Long Forgotten Salado Ruins

Arizona has lots of Native American ruins.  One of my favorite is the Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park located just on the outskirts of historic downtown Globe.  Not only are the ruins surrounded by the most beautiful desert botanical garden, but many of the structures are still visible today.  You can get a sense of what life must have been like for the Salado people.

The pueblo ruins are about 700 years old and are in remarkable condition.  Many Native American dwellings were built along the Pinal Creek which was used as a water source for drinking, and growing crops.  The Arizona weather provided year round growth of their foods.  The Salado built their community in such a manner as a defense mechanism against enemies or other type of dangers.  There was one entrance through a narrow hallway with no windows or doors to the outside world.  Small dwellings lined the corridor and at the end of it lay the central plaza.  The walls were made of sand, clay and large stones and were several inches thick.  Each building was two or three stories high using the ground level for storage while the families lived in the upper levels.

The Salado people lived in the Besh-Ba-Gowah community for over 200 years until they simply vanished.  The settlement remained empty for over 200 years until the Apache people made it their home.  They named the place Besh-Ba-Gowah which is Apache for “place of metal” or “metal camp”.

Today, many of the buildings and walls are still standing among a beautiful garden.  You can walk the site where recreated ladders will take you to the second and third floors.  Many of the pottery and other items found on the site are lying around inside some of the buildings.  This archaeological park in Globe is a great place to visit and see how the ancient Native Americans once lived.

Some of the garden surrounding the ruins.

The entrance to the narrow passage.

One of the small openings to each dwelling along the passage.

A building wall with second story opening.

The two-story recreated building in the back with partial walls of
other dwellings surrounding it. 

The building was recreated so visitors can wander inside, climb the
ladder,and see how the Salado people lived.

One of the fire pits for cooking and creating pottery.

One the recreated ladders along with pottery found on site.


  1. This is definitely on my to visit list. Love the pics!

  2. That's just cool that they let you climb these recreated ladders and navigate your way around. I loved visiting the Native American dwellings here, but the only thing that sucks is that you can't climb any of the ladders/they didn't put any kind of way to go up or down, so you can only see things from the ground level and can't explore any of the higher levels or underground dwellings.


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