Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument Travel Blog› entry 16 of 56 › view all entries
April 27th, 2006 – by: mahoney
Driving down I-17 was a very beautiful drive and an exciting one. As I descended the mountains, I could put the rental SUV in neutral and watch the speedometer hit 110! OK, I know this was wrong in so many ways, but how often do I get to do this? I'm from Ohio, land of no hills.
I opted to bypass Montezuma Well, I've seen enough big holes in the ground. I did not want to pass up the chance to see Montezuma Castle. This monument is conveniently located near I-17 Exit 289, those Sinagua Indians knew how to pick a location.
This five-story, 20 room cliff dwelling nestled into a limestone recess high above Beaver Creek served as a "high-rise apartment building" for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. It is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America.
It's not a castle and Montezuma was never here. It was mistakingly named after what the (re)discoverers thought was an Aztec ruin. There is more to see then the main Castle, several lesser ruins are nearby. This monument is well visited and the welcome center and trail is nicely documented.
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