Visit the ruins of a once-prosperous community of the ancient Sinagua. One of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North ... More
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Visit the ruins of a once-prosperous community of the ancient Sinagua. One of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America, the Montezuma's Castle boasts five stories and 20 rooms. Inhabited more than 600 years ago, much of the building is still intact. The best time of the year to visit is December and January. Binoculars would be beneficial for a closer view. Walkways are provided and are wheelchair-accessible. Check website for further details.
The Montzuma Castle may not have all the bells and whistle of today's main attention, but it will make you appreciate the endurance of the people that came before us. Our fancy computers and electronic have nothing over these industrious ancestors. Go see the Castle and be amazed. There are some really cool stuff in the gift shop.
If you find yourself in the Phoenix area on your way up to Sedona or Flagstaff on the 17, a stop at Montezuma's castle is a great idea. I wouldn't plan a day around it but an hour or so checking out the museum shop and ruins can give you a nice break from the drive north. There's lots of wildlife in the park willing to say hello to you. We ran into some very courageous squirrels and countless little lizards on the walk to the ruins. I wouldn't plan to make Montezuma's Castle the focal point of a day trip but it's a nice little rest stop on the way to the bigger stuff like Sedona or the Grand Canyon.
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.
It's an interesting Sinagua ruin, in a beautiful setting near water and trees. There are other ruins nearby. I was lucky enough on my first visit a number of years ago to actually climb in and walk around the castle ruins. I'll always remember thinking about how they had to carry everything up to the dwelling when they built it. What a fantastic achievement that was! Make sure you visit Montezuma's Well which is very close and interesting in its own right.
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