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Contact: Duane Hubbard, (928) 467-2241
Roosevelt, AZ - Tonto National Monument will celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and Arizona Archaeology & Heritage Awareness Month by hosting its annual Heritage Days, March 12 and 13.
The fee free weekend will include prehistoric technology demonstrations such as pottery making, fire starting demonstrations, stone tools, flint knapping and more. Also, Apache dancers will perform for visitors in the Monument's outdoor auditorium.
Visitors will be able to view the Monument's Median Centennial Project. The cultivar and pollinator garden is located in the Visitor Center parking lot. The demonstration garden will provide visitors a unique opportunity to discover native plants and how the ancient Salado people utilized these plants 700 years ago. March 2 and 3, more than 160 students from Rim Country Middle School in Payson, Arizona will help Monument staff plant the garden.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to hike to the Upper Cliff Dwellings on a self-guided tour. The UCD is only available for a self-guided tour during Heritage Days. The 700 year-old dwelling is normally only available for on a ranger-guided tour with an advanced registration from November through April. The trail will open at 9:00 a.m. and be available for hikers until 2:00 p.m. The 3-mile, backcountry hike gains 600 feet of elevation along a moderately strenuous, rocky trail that includes a number of switchbacks and uneven rocks. Water, hiking shoes, sunscreen, a hat and other protective equipment is highly recommended. The trip usually takes 2-3 hours for most visitors. Pets are not permitted on the UCD trail.
The Visitor Center will operate under normally working hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Visitor Center features a museum with ancient artifacts, bookstore, a 20 minute video on the Salado and Tonto National Monument, and Tonto's new Junior Ranger Book will be available for all future Junior Rangers.