Casa Grande Ruins
About the MonumentThe most impressive feature of the Casa Grande Ruins is the four-story caliche structure, built some 650 years ago. Now protected by a concrete-and-steel canopy, it's purpose in the Hohokam culture has never been determined. The Hohokams flourished for 1,000 years in the Sonoran Desert and have left behind tantalyzing clues of their existence. By the time European settlers arrived in the area, all that remained of this ancient culture were the ruins of buildings, canals, and various artifacts.
What You're Going to SeeIndian ruins, folks. That's what we're talking here. The Park sits on the flat Sonoran Desert, surrounded by tumbleweed and palo verde trees. The heat can be brutal in summer, so plan accordingly.
Personal ObservationsThe most striking feature of the Casa Grande Ruins is, unfortunately, the protective roof that was installed 70 years ago to help preserve the caliche structure. It towers over the four-story Hohokam building, to protect it from destructive rainfall, I suppose. At least it provides some shade as we follow the Park guide on a tour. Visitors aren't allowed to actually touch the main building; vandals and too-curious visitors have taken their toll over the years.
Getting ThereFrom Phoenix, take I-10 south to exit 185. Take highway 387 east about ten miles. Turn right on Skousen and go one mile before turning left onto Vah Ki Inn Rd. Go east a mile and turn left onto Monument Drive, then follow the signs to the Monument.
Nearby AttractionsTo the west is Hohokam-Pima National Monument. About 80 miles north is Agua Fria National Monument. About 40 miles northeast is Tonto National Monument. 50 miles to the southeast lies Saguaro National Park, and about 95 miles to the south is Tumacacori National Historic Park. 90 miles to the southwest is Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.