December 18, 2018

Casa Grande National Monument in Arizona

A day trip to ancient ruins on a beautiful December day was more enjoyable for sharing with my son. We visited Casa Grande National Monument and participated in a guided hike. We learned about the hundreds of miles of irrigation canals that the ancient Donoran Desert people built and used in their agricultural community. Still partially standing is a “Great House” that they built. It was 4 stories tall and housed hundreds of people. There were originally hundreds of other smaller buildings inhabited by smaller groups of people.

I’m glad that we went and saw it when we did as it has now been closed by the Federal Government shutdown (as of January 3, 2019).

The ruin has been protected by a steel shelter roof since 1932. Casa Grande rests under this shelter in a protected state of ruin. Our guide pointed out the areas where some foundation has been done to bolster the ruin, but they have not attempted to recreate what it looked like originally. I am amazed that the structure has survived so well the test of time.

The photo shows my son, James (just shy of 6 feet), by a doorway that we could enter through to experience the space that these ancient peoples lived in. This doorway was not in the big house, but part of a ruin very close to it. We were not allowed to touch the Casa Grande. The guide explained that the small, short doorways would have assisted with heat retention in the winter and cooling in the summer months.