Created by underground springs, this limestone sinkhole near Montezuma's Castle was once a large underground cavern. Now ... More
Created by underground springs, this limestone sinkhole near Montezuma's Castle was once a large underground cavern. Now a natural well surrounded by Indian cliff dwellings, it is home to plant and animal life found nowhere else in the world. Warm underground springs maintain an unusually stable habitat in the well. Prehistoric farmers utilized this well for crop irrigation. Note that the address given above is for Montezuma's Castle ; the well is located northeast of the castle. The 1/3-mile walkway is not recommended for wheelchairs.
The Park Service does a great job in maintaining history. I am amazed by the ancient peoples and their lifestyle. Montezuma's Castle is a remarkable feat of effort and ingenuity. You can catch glimpses of how they lived through the displays and guides that are happy to share their knowledge of the Sinagua people. Montezuma's Well is a dramatic example of how the Sinagua people tapped into a water source and diverted it by canals into a nearby creek. I loved walking the stone steps to the bottom of the well and listening to the water gush and gurgle through the rock wall out the other side. We walked down by Beaver Creek and took a look at the 2 1/2' canal that was expertly formed to carry the precious water to the creek and beyond. It's well worth your time.
I really liked this site. It has a peaceful feel to it, and a deep sense of history. It is best experienced with a little bit of preparation by looking up the history of the people who lived there and the plants and animals you might see. Then it needs a little time to just soak up the atmosphere, you can almost feel the sense of the people who lived there.
It is a short hike, so it is a good stopping place to give the kids a chance to burn off some energy. Also, if you have gotten some information about plants and animals it is fun for the kids to try and find some of the things, kind of like a scavenger hunt.
Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well are easily accessible from the Phoenix or Flagstaff area and are worth checking out. Montezuma Castle is basically a "look at that. Ok let's go" kind of place - you can't hike up to the ruin and the surrounding area isn't that interesting. Montezuma Well is in the same park and is much more interesting, in my opinion. You can walk down into the "well" and up to the ruins. The well itself is an interesting natural phenomenon and the ruins just add to the aura of the place. Again, it's not a place that you need to spend a lot of time, but it's definitely worth a look.
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