Volunteering at Tonto National Monument

January 11, 2017 Posted by: Roy and Sally Volk, Fall 2016 Volunteers
Tonto National Monument was a complete surprise to us when we arrived from Oklahoma. Expecting flat land and cactus, we were awed by the mountain landscape, the towering saguaros and Roosevelt Lake. There is limitless opportunity for outdoor activity. Hiking, boating, or just enjoying the views from your trailer pad of the Cliff Dwellings, being outdoors here is amazing. Loveley weather and fantastic sunrises and sunsets abound. 

The first venture to the Lower Cliff Dwelling was a bit tougher than we though. We walk a lot, but usually in flat lands. However, upon reaching the top and seeing the view and the history all around us, made the walk worthwhile. Learning the history of the Salado Culture was fascinating. Like a mystery with no resolution. We have so many inquisitive visitors, and they always keep us on our toes when we are telling the Salado story.

We are provided with a campsite with full hookups, including propane, a free laundry facility and large refrigerator to use if needed. Staying on site within the housing area with the Monument staff gives us a sense of community. There are neighbors and friends to do stuff with. Potluck dinners and holiday celebrations, together with others, help soothe the heart when missing family. Since we are senior citizens it is always a joy to work with young enthusiastic people who treat you with respect. They exude an energy that helps keep us excited and ready to try new adventures. 

We have really enjoyed our time volunteering here at Tonto National Monument. It is a challenge to trek up to the dwelling every day but it keeps our stamina and our hearts full. We would recommend the Tonto National Monument to anyone who would like a challenging and fulfilling adventure. 

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Last updated: June 23, 2018

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