This is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It's tucked into a towering limestone cliff in Camp Verde, Arizona. Not really a "castle" but more like a high-rise apartment, Read more...
This is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It's tucked into a towering limestone cliff in Camp Verde, Arizona. Not really a "castle" but more like a high-rise apartment, this five-story structure is a magnificent national monument.
Montezuma Castle was built and used by the Sinagua people. This pre-Columbian culture built and inhabited the cliff dwellings between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD. Many families lived here, spread out among almost 4,000 square feet of floor space. It's believed that the structure lasted so long because its strategic placement in a natural alcove protects it from exposure.
Sinagua residents most likely used a series of portable ladders to access the dwelling. Park visitors who traveled to the monument prior to 1951 were allowed to enter the structure by climbing ladders up the side of the limestone cliffs. This was discontinued due to damage to the dwelling and concern for visitor safety.
Today, you can take a 1/3-mile paved trail from the Visitor Center to the base of the cliff where the ruins lie. Check out the museum's extensive collection of Sinagua tools, artifacts, and jewelry. Peruse the bookstore to learn more of the rich cultural heritage of the land and its people. What better way to conclude your visit to Montezuma than with a relaxing picnic in the shadow of the grand castle?
Explore camping on public campgrounds along the way or on private land through Hipcamp for a more curated experience.