As we continue our Arizona Weekend Adventures, 52 weekend getaways for those new to the Phoenix Metro Area, we are going next to take a day trip up to Montezuma Castle!
Montezuma Castle is about one and a half hours north of Phoenix and is well worth the trip! Montezuma Castle is not an actual Castle, but a 20 room, 5 story, cliff dwelling that stands 100 feet above the Verde Valley. It was home to the peaceful Sinagua Indians 1000 years ago. It was so securely build that it is one of the most well preserved cliff dwellings in North America.
In 1906 Montezuma Castle was proclaimed a National Monument and in 1951 going inside the monument was closed to the general public to preserve the monument from further damage. The only way to get inside the dwelling is by a series of ladders. You can see a picture of the interior of the monument here .
Near Montezuma Castle National Monument, is Montezuma Well, it is a place like no other in the world. This unique geologic feature is located 11 miles from Montezuma Castle and is home to species of animals found nowhere else on the planet. Take your time as you wander the trails exploring pre-historic Sinaguan cliff dwellings, pueblo ruins, and a 1,000 year old irrigation ditch that still in use by local residents today!
Montezuma Well is open to the public for visits. The well is a limestone sink formed hundreds of years ago. The local inhabitants of that time used the waters from the well to irrigate their crops. Remains of pithouses are there, as well as petroglyphs which can be viewed only certain days of the week. Contact the National Park Service for the schedule.
A trip up to Montezuma Castle is well worth the trip, and I am sure you will enjoy it. Make sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen. And there is a place that you can enjoy a picnic while you are there!
Directions from Phoenix to Montezuma Castle: take I-17 north to exit 289 Exit 289 and follow the signs 3 miles to the Visitor Center parking lot.
If you haven't found your own Castle in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, please give us a call, we would love to help you explore the possibility of your own castle in the desert!
Ron & Brenda Cunningham
WEST USA REALTY
1640 S Stapley #124
Mesa, AZ 85204
*Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as One of The Top 50 Realtors in the Valley