History & Culture

Salt River Drainage
Confluence of the Salt River and Tonto Creek, circa 1904. This land is under Roosevelt Lake today.

NPS Photo

Tonto National Monument protects two well-preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings and diverse artifacts. Located within the Tonto Basin of the Upper Sonoran Desert, this National Park Service site provides opportunities to experience a thriving culture deeply rooted in its natural setting, while encouraging our own connections to our environment. Learn more about the Lower Cliff Dwelling and the Upper Cliff Dwelling.

Salado architecture, pottery, textiles, and other artifacts exemplify beautiful, complex craftsmanship, influenced by the continuous movement of people and ideas. Such artifacts demonstrate the importance of cultural identity and aesthetic expression in the past, both of which remain integral to society today.

For nearly 10 millennia, the Tonto Basin has provided, and continues to provide, a home to many diverse people. Archaeological evidence suggests that Ancient peoples traveled extensively throughout this and aurrounding areas. Several American Indian tribes such as White Mountain, Chiricauhua, and Tonto Apaches, Yavapais, Pima-Maricopas and more call this area home today. Many of these tribes feel strong spiritual ties to the cliff dwellings, deeming them to be an ancestral home. Learn more about these people, places, and stories.

Last updated: April 3, 2017

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26260 N AZ Hwy 188 Lot 2
Roosevelt, AZ 85545


(928) 467-2241

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