[CACTUS CHRONICLES] Montezuma Castle


Hi Friends! It’s our first Cactus Chronicles of 2018 ! We have great content coming your way each Friday this year so stay tuned for highlights of our Amazing state!

I remember vividly going to Montezuma’s Castle when I was a kid. One thing about me you may not know is I consider myself a native of Arizona.  I moved here when I was 5 and have considered it home every since and have so many memories of Arizona. I remember being in awe at this dwelling on the side of a cliff and thinking of the native people who lived there. So as soon as I had my kiddos I knew I would be taking them there! I wanted them to have the same memories I did. We waited for them to be a little older so that they could understand what they were looking at the really be able to enjoy the dwelling. (I wouldn’t recommend this for toddler kiddos, they will probably get bored fast, haha).

Brief History about Montezuma’s Castle :

“Motezuma’s Castle is a five-story cliff dwelling consisting of about twenty rooms, built into an alcove 100 feet above the floor of Beaver Creek Canyon . The ruin faces south, a characteristic of most cliff dwellings that allows them to catch and retain as much warmth from the sun as possible. The cliff face into which the structure is built consists of a whitish, fairly soft limestone that has weathered to produce numerous alcoves and caves, many of which have been walled off to create living or storage spaces…..It was inhabited by the Sinagua for approximately three hundred years. They were all abandoned between 1400 and 1450 AD, a period that marks the collapse of all the major civilizations in the southwest, including the Sinagua, Hohokam, Salado, Mogollon, and Anasazi. The reasons for this regional collapse have never been fully understood. Possible explanations include an extended period of drought, disease, the exhaustion of farmlands due to non-sustainable agricultural techniques, and war”

I love how these are actual ancient ruins…..you can visibly see the rooms and the layout of the dwelling! There is always a national park volunteer located directly below the dwelling who not only tells history and factual information regarding the Castle but elaborates into some funny stories to get the kiddos excited and interest peeked. My girls were so fascinated that we ended up basically making friends with the volunteer for a good 45 minutes, haha! He may have never been asked so many questions, but he was sure happy to sit there and oblige my two wondering minds. It’s also located in a beautiful valley with about a mile and half path that is covered by beautiful trees and creek. We enjoyed a picnic there as well as their visitor center! Oh and if you have a fourth grader, it’s free!!!

I’ll let the pictures do the rest….

 It’s truly so amazing that the people could build that into this limestone cliff… incredible

We went during the Fall so they trees were yellows, and oranges and incredibly beautiful.

Inside the Visitor Center



If you’ve been tell us!! Also come back and tell us once you’ve gone, we would love to hear about your experience.


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