• The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins stands out for miles

    Casa Grande Ruins

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center Rennovations

    Park is having major electrical and heating/cooling system work done. The Visitor Center will be closed until late June but restrooms, movie auditorium, historic ruins area, and picnic area will remain open (no fees or pass sales during rennovation).

What is Trade?

Trade occurs when one thing is exchanged for another. Today, we trade money for things. We earn money by trading our time and effort for a paycheck. Then we trade the paycheck for money and the money for things like food and clothing.
Hohokam trade routes.
The Hohokam established extensive trade routes.

What was exchanged?

The ancient people of the Sonoran Desert didn't have money. Instead, they used items they had created or collected to trade for things they didn’t have. Many things were unavailable in the Sonoran Desert, so they traded extensively throughout the Southwest. From the west, they acquired seashells, either from the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of California. From the North, they traded for raw materials like obsidian for making arrowheads. And from the south, where Mexico is now located, they traded for copper bells, macaws, parrots, and seeds for their crops.

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Did You Know?

The Hohokam grew corn using a sophisticated irrigation system.

Farmers have grown crops in the Salt and Gila River valleys for over 2000 years. The ancestral Sonoran Desert people grew corn, squash, beans, and cotton by creating a flood irrigation system with over 1000 miles of canals. More...