• A storm gathers behind the pueblo at Tuzigoot

    Tuzigoot

    National Monument Arizona

Nature & Science

 
Nature and Science

Tuzigoot

Skip Larson

Tuzigoot National Monument is an 834 acre unit located just below the Mogollon Rim in Central Arizona. Currently, only 58 acres of the legislated amount are in National Park Service ownership. Although the climate is arid, with less than 12 inches of rainfall annually, several perennial streams thread their way from upland headwaters to the Verde Valley below, creating lush riparian ribbons of green against an otherwise parched landscape of juniper-dotted hills.

From the mineral-rich Black Hills to the south, to the red and white sandstone country of Sedona and the basalt-capped palisades of the Mogollon Rim to the north, to the limestone hills of the Verde Valley, the dynamic nature of the Earth's geologic processes is evident in the landforms surrounding the monument.

The monument contains numerous species of plants, such as mesquite, catclaw, and saltbush, which have adapted to life in an arid environment, but, due to the micro-habitats provided by the riparian corridors, also hosts populations of moisture-loving plants. The tall, large-leaved mesic species of trees, such as sycamore and cottonwood, found only in the riparian corridors, stand in stark contrast to the xeric species found on the neighboring lands. Nearby Tavasci Marsh, with it's slow-moving water, provides yet another habitat for the great diversity of plant and animal life found within and adjacent to the monument.

Did You Know?

Prickly pear

Both the fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus can be eaten! Today you can buy them at some grocery stores, but the javelina who roam around Tuzigoot National Monument like to eat them right off the plant.