Travel Diary: Tusayan Museum and Ruins

In case you missed it in my previous post, the road leading to the Desert View Watchtower is in fact 25 miles from the park’s South Rim entrance. With a speed limit of 35mph, it does take a while to get there. Even more so, if you plan on stopping over at every viewpoint along the way like Roan and I did.

Only three miles away from the Desert View Watchtower, I asked Roan to stop at the next possible area where there is a restroom because my bladder couldn’t hold the call of nature any longer. We took advantage of the rest stop, and explored the Tusayan Museum and Ruins. It was small, but it held a lot of history of the former inhabitants of the Grand Canyon.

Here are some quick facts about the ancestral Puebloan people (via the park’s official brochure):

  • The inhabitants were called Anasazi, which was roughly translated as “ancient enemies.” The Pueblo communities these days do not appreciate having their forefathers referred to as enemies, hence The National Park Service at Grand Canyon National Park has chosen ancestral Puebloans to emphasize the connection between ancient and modern people and cultures.

 

  • The ancestral Puebloan people used the forest for their supermarket. Various plants and flowers include piñons, pine needles, pine nuts, Utah juniper, juniper berries, and yucca.
  • You may not appreciate it with covered with snow, but the Tusayan Pueblo Ruin is a flat 200-meter trail around the village. No attempt was ever made to reconstruct these structures. In 2001, through the Vanishing Treasures program, park archeologists stabilized the ruins in an effort to protect it from an ongoing degradation. Room blocks have been partially excavated to allow you to experience an archaeological site.

It looked like there wasn’t a lot of things to discover in the museum, but the truth is, there’s more to Grand Canyon‘s history and rich culture. I think a day isn’t even enough to talk about these things, especially when the entirety of the canyon is our main subject. I’m only sharing what I’ve seen from the South Rim, remember?

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