Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde
Categories: Ruins, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
A cliff dwelling built by the prehistoric Sinagua people, Montezuma Castle National Monument took three centuries to complete. The dwelling has five stories and 20 rooms, giving it its castle-like appearance. View the dwelling from the lookout point below, then learn about the Sinagua culture and history in the visitor center near the viewing platform. There you will discover that the name of the attraction developed thanks to a misinterpretation by early settlers who thought that the Aztec leader Montezuma had something to do with its construction. Using our online itinerary creator, Camp Verde attractions like Montezuma Castle National Monument can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Stumbled upon this wonderful place by accident as we just happened to stop for an overnight stay in the area while traveling. Glad we allotted an hour to stop here before getting back on the road. Thi... read more »
This is a fine site with smaller dwellings in the nearby cliff wall. Very good notes along an easy-to-walk sidewalk in self guided tour. Parking is seconds away from visitor center. Can't go into cast... read more »
My husband and I were out on a road trip heading toward Sedona. Had not been that way before. We saw a sign for Montezuma Castle National Monument and decided to go take a look. Had no idea what we wo... read more »
Located pretty close off the I-17, the National Monument is fascinating to anyone interested in indigenous cultures and their incredible architecture. However, for $10 per adult I felt that there wasn't much that the Monument provided for that price. There is a small gift shop/visitor center and a short walking loop where you can see Montezuma Castle as well as the remnants of some other buildings. It is indeed quite a view and interesting, but that's pretty much all you can do: look at it, then leave. The information in the visitor center is interesting, but you could read the same stuff on Wikipedia. If you're in the area I would suggest stopping by and seeing it for yourself (as it is very impressive), particularly if you have kids, but don't expect to spend much time there and I don't think it's worth a big detour.
Benjamin J.G. Moore
This well preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling was a quick, awe inspiring stop on our road-trip. Within 40 minutes we walked the short paved path with striking views of the inaccessible dwellings among groves of sycamores along Beaver Creek. Staff gave lively explanations and the grounds are landscaped with quintessential Sonoran Desert plants with labels explaining their significance to area cultures. Visitor center is lacking in artifacts and displays compared to Tuzigoot's. For those without an Annual National Parks Pass, the $10/person admission is valid at both Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle monuments.
Sinagua Indians ROCK! Limestone ROCK that is! Daring (about 90ft up a sheer cliff) builders & skilled (about 90% original structure remaining over 900 years old) engineers. Easy short walk around the monument & park. It was a gorgeous day & weather when I went! Simple beauty of Sinagua's survival ingenuity of our elemental Arizona nature. A U.S. National Monument that is very well maintained & protected by the National Park Service. Kept clean & even the restroom is air conditioned which is necessary in our hot AZ weather. The staff was very helpful & knowledgeable. Pet friendly. If your pet is not animal assisted therapy dog; one of the staff members will hold your dogs leash while you're inside to pay your park fee of $10 per person or $80 annual pass (Each Annual Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas; and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. Children under 16 are always admitted free. Annual Pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services). Than there is an outer walkway, which is the exit as well, that they will let you & your pet both pass through. One star less for not informing my sister that my mother was eligible for the Senior Pass at $10; though it is benefitting the NPS.
It was a delightful and intriguing adventure on our way to Sedona. It's just off the highway if you're heading up to Sedona from Phoenix AZ. Fascinating and educational. Well worth the $10 per person to visit especially if you plan on visiting Tuzigoot within the week as the receipt covers that entry as well. They have package deals for family's but it was just my husband and I so I am not sure what the other deals were.
A small but interesting example of the vast number of historical sites/attractions that Arizona is world famous for (Yes, I said WORLD famous. If you don't believe me, make an inquiry into how many countries the publication "Arizona Highways" is mailed to every month). When I first moved to AZ as an 11 year old, I didn't like, actually despised this state. I was born & raised back East in the same small town my whole life, where there were actually seasons, where all of my life long friends were. I was quite upset that I was ripped away from that by my parents because they were tired of the snow. It didn't take long, however, before I was intrigued by, and grew to love, Arizona. There is just so much here, from the low deserts to Alpine forests, the terrain and the history here are unparalleled. Therefore, I feel compelled to respond to a couple of the reviews that I read here. The 1st one, although only a couple of sentences long, I had to read twice to decipher it. Grammer is obviously not the author's strong suit. A waste of time & gas money is how this person describes this beautiful, fragile example of the distant past. Sadly, he doesn't consider how lucky we are that such a place still exists. That it wasn't demolished by man or eroded by the constant barrage of wind & water. Another one several reviews down from this also stated that it was a waste of their time and actually said "I hate it"! To write a review in such a manner is just foolish and ignorant, though one can't expect much from someone who's profile picture is of a character from a children's cartoon. I'd be willing to bet that the people who consider visiting our state's and nation's treasures a "waste of time" can sit around for days on end & spend hundreds of dollars on mindless video games. That is, of course, a much wiser use of their time and money.
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