Montezuma Castle

Tucked in the mountains and just outside Sedona in the Verde Valley is the site where cliff dwellers once lived known as Montezuma Castle.  This six story dwelling with its 45 rooms is remarkably well preserved but seriously deteriorating.  It was built by the Southern Sinagua people in the 12th century using limestone, a soft material causing varying breakage over time.  Sinagua is Spanish for “without water”.  Historians can only speculate that they build so high in the rocky cliffs because the spot offered protection from the desert elements.   They cleverly wedged their lodgings in the rock, 100 feet above Oak Creek, which runs through the red rocks of Sedona and used as their water source.  The Sinagua people were hunters, gatherers and artisans.  They made their own stone tools and used the red rock materials that surrounded them for their pottery.  The Montezuma Castle Sinagua lived in their rock high-rise apartments for over 400 years before disappearing mysteriously.

Spirit bird watching the place?


  1. Looks to me like an interesting place to snoop around in. I'm surprised that this ole' place is still there after so many years have passed. Must be allot of things to see in the Sedona Desert. I've never been there. Informative Post on our Country's past Life. Thanks for posting.


  2. That place was beautiful and magical that day with the high country show runoff in the river bed and everything was sprouting green for springtime. There's a strange energy in that place that is both peaceful and wise but also you feel as if you're being watched, but it might have been the big blackbird who seemed to think the visitors were messing with his swell nesting place.

  3. Howdy Les, Arizona has many Indian ruins that you can explore. Many years ago we were able to walk a narrow path up to the dwelling wedged in the cliffs. But to keep it preserved, they only let you see if from a distance. I remember as a little girl going up there and it was amazing.

    Sis, not only was the ruins a fabulous site, but all the beautiful trees surrounding the area were remarkable as well. I did feel like many eyes were watching from above especially the blackbird who seemed to keep his peepers on us for some reason... hum.

  4. What an interesting place! Just fascinating.

  5. Great post. I'll have to add this to places to see list.

  6. Thank you, Julie. I don't have many happy memories of my mom. You brought back one with this post, though. On one of her visits when we used to live in PHX we took a day trip here. We got a cooler and packed a picnic and ended up having a really nice, no conflicts or drama, day out. I had forgotten about just what a nice day it was until I saw your pics and your post. Thank you for giving my heart a happy memory to recollect.


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