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Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)

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Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

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NPS LogoOfficial Casa Grande Ruins NM Website
Sonoran Desert Network parks
Location of Casa Grande Ruins NM in the Sonoran
Desert Network. Click for larger image.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

At just 191 hectares (472 acres), Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in south-central Arizona, is SODN's smallest unit. The park preserves an ancient Hohokam Culture farming community and "Great House," a multi storied, earthen-walled structure surrounded by the remains of smaller buildings and a compound wall.

Created as the nation's first archeological reserve in 1892, the site was declared a national monument in 1918. Its devoted, highly influential first custodian, Frank "Boss" Pinkley, was instrumental in the development of the NPS branch that came to be known as the Southwestern National Monuments.

The desert biotic community is dominant in this low-elevation park. Major issues of concern relative to natural resources include adjacent land use, groundwater depletion, invasive exotic plants.

Conflicts between natural and cultural resources are another issue. Both native and non-native species have damaged and threatened cultural resources at the park since the early 1930s. Even mammals and birds that might not normally be considered pests, such as native round-tailed ground squirrels (Spermophilus tereticaudus), threaten archeological structures and sites by burrowing, nesting, feeding, and roosting on or near them.

The Sonoran Desert Network monitors climate, exotic plants, groundwater, landbirds, and terrestrial vegetation and soils at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

Life Zones

With an elevation range of approximately 1,414–1,430 feet (431–436 m), Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is located in the desert biome. Average annual precipitation is 9 inches (230 mm).

Lifezone elevation profile for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Life zone elevation profile for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

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Last Updated: November 17, 2015 Contact Webmaster