Earlier this spring my family traveled to the Verde Valley area of Arizona to ride the Verde Canyon Railroad and visit Montezuma’s Castle. For some reason I forgot to blog about it until I received a few inquires from readers wanting to know when I would be doing another post featuring historical architecture. Better late than never! 🙂
Here is sweet boy with Cubby the cub scout mascot. Cubby is awarded to various cub scout for a week throughout the year. He is supposed to accompany the scout everywhere.
Montezuma’s castle is an impressive 20 room, 5 story structure built 70 feet off of the ground. It is located in the recess of a white limestone cliff. The cliff dwelling was created by the Pre~ Columbian Sinagua Indians in the 12th to 14th centuries. The castle was named for the Aztec emperor by European Americans who mistakenly thought it was created by the Aztec people.
The Sinagua people built a series of ladders that allowed them access to the dwelling. Although you are able to walk amongst the ruins and foundations of other dwellings on the property, the castle itself has been closed to the public since 1951.
The Sinagua people left the area around 1425. The reason they abandoned the dwelling remains a mystery. Speculation lists possible illness, drought, or warfare with the Yavapai people. Modern Hopi clans can trace their lineage back to the Sinagua people and they occasionally return to the dwelling for religious ceremonies.
The trees on the property were just beautiful. The bark had a pattern unlike any I have ever seen before.
A view of the castle area from the river bank.
A view of the front of the train engine as it was passing by.
During the four hour trip we saw elk, rabbits, deer, and eagles. It was nesting season and boy do eagles make HUGE nests! There was also pretty scenery to be found such as the traditional red rock of Arizona.
It took me a long time to learn how to appreciate desert beauty. But I fully enjoyed the surroundings on this trip.