Montezuma Well is located within the boundaries of the Montezuma Castle National Monument, but it is a separate unit and visitors will have to take the long way around. The easiest route to this destination goes from I-17 through the Beaver Creek Day Use Area in the Coconino National Forest. The dirt roads are well maintained in this area, so passenger cars can do the short trek. There are several other points of interest around Beaver Creek, so a full day of adventure can be planned.
Starting this day trip at the Beaver Creek Day Use Area and ending the tour with sunset views at Montezuma Castle is a good way to go about planning the excursion. The Crack Hiking Trail to the cliff diving swimming hole at Wet Beaver Creek is an all day affair, so camping in the national forest is a good option. For those who do not want to get their feet wet, the V-Bar-V Historic Site is located in this area and this learning experience compares to a walk in a park. All this can be done before arriving at Montezuma Well, which usually requires a few hours to tour. From there a visitor can take the Coconino National Forest scenic backroads to Montezuma Castle, which is far better than jumping on the highway.
Montezuma Well is a deceptive name, because this famous Aztec leader had nothing to do with this place and the small body of water actually is not a well. Montezuma Well is a massive sink hole that has an underground water source. The water percolating up is slightly carbonated, but toxins are present, so do not be tempted to fill the canteen. Montezuma Well features an ancient cliff dwelling pueblo overlooking the sink hole pond. The views are astounding to see, so plan on spending some extra time to take it all in. The remnants of a moderate size pueblo complex can be toured on the high ground and there is an ancient pit house example in this park too.
The Montezuma Well to Montezuma Castle tour adds up to a full day of quality oriented activities, plus there are opportunities to have some old fashioned fun in the sun. A lot can be learned about native culture during this day trip, so it is well worth planning. Montezuma Well is one of those picturesque places that must be visited at least once in a lifetime and ending the day with sunset views at Montezuma Castle is a memorable way to top it all off!
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*This website will be going through renovations soon. Separate destination articles will be combined after the videos replace the outdated photo gallery system. As many readers know, most of the writing was done on the fly while camping, so many articles read like a rough draft. The articles will be cleaned up and edited. Many of the old photos were straight out of the camera due camping limitations as well, so you will finally see full living color images, just like in the new videos. Another goal is to make navigating the index pages easier and condensing the articles will help. This website will continue into the future and your patience is greatly appreciated!
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