Gila Bend
 
This large pueblo, called the Fortaleza or Fortified Hill, belongs to the Tohono O’odham Nation. Years ago, when I was writing the first edition of my book, non-tribal members could obtain a permit to visit the site. Such permits are no longer available so I had to cut the chapter about this place from the second edition.

The pueblo sits atop a butte overlooking the Gila River. It's not far from the town of Gila Bend, but rugged terrain makes reaching it a challenge. The Hohokam constructed the Fortified Hill over a period of about 75 years, beginning around A.D. 1200. Forty-three of the ruin's original 57 rooms were reconstructed in the 1960's. The practice of reconstructing rooms greatly reduces the authenticity of the ruin and, in my opinion, makes it far less interesting. Nevertheless, the sheer size of this archaeological site and the many nearby petroglyphs make it quite a wondrous place.