Situated within rugged terrain in the northeastern part of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, Tonto National Monument showcases the well-preserved cliff dwellings that were occupied during the 13th, 14th and early 15th centuries by a once-vibrant Native American culture.
Visitors can explore the pre-historic cave dwellings during their visit through a self-guided tour of the lower cliffs or a ranger-guided tour of the upper cliff dwellings.
The monument is also home to some of the most magnificent wildflowers anywhere in the Southwest U.S. during the spring.
The visitor center houses a museum providing exhibits of polychrome pottery, ancient clothing woven from yucca, agave and cotton, rattlesnake displays as well as prehistoric hunting tools and traps.
Adult admission to the monument is just $3 and camping is available nearby in the Tonto National Forest.
This destination comes from the National Park Getaways series, which helps people find new places to reconnect with nature, history, family and friends.
Each Wednesday, the National Park Service posts a new getaway idea on its website, nps.gov/getaways. There's a new park idea every week and most of the activities listed are free, so they're good, budget-friendly vacation options.