Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument Travel Blog

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Montezuma Castle
I left Flagstaff, Arizona today after 5 days in the area. My travel plans have changed somewhat due to the loss of my telephoto lens. Nikon suggested I take it to a repair facility in Phoenix, Arizona. So, South I head, along with weather reports of temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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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Montezuma Castle
Montezuma Castle
Close up view of the main Castle
Close up view of the main Castle
One of the other ruins not far fro…
One of the other ruins not far fr…
Montezuma Castle National Monument
photo by: mahoney