• Montezuma Castle's prehistoric dwelling

    Montezuma Castle

    National Monument Arizona

Getting Around

Montezuma Castle

Visitors on the trail at Montezuma Castle

Visitors on the trail at Montezuma Castle.


An easy 1/3 mile trail takes you through a glade of white-barked Arizona sycamores to the base of one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Take your time as you stroll the paved sidewalk past the 900 year old legacy of the ancient Sinagua culture. The towering trees provide welcome shade during the hot summer months as well as valuable habitat for hundreds of native plants and animals. Rock squirrels, songbirds and lizards are easily spotted along the trails, even during the hottest parts of the day.

Montezuma Well
Exploring Montezuma Well along a 1/2-mile paved trail is an experience you aren't soon to forget. This unique geological feature is home to creatures found nowhere else on the planet. The presence of so much warm, fresh water provides an oasis for a wide variety of wildlife, including mammals (muskrat, ringtail, rock squirrels, white-tail deer), over 100 species of birds, snakes, lizards, and a tremendous assortment of insects, arachnids and amphipods. This rich ecosystem was also the reason why people have chosen to make this their home for over 1,000 years. Ancient cliff dwellings, pueblo ruins and pithouses can all be seen within and around Montezuma Well.

Did You Know?

Visitor climbs ladder to MOCA in 1946

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.