Upper Cliff Dwelling Tours
The regular tour season to the Upper Cliff Dwelling runs from November through April. Tours are offered every weekend, and several weekdays. Regular season tours leave at 10:00 am. Early Bird tours to the Upper Cliff Dwelling are offered in October and May on Saturdays only. Early Bird tours will leave at 8:00 am and may be slightly shorter in duration due to the heat. All tours are limited to 15 people and reservations are required.
Persons planning to take the hike should be in good physical condition. Be prepared for variable weather conditions and bring water, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. The unpaved 1 ½ mile trail is moderate to steep, with an elevation gain of 600 feet. The average tour length is 3-3 1/2 hours. Pets are not allowed on the Upper Cliff Dwelling trail and cannot be left in your vehicle. Please leave your pets at home.
The park entrance fee is $3.00 per adult; children aged 15 and under are free. The National Parks Pass, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports are also accepted. There is no extra fee for the tour.
We also offer special tours to several sites around Roosevelt Lake in Tonto National Forest, Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park in Globe, and the Upper Cliff Dwelling during the full moon. Check our website www.nps.gov/tont, newsletter, or ask at the Visitor Center for a schedule of special tours.
For additional information call (928) 467-2241.
Upper Cliff Dwelling Trail
The trail to the Upper Cliff Dwelling is a back country trail. The first half of the trail meanders in and out of a wash while gaining elevation and requires the ability to negotiate shallow water on rocks that may be slippery, and some climbing up and down on boulders; the second half of the trail winds steeply via switchbacks and requires climbing 3 sets of steps of various heights that are unevenly spaced. There are a total of about 60 steps on the trail. Keep in mind that once you get to the dwelling, you are only halfway there; you must return via the same route and will be negotiating these two sections of trail again.
Please utilize the following screening questions to decide if this is an appropriate hike for you:
You should consider this hike if:
1. You hike on a regular basis.
2. You engage in some sort of regular exercise several times weekly.
3. You have no serious health problems that limit your activities.
You should avoid this hike if:
1. You have had a serious illness, injury, or recent surgery and have not yet fully recovered.
2. You have problems with your balance, a respiratory condition, or other health problems that limit your activities.
3. You have little or no hiking experience.
4. You walk regularly, but only on flat, level ground. This does not adequately prepare you for a backcountry hike.
Did You Know?
The first known written record of the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument dates from 1880. Archeologist Adolph Bandelier visited the dwellings in 1883, and said they were some of the best preserved he had ever seen. More...