Dial 9-1-1 in Emergencies
Call to report accidents, fires, or life-threatening emergencies. Cell phone coverage exists throughout most of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well units of the monument.
Remember to stay on the trail while at Montezuma Castle and Well. That will greatly help in keeping you safe!
Even though our trails are short, water is a big issue in the Verde Valley. We are also at 3500 ft of elevation, and people lose water more quickly, the higher in altitude they are.
On hot, dry, summer days, you should drink 1 quart of water per hour of hiking. Our humidity in the desert is low. You may be dehydrated and not even realize it. Drinking water before hiking can help reduce the risk of dehydration, as well as drinking during the hike (don't wait until you feel thirsty). Bring Electrolyte replacements such as salty snacks, (your body can not only suffer from lack of water, but lack of sodium electrolytes as well.)
In addition to water and resting, what you wear is important for a visit to the desert. Even though Montezuma Castle and Well do not have long trails, it can get hot just walking back to your car! So: remember a hat and sunscreen at all times. Cotton clothing is often more comfortable than expensive gear, and remember to wear long sleeves to keep your sun exposure down, and arms protected from bushes. Finally, temperatures in the desert drop drastically at night. So, pack some layers for viewing the amazing stars we have here in the Verde Valley!
Hike within your ability and rest often. Take a note from the desert's residents, and stay indoors or in the shade between 10am and 4pm! Be prepared to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses: dehydration, hypernatremia, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The CDC also has a prevention guide!
Many desert plants are spiny! Some species of cactus, such as Cholla, have barbed spines which detach easily and embed in skin. Others, like Prickly Pear, have glochids, that can be too tiny to see but still very annoying in your hand. Best not to touch in the first place!
Rattlesnakes do live at both Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. We like them because they help keep our rodent populations under control! Many people are afraid of them, and they are equally afraid of us! So, while they hide under a bush or rock waiting for us to pass by, please be aware of your hands. The best advice is to not put any body-part anywhere your eyes haven't been first!