Treasuring Arizona's Beauty: My First Adventure to Arizona Ancient Ruins
A few years ago, some friends came out to visit me for an Arizona vacation. My husband and I moved here from Ohio and they couldn’t wait to visit. Finding an adventure in Arizona is not hard; hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, paddle boarding, and camping are just a few of the fun activities available. Not to mention, there are several types of mountain bikes to take out for a ride. Since our friends visited in October when it was starting to cool off, we decided to take a trip about an hour and a half north of Phoenix. We were going to explore two different historical sites of Arizona ancient ruins.
Arizona Ancient Ruins Stop 1: Montezuma Castle
Our first stop was Montezuma Castle. This destination was super exciting because when I was younger my dream was to become an archaeologist. I tend to navigate to items that look old and worn and I love antique stores. I’m drawn to anything wood, any old black and white photographs, and especially old paper with handwriting on it. I’m hoping that one day I will find directions to a buried treasure! But my dream of becoming an archaeologist was short lived as my mom pointed out that I “hate to get dirty!"
If you’ve never been, Montezuma Castle is a series of dwellings that were built into the side of a cliff. Staring up at something that was created over 700 years ago was pretty spectacular. It’s amazing that it still stands today.
Arizona Ancient Ruins Stop 2: Tuzigoot National Monument
After walking the trail and reading the informational plaques about Montezuma Castle, we made our way to the Tuzigoot Ruins. This Arizona ancient ruin is what I remember most about our trip. When we got there, the sun was just starting to set and the temperature was cooling off. There were not many people visiting since it was late in the day. I think that made it a little more special, since it was really quiet.
The Tuzigoot Arizona ancient ruin is a 110 open room pueblo you can walk through. Each wall of the rooms is knee high, and the structure is the tallest in the center. The ruin sits on top of a hill, so when you walk around the building you can see miles into the beautiful Verde Valley.
Being there at sundown and feeling that mild October breeze, I really thought about how neat it would be to camp out there among the Arizona ancient ruins. To just put up a tent and wait until the sun goes down and the stars come out. Traveling this far from the city, I can only imagine how brilliant Arizona stargazing would be.
Getting close to these Arizona ancient ruins felt awe inspiring— there you are, standing in a place that has survived since 1400 BC. It makes you appreciate nature and what the Sinagua people saw every day.
That night, it was just us, the ruins, and nature. I think that’s why it was so peaceful, and I can see now why people like to go camping. I thought to myself, “Why do we have to leave? Let’s just stay the night here. It’s so peaceful.” For me, this would have been an adventure— and I’m not a big adventure seeker. 😅
I’ve never been one for camping, but what’s so nice about scenic Arizona is that there are hundreds of (mostly) free locations to camp. However, we didn’t bring any camping equipment... nor did we own any.
Arizona Camping Essentials
When we got back home from the Arizona ancient ruins, I decided to look into what we would need to go camping. A tent for sure, sleeping bags, and maybe sleeping mats. If we wanted to eat, we would need campfire materials or a portable stove, cookware, and eating utensils. We would also need a cooler and some backpacks to carry all of this gear depending on how far we would camp from our vehicle. Our vehicle! My husband nor myself own a truck so we would need something to haul our camping equipment, such as a tow behind trailer. It didn't take long to realize how quickly this was all adding up for a nice and simple camping adventure!
If you're in a similar situation, then you may want to learn more about our adventure loan package. All of these extras can cost us. That's why Copper State CU included that extra 10% financing option. 😉
Even though we didn’t end up camping out in the desert that night, I often think about going off and finding secluded hidden gems in Arizona up north away from the city. Maybe someday soon we’ll have another small adventure to visit more Arizona ancient ruins, or experience something different like the California Sand Dunes.
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