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Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument
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General Information

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Description - Montezuma Castle National Monument lies nestled into a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley stands one of the best preserved cliff ruins 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.

Recreation - Visitors to Montezuma Castle National Monument can participate in a wide range of activities within the site. The visitor center contains a small museum displaying artifacts that were found on site. Rangers provide information, programs, and assistance.

There is a level, paved hiking and biking trail one third of a mile in length. Wayside exhibits along the self-guided trail describe the cultural and natural history of the site. Rangers are available on the trail and programs are presented when staffing permits. Because summer temperatures can be fatal to pets left in closed vehicles, they are allowed on the self-guided trail while restrained on a leash of no more than six feet in length.

There are no camping facilities at Montezuma Castle, however the surrounding area provides a variety of camping opportunities from U.S. Forest Service and State Park campgrounds to private RV parks. A small picnic area is located at the park, however no ash producing fires are allowed.

Climate - Central Arizona is a very arid part of the United States. Rainfall in the region is less than ten inches per year. You can expect hot summers with temperatures close to or above 95 degrees F. Spring and fall are very pleasant, usually warm temperatures reaching 80 degrees. Winter can be cool, but the lack of moisture in the air makes the temperatures mild.

Location - Montezuma Castle is located in central Arizona between Flagstaff and Phoenix. More accurately the site is 50 miles south of Flagstaff along Highway 17. It lies within the Tonto National Forest.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Montezuma Castle National Monument, P.O. Box 219, 527 Main St. , Camp Verde, AZ, 86322, Phone: 520-567-5276

Additional Information:
Arizona National Forests, Parks and Monuments - This section includes the National Forests, National Parks, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites in Arizona. The Grand Canyon is the best known of these areas but there are many other spectacular sites.
Arizona's Historic Sites -
Central Arizona - Central Arizona, located in the middle of the state and north of Phoenix, features Prescott National Forest, Verde Valley Wilderness, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, and Dead Horse Ranch State Park.
Flagstaff Area - Flagstaff is a mountain town in north central Arizona. It is surrounded by the Kaibab and Cococino National Forests.

Montezuma Castle National Monument - Official Park Service Site


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