Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Explore an ancient desert farming community that includes the preserved “Great House.”

The main structure at Casa Grande dates back to 1350, but evidence suggests a community thrived here for 1,000 years before that. The mystery remains why residents abandoned the site around 1450, just 100 years after building the big house. Here, indigenous people created an intricate system of irrigation canals along the Gila River. Casa Grande was one of many villages along the river, a trade route for multiple tribal communities. The fascinating structure became the nation’s first archaeological reserve in 1892 and a national monument in 1918.

Tour the Ruins

Visitors encounter much more at Casa Grande than the big house. O’odham, Hopi and Zuni communities trace their ancestors to the village here. Learn how these Ancestral Sonoran Desert People became less nomadic when they built villages near reliable water sources. Walk through remnants of an extensive compound and see the canal irrigation systems that helped sustain indigenous people here for centuries. Guided tours present the backstory of the agricultural community or visitors can watch a video in the visitor center and explore the grounds on their own.

Learn the Backstory

The name Casa Grande was given by European explorers led by missionary Francisco Kino in 1694. The excellent on-site visitor center is packed with exhibits that consider the mysteries of Casa Grande. Learn about the extensive trade network that centered around Casa Grande and ponder why the residents of this massive village broke into smaller groups and scattered throughout the desert Southwest. See Mata Ortiz pottery and Tohono O’odham baskets from the area as well as statewide information on Arizona’s archaeological sites. On the nearby Gila River Indian Community, the Huhugam Heritage Center has a massive repository of American Indian artifacts and invites visitors to attend events that preserve the customs of Arizona’s tribal communities.

Visit Coolidge

Strange but true — Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is not in the city of Casa Grande. Head to neighboring Coolidge to see this amazing adobe structure. Enter the site from Highway 287, which runs through downtown Coolidge. Take the scenic route on Highway 87 through the Gila River Indian Community to see agriculture fields that thrive on irrigation techniques born here that continue to make the area surrounding Coolidge one of the nation’s largest cotton-growing regions.

For More Information

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
1100 West Ruins Drive
Coolidge, AZ 85128
(520) 723-3172

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