Before metro Phoenix became the bustling metropolis it is now, the region was home to several American Indian cultures. Take a step back in time and learn about the history of the native people who called this land home.
Experience American Indian culture through the personal voices of tribal artists at the renowned Heard Museum. The museum is known for its quality of collections and the accurate portrayal of native arts and history. Through a combination of American Indian storytelling, historical collections, and art from tribal communities around the region, the Heard offers an expansive perspective of native culture. The museum also hosts annual events such as the Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market and the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.
2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 85004
Learn about the history of the Hohokam people through exhibits and artifacts, and stroll through prehistoric remains and structures on the museum’s interpretive trail. There are also special programs and annual events hosted by the museum that are fun and educational for all ages.
4619 E. Washington St, Phoenix 85034
Ever wondered what it would be like to walk through a 1,500-year-old village? At the Arizona Museum of History, you can explore the pit houses and above-ground structures of the Hohokam civilization, filled with artifacts from those ancient times.
53 N. Macdonald, Mesa 85201
Operated by the Gila River Community, this heritage center and museum preserves and displays historical artifacts, cultural materials, and traveling art from local tribes.
4759 N. Maricopa Rd, Chandler 85226
National Monuments and Reserves
Familiarize yourself with a day in the life of a 13th-century Sonoran Desert farmer and explore the ruins of what were once community grounds and irrigation canals. Casa Grande is named for the monument’s main draw: a four-story “great house” that has managed to survive extreme weather conditions for about seven centuries.
1100 W. Ruins Drive, Coolidge 85128
Nestled into a cliff is an ancient two-room high-rise apartment—a limestone dwelling now referred to as Montezuma Castle. This living space was home to the Sinagua people and is known to be one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The monument is just a few minutes from Interstate 17 and makes for a great side trip when traveling from Phoenix to Sedona, Flagstaff or the Grand Canyon.
Eleven miles from Montezuma Castle is the Montezuma Well, a natural sinkhole formed by the collapse of a limestone cavern. The well provides an aquatic habitat for desert dwellers and has served as an oasis for wildlife and humans for thousands of years.
Montezuma Well, Rimrock 86335
Scan miles of desert landscape from atop an ancient village built by the Sinagua people. This pueblo ruin allows you to imagine what life was like for the Sinagua and discover how they built their homes and villages to weather the desert climate.
25 W Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale 86324
At Tonto National Monument you will find two Salado-style cliff dwellings and discover the different ways ancient peoples used the resources of the land to create colorful pottery, cotton cloth, and other artifacts.
26260 N. AZ Hwy 188, Roosevelt 85545
See ancient petroglyphs
Get the details on local trails where you can see the rock carvings of ancient civilizations in our petroglyphs in Phoenix blog post.
Stop by this hole-in-the-wall eatery and taste both the savory and sweet fry bread creations that have made it a local favorite.
1003 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix 85014
Located in the Wild Horse Pass Resort, Kai Restaurant is a fine-dining experience with a five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. Chef Joshua Johnson uses locally farmed ingredients from the Gila River Indian Community to create dishes inspired by the food culture of the Pima and Maricopa tribes.
The architecture, interior design, and art of this American Indian-owned resort were designed to represent the Gila River Indian Community’s heritage and culture. Wild Horse Pass also houses Kai Restaurant, which specializes in dishes inspired by the cuisine of the Gila River Community.
5594 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Chandler 85226
Talking Stick Resort houses one of the largest collections of American Indian artwork outside of a museum. The cultural center inside the resort features a priceless collection of Native American pottery, art, and jewelry.
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale 85256