Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 30, 2010
From journal Ways to Have Fun in the Arizona Sun
Mays Landing, New Jersey
March 20, 2010
April 6, 2009
From journal Our Week in the Desert Sun
March 5, 2004
Likely it all begin with a natural cave and developed into the massive building we can see now. As the National Park Service has changed from restoration of ancient sites to preservation practices, our ability to get close to the sites has been substantially reduced. Now we can only see from quite a distance and think about how life must have been. I have walked in pueblos back in the days when such was permitted and I will admit to a tinge of disappointment that we are now kept so far away. That, however, is pure selfishness. These sites should be preserved for the future. So we can look but not touch nor put a footprint off the developed trail.
It is a very easy walk from the parking lot into and through the visitor center and then out to where you can view the dwellings. The path is paved and well attended by the Rangers who quietly guard the site while picking up bits of litter.
I chose to sit on a bench that gave me a good view and just let the wind talk to me. This isn't a place to hurry. On a hot day, it would be less comfortable than what I experienced in winter. With the Verde River behind me and the 'castle' in front of me; I enjoyed my visit. It is not a castle and Montezuma never visited this part of Mexico, but early Spanish explorers believed that only a highly developed civilization could create so large a building. They didn't count on how much could be done over hundreds of years. No one knows in the least why the dwellings were deserted by 'those who are gone', but they will be around for a long time to come. The National Park Service stopped doing restoration (you can see where the work stopped) and just keeps things going, as it should be. This is also an interesting area for bird watching. I am sure we spotted eagles and hawks. There is a picnic area and a few vending machines in the front of the visitor's center. (by the toilets.) Admission is $3 all days.
From journal Jerome AZ, Vortex, and Elder Hippies
St. Louis, Missouri
August 12, 2003
You cannot go up to the cliff dwelling. I frankly have trouble understanding how the inhabitants got up there. But I’m told they were nimble and entered from the top of the cliffs to one side of the building and then used paths going along on a horizontal plane. So be it! This was a good place to live as there was a reliable creek nearby and fertile land.
There is a nice building/museum/souvenir shop on-site. You can purchase an audio tour if you like. If you want more information call 520/567-3322 or go to this website. I recommend this as a simply amazing site!
From journal There's A Lot to See and Do Near Flagstaff!
January 13, 2003
Montezuma Castle is a Singua Indian ruin built into the cliffs above the Verde River. It is off I-17, near Jerome and Sedona. From the visitor center, you follow a wide paved trail into the park, and suddenly the cliff dwellings come into view. It takes your breath away.
The Indians built their dwellings high up to protect themselves from attack and also from the river flooding. The river basin was a fertile place for farming. The cliff dwelling is especially impressive because it is so large--five stories high.
The Sinaguas mysteriously disappeared from the area around 1100, and thinking about this mystery adds to the special aura of this place.
The setting is peaceful, and there are spots where you can sit and linger and listen to the river and the sounds of nature. Entry fee is $3, or free with a National Parks Pass. The park can be crowded at times, but since the ruins are high up, everyone can see them. You can't go into the ruins because of the damage that has caused over time. The trail around the park is flat and easy walking (also wheelchair-friendly).
From journal Jerome, Arizona, a Town Reborn