Saturday, April 9, 2016

Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, Tuzigoot National Memorial and red rock near Sedona


We lucked out to get a pretty good day for sightseeing on Saturday, and a lot of other people felt the same way I think. The towns and national monuments were busy.

We started at Montezuma Castle which is only a couple of miles from the Cliff Castle Casino where we were parked. It costs $10 per person to enter, but we have the National Park Pass so it was free. There is a visitor center with displays. In 1933, "Castle A", a 45-50 room, pueblo ruin was excavated. Early visitors to the monument were allowed access to the structure by climbing a series of ladders up the side of the limestone cliffs. However, due to extensive damage, public access of the ruins was discontinued in 1951.The National Park Service has been fixing it and preserving it. 

Montezuma Well is about 11 miles from the Castle, via hwy 17. The Well area also has a dwellings. Montezuma Well contains over 15 gallons of water. Every day it is replenished with 1.5 million gallons of new water. The water flows through a long, narrow cave in the southeast rim to reappear on the other side at the outlet. There is a trail down to the water, 112 stairs. Another trail on the other side to the outlet, 45 stairs. There is also a pithouse ruin near the road. That week an owl had hatched some babies on the ledge and a ranger had a spotting scope there for people to see through. We didn’t have our zoom lens with us and I couldn’t get a good picture of it. 

Going to the next monument, Tuzigoot, is 27 miles northwest. We decided to do some sightseeing and go up to Sedona via highway 179 and then over on 89A. The red rocks at Sedona are beautiful in the sun. We tried to stop at some of the scenic areas for pictures or a hike, but every parking area was full. The traffic was crazy going through Sedona to get to highway 89A. We were at a standstill for a while, and at times going 5-10 mph. We did find a boondocking area off 89A. They were stacked pretty close. 

Tuzigoot National Memorial was 40 miles from Sedona. It also costs $10 per person, but I believe they said you could go to both memorials for one charge. (We have the National Park Pass.) They also have a visitor center with displays. Tuzigoot is the remnant of a Southern Sinagua village. The original pueblo was two stories high in places, with 87 ground-floor rooms. 

After we left there, we stopped at a Little Free Library in Cottonwood, about 3 miles from the monument. I love libraries!

You can click on any of the above pictures to enlarge them. For more pictures of our day, including brochures, please click here.

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