Nestled in the historical and old limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley, stands one of the best preserved and most easily accessible cliff ruins in North America. The five story, twenty room Montezuma Castle cliff dwelling served as a "high-rise apartment building" many years before. Early explorers and even historians for a while thought that the cliff dwellings belonged to the Aztec emperor Montezuma. The only association with Montezuma is the name; not really sure if Montezuma actually dwelled here.
There are exhibits and plagues all along the paths describing the area and sites. The path is a paved, level sidewalk easy to use and wheel chair accessible to a certain point. Rangers are available on the trail to ensure the ruins are not disturbed.
At the Visitor Center is a book store and small museum displaying some artifacts. So you can purchase souvenirs, cards and even mail your cards and letter from the shop.
Montezuma's Castle (which is misnamed because it is not believed Montezuma ever traveled this far) is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The castle consists of 20 rooms and is built into the side of a towering limestone cliff. It was built around 1000 years ago by the Sinagua Indians. It is a classic example of the last phase of southern Sinagua occupation of the Verde Valley.
On December 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared four sites, including Montezuma's Castle, of historic and cultural significance as our nation's first National Monuments.
You can take a leisurly walk along the paved 1/3 mile path, in the shade of large old Sycamore trees, and view the exhibits in the museum.
The Montezuma Castle Visitor Center is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day 8 AM to 6 PM and from Labor Day through Memorial Day 8 AM to 5 PM. Entry (which is good for 7 days) is $5.00.