Montezuma Castle National Monument is a 20-room high rise cliff dwelling located close to Camp Verde in Arizona.
As one of the best-preserved dwellings of its kind, this national monument gives a glimpse of its rich history as it protects remnants of the Sinaguan settlement.
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Entrance Fee, Hours & Map, AZ
The castle’s location on the cliff overlooks Beaver Creek, which is a stream that flows to join the Verde River. Today, the Montezuma Castle, as it is fondly referred to, is protected as an archaeological site of the Southwest. The monument also encompasses the Montezuma Well, which is what the Sinagua people used to draw water.
The ‘Well’ also has a fascinating geological past as it was not dug out; instead, it formed following the collapse of a cave. This allowed water to flow in, providing a life source for the local tribe. It is interesting to note that the water’s chemical composition does not allow fish species to grow in the well. It does, however, provide a thriving ecosystem for other aquatic species such as beetles, water scorpions, and spring snails.
Both trails leading to the monument are well paved for easy exploration. To get to the castle, head south from Flagstaff on Interstate 17 before taking exit 289. Turn to the left to join W. Middle Verde Road before getting to the two roundabouts. Follow the signage onto Montezuma Castle Road, from where the monument is about two miles away. The Well is also easily accessible from the castle.
The castle makes for an intriguing visit, and there is no better way to learn about pre-historic Sinagua culture than to visit the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Other attractions near the monument include the Walnut Canyon, Tuzigoot, and Wupatki National Monuments – all great historical sites.