CASE GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT
1100 Ruins Dr
Today's road trip we decided to go to Case Grande Ruins National Monument. We packed our lunch in our cooler and hit the road. About a hour and a half later we arrived at the NM. the parking lot is small, but there was plenty of spaces open, there are also RV spaces so any rig will fit. Fee is $5 a person, but our National Park Pass came in handy one more time and we got in for free. There is a small museum and theater that plays a movie every half hour.
After the movie we started to get hungry, so we took our cooler and went to the picnic tables near the parking lot. If you don't pack your lunch, there is a KFC, Sonic and Walmart in front of the park entrance.
After our lunch we went back inside and exited the back door to make our way to Case Grande Ruins. You can see it from the door and are only a few feet away. As you walk through of what is left of the outer wall you enter the ruins. There are several square blocks that would have been homes and in the middle is the remains of the "Great House". One time it stood four stories high with several rooms, seven feet high. Ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming in one of the world harshest climates that lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 when the Casa Grande was abandoned.
The ruins was never seen again until 1694 when Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino visited and called it the "Great House". With travelers and treasure seekers the Case Grande was being destroyed and defaced with graffiti. In 1892 President Benjamin Harrison set aside one square mile of Arizona Territory surrounding the Case Grande Ruins as the first prehistoric and culture reserve established in the United States. In 1903 the first shelter roof was placed over Case Grande and in 1932 a new steel shelter roof was installed that still stands today.