Dial 9-1-1 in Emergencies
Call to report accidents, fires, or life-threatening emergencies. Cell phone coverage exists throughout most of Tuzigoot National Monument, and emergency calls will usually go through even if your phone says you don't have service.
Remember to stay on the trail while at Tuzigoot. Desert soils are extremely fragile, most of the plants have spikes, and inhabitants at Tuzigoot include several venomous snakes and arachnids. Staying on paved surfaces will greatly help in keeping you safe!
HeatClarkdale, Arizona averages temperatures over 90 degrees fahrenheit (32 degrees celsius) 5 months out of the year, which also happen to be some of our busiest times for visitation! When you visit Tuzigoot you are likely to experience hot, dry days with little cooling relief at night. There is little to no shade on the Pueblo Trail, so bring water, sunscreen, and a hat to keep you cool.
Especially during summer months, we recommend hitting the trail before 10am to reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses. Be prepared to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion: irritability, confusion, sluggishness, dizziness and heart palpitations are among the most common symptoms.
Even though our trails are short, water is always important to bring in the desert. The elevation of the monument is 3500 ft / 1050 meters and there is very little shade, which contributes to dehydration. On hot, dry, summer days, you should drink 1 liter of water per hour of hiking.
MonsoonsWhen it's not scorching outside in the summer, Arizona is known for its monsoon seasons! On average, mid-June through September can be our wettest months of the year, receiving more than half of our annual precipitation numbers. Monsoons are sporadic and very hard to predict, sometimes they only bring thunder and lightning while other times they drench the landscape. If visiting during monsoon season please be prepared and know that our rangers are tasked to close the trail if there is lightning in the area.
GearIn addition to ensuring that you get adequate water and rest, what you wear is important for a visit to the desert! Even though Tuzigoot does not have long trails, there is very little shade, and it can get hot just walking back to your car! So remember: have a hat and sunscreen with you at all times. Light synthetic clothing helps wick away moisture, keeping your body cooler while outdoors. We recommend wearing long sleeves to keep your sun exposure down, and protect your arms from bushes and thorns. Finally, temperatures in the desert can fluctuate drastically over the course of a day. Packing and wearing some layers is highly recommended.
WildlifeWe have a wide array of animal populations that call this park home and it is each visitor's responsibility to keep themselves safe by watching where they place their hands and feet. You should never approach wildlife, and keep a safe distance from them at all times. Again, staying on all paved surfaces greatly increases the likelihood of having a safe experience in the park.
Rattlesnakes and Poisonous Insects
Rattlesnakes are fairly common at Tuzigoot. We like them because they help keep our rodent populations under control! Many people are afraid of them, but they have no interest in us as long as we leave them alone. The best advice is to not put any body part anywhere your eyes haven't been first! If you see a rattlesnake on the trail, be sure to tell the ranger on-site, we like to keep track of the snakes in our neighborhood.
Although mountain lions are generally elusive and don't like human interactions, there is a healthy population in the Verde Valley. Especially if you are heading down into Tavasci Marsh, be aware of mountain lions while on-trail. If you run into a mountain lion, make your presence known with loud noises and trying to appear larger than normal. You should NEVER approach them, try to back away slowly and refrain from running away.
BeesIn recent years bees have become much more common in the park, and have at times been aggressive towards visitors. Although they usually build their hives off-trail, there are times when they feel threatened by visitors coming too close to their home. If you hear loud buzzing simply back away and do not swat at them.
Many desert plants are spiny! Some species of cactus, such as prickly pear, have barbed spines which detach easily from the plant. Others, like prickly pears, have glochids, that can be too tiny to see or remove from your skin.
Last updated: October 5, 2021