Tusayan Ruins Loop
ElevationAscent: 30' 9 m
Descent: -30' -9 m
High: 7,208' 2,197 m
Low: 7,179' 2,188 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
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“What remains of the Tusayan Ruins, dated to around A.D.1185, can still be seen today.”— Nicholas Shannon
What attracted people to settle here? Everyone needs food, water, and shelter. How were these needs met? Wild foods and game supplemented cultivated corn, beans, and squash. Inhabitants may have walked several miles to water or did other sources exist 800 years ago? How would you use the local resources to build your shelter? What would be its primary function? In a land of limited resources, how would you interact with your neighbors?
As you walk around the ruins, remember that the history of these people and their culture exists only through the artifacts found at this and similar sites and through the stories of their descendants. You'll notice that many statements in the brochure and on the signs begin with perhaps, it seems, or maybe. There are few definitive answers.
Utah juniper (lower right) was also used for firewood. Its shreddy bark peeled readily and provided insulation, padding, or the sole of a sandal. Juniper berries could be eaten raw, but were more often used as a flavoring for stew or venison. Ashes of the scale-like leaves were added to bread as a leavening agent and for flavor.
Yucca provided fibers that could be twisted or braided into twine or rope or made into sandals. The flowers and seeds pods could be eaten. Some native people still use yucca root soap for ceremonial purposes.
Tree ring studies indicate that people lived here for about twenty years beginning around A.D. 1185. The style of buildings and artifacts is typical of the ancestral Puebloan culture. This ruin is one of 4,300 archeological sites recorded within Grand Canyon National Park. Neighboring pueblos may indicate a cooperative effort among families.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Grand Canyon National Park