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Missions and Ruins
in Arizona

San José de Tumacácori, less than 20 miles from Arizona's border with Mexico
As mentioned in my biography, my first love was the California missions, with the Arizona ruins of Casa Grande a close second.

Later, I discovered that Arizona offered both: a handful of missions (only two of which I have seen--but what beauties!), and a plethora of native ruins (mostly) in the north.

  1. Mission San Xavier del Bac, near Tucson (map / Wiki)
  2. Mission San José de Tumacácori (map / Wiki)
  3. Mission Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi (map / Wiki)
  4. Mission San Cayetano de Calabazas (map / Wiki)
The first is a full, standing, operational, and gorgeous mission church; the second, a fine ruin; and the last two (which I have not seen) mere remnants. The latter three are all near Tumacacori, between Tucson and the Mexican border.

There are also two sites on the California side of the Colorado River at Yuma; these are mentioned on my California page.

I have also read that there are some church ruins on the Hopi mesas (see below), but I haven't pursued those leads yet.

Native American Ruins

As I have done with Utah/Colorado and New Mexico, I have included here most or all of the sites listed in various editions of David Grant Noble's Ancient Ruins of the Southwest.

I think all of the earlier peoples Noble mentions are represented in Arizona, except the Fremont. These are the Anasazi, Clovis, Hohokam, Mogollon, Salado, and Sinagua.

I have been to a few of these, and will write about them first. Time permitting, I'll say a few words about the others, based on research.
  1. Besh Ba Gowah (map / Wiki)
  2. Canyon de Chelly National Monument (map / Wiki)
  3. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (map / Wiki)
  4. Casa Malpais (map / Wiki)
  5. Elden Pueblo (map / Wiki)
  6. The Hardy Site in Fort Lowell Park, Tucson (map / Wiki)
  7. Homol'ovi Ruins State Park (map / Wiki)
  8. Kinishba Ruins (map / Wiki)
  9. Kin-Li-Chee Tribal Park (map)
  10. Montezuma Castle National Monument (map / Wiki)
  11. Montezuma Well (map / Wiki)
  12. Navajo National Monument (map / Wiki)
  13. Newspaper Rock in Petrified Forest National Park (map / Wiki)
  14. Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site (map / Wiki)
  15. Palatki and Honanki (map)
  16. Pueblo Grande Ruins (map / Wiki)
  17. Puerco Ruin in Petrified Forest National Park (map / Wiki)
  18. Romero Ruins in Catalina State Park (map / Wiki)
  19. Tonto National Monument (map / Wiki)
  20. Tusayan Ruins in Grand Canyon National Park (map / Wiki)
  21. Tuzigoot National Monument (map / Wiki)
  22. V-Bar-V Ranch Petroglyph Site (map / Wiki)
  23. Walnut Canyon National Monument (map / Wiki)
  24. Wupatki National Monument (map / Wiki) also the Wukoki, Lomaki, and Citadel Ruins (more information)

The Hopi Mesas

According to author Buddy Mays in Indian Villages of the Southwest, the three Hopi mesas (numbered simply First, Second, and Third, more or less from east to west) are home to nine pueblos; several modern towns are also on reservation land below the mesas.

Mays lists five mission churches among the Hopi, and the villages they were located in. The churches were all destroyed after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and in fact the villages were moved, so the village names given (after "de" in the name) are not the villages of the same names today. Nevertheless, I have given the map coordinates and Wiki links for the modern villages (except for Awatovi, which is the ruins of the original). The mission names are:
  1. Mission San Bernardino de Awatobi (map / Wiki)
  2. Mission San Francisco de Oraibi (map / Wiki)
  3. Mission San Bartolome de Shongopavi (map / Wiki)
  4. Mission San Buenaventura de Mishongnovi (map / Wiki)
  5. [Mission name is unknown] at Walpi (map / Wiki)
Ruins of the first two are said to be extant; I haven't found any information on the latter three.

Google Map:

  • Use + /- or mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Click to close the hand to move around.
  • (The two functions above are accomplished with two fingers on mobile devices.)
  • Click the square-with-arrow on the left to open or close the index of sites. (Works better if you zoom in first.)
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Last updated May 5, 2019

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