Monday, February 28, 2011

Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well

On Friday the 25th we visited Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well.  Both were misnamed by early explorers who believed the Castle and Well were once Aztec dwellings.  This area was actually home to the Sinagua culture who lived and farmed here till around the year 1400.  

Montezuma Castle

IMG_3200 Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle had been repaired numerous times over the years to stabilize the structure, therefore, it did not have the older appearance of other cliff dwellings that we had visited over the years.  The path past the cliff dwelling wraps around to take you past the fast running Beaver Creek.


The dominant tree in this area is the Arizona Sycamore.  These trees are very similar to the Midwestern sycamore, but seem to have thicker trunks and branches and a whiter color to the bark.

Arizona Sycamore

Several miles away and much more interesting is Montezuma Well.  Montezuma Well is a natural sinkhole with cliffs that tower 70 feet above the waters surface.  Everyday 3 large underwater vents pump 1.5 million gallons of warm water (74 degree) into the Well.  The water exits underground through a cave under the cliffs into an irrigation ditch that watered the fields.  

Montezuma Well

In the cliffs around the Well you can see the remains of several dwellings.


Only pictures approvable by Association of Lady RVers  are used in this blog so no pictures from behind showing anything below the waist have been included!

Montezuma Well

Notice the dwelling in the upper left corner of the picture below.


Climbing up out of the well and over the rim you descend to Beaver Creek.  If you follow the path you will walk along a rebuilt irrigation channel that runs along the banks of Beaver Creek.

IMG_3252 IMG_3253

The source can not be seen because it comes up under the rocks at the end of the trail.  The water is warm as there are places here where you can put your hand in the water to feel it.  Also, plants can be seen growing above and below the surface of the water.


Another beautiful sunset over Distant Drums RV Park.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your killing me with those great shots. My wife & I were there this time last year and fell in love with the well. We stayed for several hours before we had to move on. Glad to see that all is still well there. Have a safe trip.
Louisburg Larry