There is an old saying,

"God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."

One trip to Sedona and you know it has to be true.

Sedona Blog Home

While In Sedona Visit Monezuma's Castle & Montezuma's Well

Located just a short 26 miles from Sedona, Montezuma's Castle sits waiting for you to explore. It was never a castle and Montezuma never lived here. It was more like a prehistoric high-rise apartment complex.

The castle is just three miles from I-17 (exit 289; north Camp Verde) at the end of a side road that winds across flat scrubland and down into the valley formed by Beaver Creek

The castle is recessed in the limestone cliff and sits 70 feet above the valley. It is a 5 story, 20 room dwelling that was built and resided in by the Sinagua Indians in the 12th century.

When first discovered the ruins were thought to be Aztec in origin which is how it got its name.But later it was discovered that was not the case.

They were farmers so their dwelling looked over their fields where they grew their squash, corn, beans and cotton. They were able to use the water from the Beaver Creek that is located nearby as well as provided them safety from any attacks from other people or animals.

This ruin was built so well that it is one of the best preserved prehistoric structures located in the entire Southwest. Additionally you can see some of the remaining ruins from an additional six-story 45-room dwelling which was built at the bottom of the cliff.

At the visitor center, you will find a small museum, and a short (paved) nature trail leading past the ruins, which cannot be seen from the road. Also as you travel along the path you will see gardens with good examples of cacti and other local plants. Also there is a picnic area is located near the visitor center. It sits under sycamore trees that will provide some shade along side the creek.

Its a good place to maybe plan your picnic because since 1951, the parks have not allowed visitors to climb up to the ruins in order to preserve them. So once you walk up the short path and see the castle, there is not really a lot to do. So if it's cool enough out, you might want to just plan on this being your picnic spot and enjoy the view.

Operating Hours, Seasons
Open every day of the year, including Christmas day. Winter hours: 8 AM to 5 PM; Summer hours: 8 AM to 7 PM.

The entrance fees are $5 for an adult which is good for a week. You can also choose to combine this ruin and Tuzigoot Monuments(another set of ruins) and pay $8 for both. You can buy these passes at either park.

Children under 16 are free. And speaking of Children, while visiting the Montezuma Castle ask one of the rangers if your little one can become a Junior Ranger at the Castle. They will be able to provide you with all the information you need. Or you can visit their site to learn more now and let them become Web Rangers now!

Click Here For Kids To Become Web Rangers

The visitor center and most of the paved trail are accessible to wheelchairs. A small part of the Castle trail is too steep for wheelchairs and is marked with a sign. The picnic area is not accessible to wheelchairs. Please contact a ranger for more information and more specific questions you may have. Audio cassettes and braille text are available for the visually impaired.

Click Here For More Information

Click Here To View Slide Show of The Inside Of The Castle

There is no entrance fee for the Well. The well does not take long to explore yet is a worthy stop. You can take in the castle and the well and then settle down for a picnic.

The well is located off exit 293 of I-17, along the winding route through you will see additional dwellings. The route will become unpaved at the side road to the monument. You then will pass the picnic area and foundations of a Hohokam pit house. The house is now protected by an iron roof. You will find parking just past that area. From the parking lot there is a 1/2 mile trail that leads to the south edge of the Well.

No comments: