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Montezuma Castle
Montezuma CastleNestled into a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley stands one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling served as a "high-rise apartment building" for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. Early settlers to the area assumed that the imposing structure was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born.
With heightened concern over vandalism of fragile southwestern prehistoric sites, Montezuma Castle became a major factor in the nation's historic preservation movement with its proclamation as a national monument. The Castle was described in the December 1906 establishment proclamation as "of the greatest ethnological and scientific interest." Total size: 840.86 acres

Plan Your TripLocation:
Montezuma Castle National Monument is about 50 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona off I-17.


Historical Facts:
Nineteenth-century Anglo settlers named this site Montezuma Castle-oneof the best-preserved prehistoric structures in the Southwest-thinking that the Aztecs had built it. Actually, the classic cliff dwelling was built by 12th century Sinaguan farmers who climbed ladders to reach their homes. The Sinaguans used creek water in their homes and to irrigate corn and beans on fertile, terraced land. Their culture disappeared at about the same time as the Hohokam.
Designation Date: December 8, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt


Watch the Clip

Montezuma Castle is such a regal structure, early settlers mistook it for an homage to the Aztec emperor. But the Sinagua deserted this place one hundred years before Montezuma was even born.

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Learn More:

Montezuma Castle Overview/NPS

Montezuma Castle Fees/NPS

Montezuma Castle Facilities/NPS

Montezuma Castle Nearby Attractions/NPS

Montezuma Castle Weather/NPS

Montezuma Castle Accessibility/NPS

Montezuma Castle Activities/NPS

Montezuma Castle Facts/NPS

Montezuma Castle For Kids/NPS

Montezuma Castle History and Culture/NPS

Montezuma Castle Plan Your Visit/NPS


Managing Agency:
National Park Service
2800 Montezuma Castle Road
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Visitor Information
928-567-3322
Headquarters
928-567-5276

 

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Arizona's 18 national monuments Agua Fria Canyon de Chelly Casa Grande Ruins Chiricahua Grand Canyon Parashant Hohokam Pima Ironwood Forest Montezuma Castle Navajo Organ Pipe Pipe Spring Sonoran Desert Sunset Crater Volcano Tonto Tuzigoot Vermilion Cliffs Walnut Canyon Wupatki
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