Getting to Montezuma Castle National Monument

Open every day of the year from 8am to 5pm besides Christmas Day, Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the Southwestern United States’ most visited national monuments. An incredibly well preserved prehistoric structure, these fascinating cave dwellings are well worth a visit. Read on to learn how to access Montezuma Castle National Monument. 

By Car 

Montezuma Castle National Monument is easily accessible by car. The monument is located an hour and a half north of Phoenix and 45 minutes south of Flagstaff. Simply follow I-17 and get off at exit 289. From there, continue east through two traffic circles and then turn left at the flashing red stop light onto Montezuma Castle Road. 

On Foot

Once you arrive at Montezuma Castle National Monument, there is a short, half-mile paved trail which begins at the visitor center and leads around the base of the cliff’s ruins. 

By Plane

The Phoenix, Sedona, and Flagstaff airports are the major airports closest to Montezuma Castle National Monument. Rimrock Airport is the closest to the monument, though it’s a much more minor private airport with fewer available flights. If you plan to arrive by plane, it’s best to then hop on a bus or drive yourself to Montezuma Castle National Monument. 

Basic Facts About Montezuma Castle National Monument

One of the continent’s best preserved cliff dwellings, Montezuma Castle National Monument is located in Camp Verde, Arizona. These gorgeous prehistoric structures are more than 800 years old and are composed of more than 5 stories of carved rooms. Montezuma Castle National Monument is a fascinating piece of history tucked away in the vast desert. 

History

The dwellings were created and used by the ancient Sinagua people between 1100 and 1425 AD. Montezuma Castle was named as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on December 8, 1906 via the Antiquities Act. When “Castle A” was renovated in 1933, it quickly became a popular American tourist destination. The castle is composed of 45 to 50 rooms, originally filled with ancient artifacts that allowed historians a deeper understanding of the area’s original inhabitants. Still one of the Southwestern United States’ most popular national monuments, Montezuma Castle welcomes 350,000 visitors annually. 

Landscape

Situated in the desert in the heart of Arizona, Montezuma Castle National Monument is perched atop a limestone cliff facing nearby Beaver Creek. One of the best preserved prehistoric cave dwellings in North America, the monument is comprised of 5 stories of nearly 60 rooms. Built high above the ground to protect from invaders and the annual flooding of Beaver Creek, Montezuma Castle was carved from limestone slabs as well as mud and clay.