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Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

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Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

Coming from the Boston area on our cross country trek to visit Arizona this July, Curious on the best places to visit with children 18,14,10 and recommendations on places to stay. Haven't booked anything yet. Will be coming from Utah (either Zion or Mt Valley area) not sure yet because I also want to see Grand Canyon and then head to Phoenix area also.

Wanted to see a cliff dwelling with kids. Can you actually go inside any in AZ. or do you just see them from a distance?

Was debating about Canyon de Chelly.

Thanks for any advice!!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

Montezuma's Castle is probably the most impressive, but you can only view it from below at a distance. For hands on ruins, try Palatki near Sedona, Walnut Canyon near Flagstaff or Wupatki (not cliffs but significant ruins). Tuzigoot near Sedona is another great hilltop site.

Sedona is half way between GCNP and PHX. Much to see and do for the entire family.


Canyon de Chelly is a long way to go and has over 300 ruins sites, but none that you can walk in or touch. All must be viewed from a distance.

Edited: 12:07 am, June 05, 2010
tucson az
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2. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

Not a cliff dwelling but one of the best and most accessible prehistoric sites is at Wupatki Natl Mon. close to the east entrance to the GC. And you can walk right next to it. CdC is very scenic, but it's also an all day venture to get there and out again. Wupatki would fit with your itinerary better.

Much depends on how much time you have and where else you go. If you're coming from Zion NP, you may want to stop at Page and take a smooth water float on the Colorado. If you really want to go to Monument Valley, you will be going to Page way anyway. It's 2 hours from Page to MV.

These things would be more fun for the kids.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

Maybe on your way back to Boston visit Mesa Verde NP in Colorado.

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4. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

If I had to pick, I'd choose to visit Wupatki and Mesa Verde based upon access available and the amount of ruins on site.

In the Sedona area, Palatki is worth a stop. On the way to Phoenix, or as a side trip from the Flagstaff area, Montezuma's Castle is worth a stop. If you want to see Petroglyphs, check out V-Bar-V as well.

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5. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

Thank you for all your suggestions!!

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6. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

agreed. Mesa Verde and Wupatki. Can walk amongst the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. They'll love it. Wupaki is more ruins -- with many partial rooms still standing. Also able to wander amongst them. Very cool place as well, but different than the cliff dwellings.

Cannot top Mesa Verde, period, if you can fit it in. I saw a photo of Cliff Palace when I was in high school. Always stuck in my mind that I would love to see it in person. Finally got there about 4 years ago at the age of 47 :) It was great. Never imagined I would be able to actually WALK in Cliff Palace.

7. Re: Which cliff dwelling to see with kids in AZ?

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