Montezuma's Castle or Well, Sedona

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  • Montezuma's Castle or Well
    by Yaqui
  • Montezuma's Castle or Well
    by Yaqui
  • Montezuma's Castle or Well
    by Yaqui
  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Montezuma Castle National Monument

    by Yaqui Written Nov 24, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    For over 400 years, the Sinagua people (two Spanish words “sin” and “agua”, which means “without water”) had made this beautiful oasis their home along Beaver Creek. Located high and practically carved into the mountainside, stands a tribute to a people who withstood the test of time and thrived here till their mysterious disappearance around 1380 or 1400. Experts assume it was due to the stress factor from prolonged drought, disease, and nutrient-depleted soil from growing corn. Yet, Native people are very connected to their lands, so for them to leave must have been something very tragic. Montezuma Castle, a pueblo ruin, that consist of 50 rooms with at least 5 levels of floor. It is the best preserved prehistoric dwellings in North America and was granted as one of our first national monuments by the Antiquities Act on December 8, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

    It was one of my goals in life to see an actual pueblo ruin and it was almost unreal looking up at it from the ground. I was never so excited in seeing one for the first time. From its discovery in the 1846 by soldiers of the Mexican-American War till about 1951, visitor’s were allowed to climb the ladders to the ruins, those lucky people. Yet, no one is allowed now to preserve the ruins for other generations to enjoy. It is visited by over 350,000 people a year.

    2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde AZ.
    Directions: Follow I-17 to exit 289 (90 minutes north of Phoenix, 45 minutes south of Flagstaff).
Drive east (through two traffic circles) for approximately 1/2 mile to the blinking red light. Turn left on Montezuma Castle Road.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Montezuma Castle National Monument Visitor Center

    by Yaqui Written Nov 24, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Here you can purchase tickets for either Montezuma Castle and or Tuzigoot National Monument also. Passes are available at a discounted rate of $8.00 for both. Be sure if you are planning on visiting both parks ask for this discounted pass when you purchase your entrance fee at either park. I had almost forgot this when I got passes for Montezuma’s Castle, so when we went to Tuzigoot, I showed them my receipt and I was able to get the discount there. 

I enjoy visitor centers. Park rangers are always available with lots of information and give tours also. They have lots of brochures available. 

Summer hours are 8am to 6pm
. Winter hours are 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week

    2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde AZ.
    Directions: Follow I-17 to exit 289 (90 minutes north of Phoenix, 45 minutes south of Flagstaff).
Drive east (through two traffic circles) for approximately 1/2 mile to the blinking red light. Turn left on Montezuma Castle Road.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • bilgeez's Profile Photo

    Montezuma's Castle

    by bilgeez Written Apr 24, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Montezuma's Castle

    Old cliff dwelling of the Sinagua (without water) People, it is about 600 years old. The dwelling is about five stories (fifty feet, 15 metres) high, and contains twenty rooms that the Sinagua used to live in. Still debated how they actually got up there. Probably used some rope system to help pull themselves up the steep side of the cliff.
    Interesting place to visit if you want to see how indiginous Americans lived in pre-Columbian times in that area. They have a little museum and book store/snack shop on the property. Flat, wooded area adjacent to cliff dwellings that were probably farmed by the people that lived there. Also called Montezuma's Well because it is site of springs that probably irrigated the crops of the cliff dwellers.
    National Park Service has info on their website about this small park. It's only about 840 acres, tiny compared to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, just up the road.
    Admission is $3 per person for seven day pass. Annual NP pass is $50 good for admission to any US National Park, Monument or Forest.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology
    • Family Travel

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    One of my favorite locations...

    by Light1 Written Aug 24, 2002

    1 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of my favorite locations just outside of Sedona is 'Montezuma's Well'. It is the location of an underground river that created a well of water that the Sinagua Indians directed by hand-dug waterways to irrigate food plants in nearby fields. The well is a 'sacred' site, the water is considered 'healing' and there is a wonderful, peaceful energy that can be experienced near the cave ruins, and at the 'swallet' outlet on the backside of the well, next to Beaver Creek... a wonderful place to cool off, meditate and maybe listen to Ranger Jack's historical stories of the area.

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