While traveling north on Interstate 17 from Phoenix, we stopped at Montezuma Castle National Monument. I highly recommend stopping here as it is just a short drive from the interstate and a great place to get out and stretch your legs! The entrance fee was $10 for adults and kids 15 and under were free. This fee also covers the entrance to Tuzigoot National Monument which is about a 40 minute drive away.
Montezuma Castle is a 5-story, 20-room dwelling built by Sinagua farmers sometime between 1100 and 1300. This home is 100 feet high above the valley and they used ladders to access it.
A short, paved loop leads to different views.
Below is a diorama of what the dwelling would have looked like from the inside.
Montezuma Castle is located in the Verde Valley and Beaver Creek was the primarily source of water for this community. The farmers thrived in this area until about 1350 when they began to move north and east, but no one knows why they moved.
Did you know that guided tours of the actual dwelling were held up until 1951, but due to the fragile site, tours were discontinued?
Montezuma Castle is one of the best preserved prehistoric structures in the Southwest so I highly recommend that you check it out!