Montezuma’s Castle

Over the couple years I lived in Arizona, I visited Montezuma’s Castle on numerous occasions. It was one of the easiest and more impressive places to show visitors. The cliff dwelling of the Sinagua people that dates back to the 12th century is one of the oldest and best preserved dwellings in the United States. The main structure is five stories tall and contains twenty rooms. The is absolutely no connection with the Aztec leader Montezuma. The name has just stuck. Although you can’t go up and see the structure up close, that only adds to its sense of timelessness. It seems as if the Sinagua have just hauled up their ladders and made themselves hidden some 90 feet up into the cliffs. Not only would the height be an effective defense against other tribes, it would help protect them from the flooding of Beaver Creek below. Though it’s inevitably a short stop along the highway North or South on I-17, the incredible presence of this place was obviously worth many return visits. espite the tourists, there is a sense of incredible stillness and calm.


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