Montezuma Castle

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Montezuma Castle in Yavapai County, Arizona. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

If you go, be sure to continue a few miles north to Montezuma’s Well, the other part of Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. It’s a low mound with a path up to the top. When you get to the top, you see a hole in what you thought was a hill, with water filling the bottom. It’s roughly 600 feet deep! . There are stone dwellings next to the water, in the sides of the hole. There is an outlet on the outside of the hill called the Swallet. Trees, birds, and a cool shaded creek await. Amazing sight.

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Under the current administration, we can be thankful there are no coveted natural resources here, or this monument would be toast.

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When I first saw it, we approached from across the valley on horseback. You could see it from miles away. When you enter the monument via the visitor center, you are much closer when you first see it and gives the impression that it was hidden. In fact it’s hard to miss when approaching

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Thanks all for sharing these tips and thoughts :fist:

When the Anglo explorers first arrived in the Southwest, they could not believe that the Native Americans were capable of constructing sophisticated structures like Montezuma Castle. Ditto with those at Aztec Ruins National Monument, which is located at Aztec, NM. That’s why they deduced that the structures must have been constructed by the Aztecs from Mexico. And why they used names for the structures that indicated the incorrect origin. Even though we know better now, we have not corrected the names. I wonder if anyone cares.