before mysteriously disappearing. Today, the Hopi and Zuni tribes claim an affinity to the site, and consulted with the museum and archaeologists to ensure any work conducted was performed with sensitivity toward Native American beliefs and customs. (Some aspects of the site are closed to tours due to their sacred nature.)
Guided tours of Casa Malpais originate at the museum located within the Springerville Heritage Center. For reservations, call (928) 333-5375.