Frequently Asked Questions
What does Sinagua mean? Why are they called the Sinagua Indians? The name “Sinagua” comes from the two Spanish words “sin” and “agua”, and means “without water”. The Ancestral Puebloan culture that lived and farmed in the Flagstaff area hundreds of years ago was named the “Sinagua” by archeologists because of the absence of water in that area. When archeologists began studying the culture that had lived here in the Verde Valley they realized that the people here were also members of the Sinagua culture.
How old is MontezumaCastle? The construction of Montezuma Castle began around 900 years ago and was abandoned about 600 years ago.
Why can’t we go into the castle? The castle is hundreds of years old and would not be able to withstand the impact of hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Liability issues also prevent us from being able to allow visitors up on the cliff. (Visitors were allowed into Montezuma Castle until 1951. Visitors were allowed into Castle A until 1978.)
Did You Know?
Up until 1951 visitors climbed a series of three ladders to enter the dwelling at Montezuma Castle National Monument. That same year Interstate 17 was completed and visitation skyrocketed. Concerns for both safety and the structure (which is 90% original) led to the removal of the ladders.