Camp Verde, AZ 86322
- A few miles north of Camp Verde off I-17
- National Park
DescriptionNestled 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. It is the main attraction of Montezuma Castle National Monument. Early settlers to the area assumed that the imposing structure was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was actually 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."
To get there, take I-17 to Exit 289 just north of Camp Verde and follow the signs 3 miles to the park.
Winter: 8 am - 5 pm