Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

1100 W Ruins Dr, Coolidge, AZ 85128

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument offers its visitor a chance to explore the history of irrigation canals and an extended network of communities. Casa Grande is the preservation site of “Great House,” and an Ancestral Sonoran Desert People’s farming community whether this place was a gathering site for the Desert People or just a waypoint marker in trading partners and an extensive system of canals is but a part of the story of the Casa Grande Ruins.

This National Monument is located in Coolidge, Arizona, and preserves a group of Hoholam structures from the 1150-1450 Classic Period. This site consists mainly of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by ancient people of the Hohokam period who constructed a compound wall and who farmed the Gila Valley in the early 13th century. Archeologists have found evidence that ancient Sonoran Desert people who built Casa Grande also developed extensive trade connections and wide-scale farming, which lasted over a thousand years until 1450 CE.

Casa Grande, “big house in Spanish,” refers to the most prominent structure on site, which is what remains of a four-story structure that may have been abandoned during the 1450s. This structure is made of caliche and has survived extreme weather conditions for around seven centuries. Casa Grande consists of outer rooms that surround the inner structure, and they all are three stories high. These structures were built using traditional adobe processes, and noticeable horizontal cracks define the breaks in between courses on the outer walls. The process consisted of using wet adobe to form the walls, waiting for it to dry, and then building it up with more adobe. Fun Fact: Just like Pueblo Grande de Nevada, Casa Grande contains a ball court too.

This National monument received its name after Father Eusebio Kino from Europe viewed the Hohokam complex in 1694 and named it Casa Grande. 19th-century passers-by graffiti is scratched into this monument’s walls, though graffiti is now illegal. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument now has a distinctive modern 1932 roof cover.