Montezuma Castle National Monument

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527 S Main St, Camp Verde, AZ, USA
www.nps.gov/moca - (928) 567-3322

Montezuma Castle National Monument Camp Verde Reviews

jamesdean252 jamesdea…
68 reviews
Montezuma Castle Jun 19, 2011
Montezuma Castle has been around for a long time, I mean hundreds of years. It’s pretty cool to stop and check out how people lived back a long time ago. Montezuma Castle is one of the best cliff dwellings preserved in North America; it is near the top of Verde Valley Cliff. For a place that housed roughly 50 people within a 20 room five-story stone and mortar dwelling, it’s a site to see. They had a bird’s eye view and advantage on any enemy that tried to attack them. The natural shade and the overhang kept them protected during storms. The cliff is made out of limestone but working with a rock to carve away to make walls, windows, and doors it must have been tough. In 1951 they closed the cliff dwelling to the general public to help future damage to the structure, it would have been cool to get a better look but the pathways they have made makes the park nice and easy access for any person to enjoy the park. Montezuma Castle is just minute off I-17 and only cost $5 a person to get in. I think we were here for about an hour, it was a great stop along are way back to Phoenix. If you are in the area its worth checking out.
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Africancrab Africanc…
773 reviews
Reminants of a History long told, a window into the past. Sep 03, 2010
We approached the national monument from the north, then headed south on Interstate 17. Montezuma National Monument is a little less than 60 miles south of Flagstaff. After a rather exciting three days of traveling, hiking and using motels, we were heading back home to Tucson when we made a last minute decision to stop at this historic place. Whether you are traveling north or south, you will need to take exit 289 off of interstate 17 and follow the signs down the Verde Valley to the location of the Castle. When we arrived, we found the place crawling with Italian tourists who had come in on two giant tour buses from California. Apparently there was some sort of annual christian trip organized by the faithfuls of a local region in Italy.

A little history on the castle: The first Europeans to see Montezuma's Castle believed it to be of Aztec origin and named it for the Aztec king. Both the castle and it's well lie in the setting of thick limestone layers that were deposited near the center of the lake. The Sinagua people learned earlier that the limestone was a good thing; they realized the durability of the limestone and the alcove carved by Beaver Creek. It is believed that the Sinaguan architects built Montezuma Castle in a natural alcove that had been carved by the Beaver Creek in limestone deposited in ancient Lake Verde. The alcove seemed to have been naturally curved, ready for the Sinaguan architects to construct their mud brick walls. The Beaver Creek provided a reliable water source and cultivable land along the flood plains. The Sinaguans got salt and good crops along the flood plains. The village alcove provided both shelter from nature's elements as well as from enemies. Antonio de Espejo and his Spanish expedition are believed to have been the first European explorers to see the villages in the Verde river Valley in the 1800s.

To reach the well from the parking lot, one has to walk up the flight of stairs by the ranger's cottage. Beware of the cacti, their defense systems are so evolved, you could get hurt if you are not looking out for them. You will then come to a much greener place with lush grasses and reeds. Now we did not go to the creek, we saw it from across the Castle grounds. The ancients diverted the waters from the spring that drains Montezuma's well into a canal for irrigation purposes.

We did not stay very long at the Castle. We toured enough of it. The place of course is overrated as there is very little left to impress upon the eyes. Nonetheless, looking at the way it was built into the hill side, one marvels at the architectural achievements of the time. From what I gathered, no one seems to know how the castle was constructed. There is varying tales of what might have happened then back in time. I, got the feeling some of the history is more investigative than actual documented facts. For the archaeologist and geologist, this would be an actual wonder house. Investigative archeology at it's best right here. Certainly a great stop to catch a glimpse of the past. I must comment the National Parks for the way they have preserved the history and the site itself.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Africancrab says:
Thank you all for the congratulations, much appreciated.
Posted on: Apr 12, 2012
cicie says:
Congrat, Harriet:)
Posted on: Apr 07, 2012
monky says:
Congrats on your featured Harriet!!
Posted on: Apr 06, 2012
pbobenhausen pbobenha…
22 reviews
Sep 11, 2007
Nestled into a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley, stands one of the best preserved and most easily accessible cliff ruins in North America. This 5-story, 20-room cliff dwelling served as a "high-rise apartment building". Early explorers thought that the homes belonged to the Aztec emperor Montezuma. The only association with Montezuma is the name.

There are exhibits and plagues all along the paths describing the ara and sites. The path is a paved, level sidewalk. Rangers are available on the trail.

At the Visitor Center is a book store and small museum displaying some artifacts.
My wife and I at Montezuma Castle.
Some of the lower ruins at Montezu…
Some of the trees at Montezuma Cas…
Montezuma Castle
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