Soundscape / Noise
After a hike to the cliff dwelling, sit in the quiet, immersed in ancient history and scenic views. This is still possible at Tonto National Monument, depending on the season and the hour of the day. The intruding noises are difficult to control. Overflights consist of commercial jets higher in the sky and the smaller, noisier planes and helicopters lower in the sky. Though difficult to assess the affect these flights have on the natural resources, they do impact the stabilization of the cliff dwellings. Vehicles of varying sizes, often pulling boats and trailers, pass the monument on the road below. Within the monument, vehicles are heard on the steep road to the visitor center and in the parking lot. Occasionally, the sound of speedboats drifts up from the lake. Only a small percentage of the park is open to the public. Visitors and services are concentrated in this small area. Noise from visitors and staff may infringe on the visits of others. The park has worked to limit intrusions where possible. For example, once only screened in, the small theater for the park’s movie is now enclosed to limit noise from the parking lot. Park staff monitors and records overflights to ensure current guidelines are being met. The monument will continue its efforts to protect the soundscape for everyone’s enjoyment.