The facilities and grounds of Tuzigoot National Monument are closed each year on December 25. Rangers will reopen the monument to welcome visitors at 8:00 a.m. MST on December 26.
Desert annuals, like wildflowers, are adapted to the arid environment in many different ways. These include thick, waxy coverings on leaves and stems that reduce exposure and thus evaporation loss while the plant "transpires" or breathes; small leaves that receive less solar radiation; and deep taproots to reach further into the soil or shallow widespread roots that absorb surface water quickly. Despite these adaptations, most desert wildflowers avoid drought and heat by surviving as seeds or bulbs stored in the soil, sometimes for decades. These seeds will only germinate after significant seasonal rainfall, so wildflower growth in the Tuzigoot area is highly variable from year to year. April and May are generally the best months to see wildflowers, then again in early fall if there are a lot of summer monsoons. Some desert plants take advantage of the cooler temperatures at night to flower. These evening-blooming plants include evening primrose, datura, sand verbena, and yucca.
Did You Know?
Tuzigoot is an Apache word meaning 'crooked water'. The ruins at Tuzigoot National Monument were named by an Apache member of the excavation crew, referring to nearby Pecks Lake.