The Great AZ Road Trip

Casa Grande Ruins

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Preservation Foundation

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Preservation Foundation

When we can’t understand our past in its entirety, a sense of wonder takes the place of facts. Casa Grande Ruins is one such place that offers such feelings of mystery. While the ruins may have appeared around 130 C.E., its purpose remains a mystery.

Every year, we learn a little more, though. Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. It is believed that the Casa Grande functioned partly as an astronomical observatory since the four walls face the points of the compass. There are various smaller ruins in the complex and remains of a Hohokam farming village.

Visitors of the ruins will see the curious appearance of the structure. Visitors are not allowed into the building, due to it being very delicate, but much can be seen from the outside. Visitors will be able to see details of the construction with wooden beams supporting the clay walls and various internal features such as stairways and windows. The interior contains items such as re-enforcing beams, metal ladders and measuring devices on the walls.