On the way, we stopped at a Vistors Center in Camp Verde, AZ, to get more information on Montezuma Castle. We were only a few miles away so we decided to go there first. Montezuma Castle is in the Verde Valley. The visitors center at the castle has displays explaining the early life of the inhabitants including weaving and pottery. The path to the ruins is only about .03 tenth of a mile on hard paved surface, easily accessible by the handicap.
It is said that the original structure was five-stories and occupied a cliff recess 1100 feet above the valley. It is assumed it was Aztec in origin hence the name Montezuma Castle.
A depiction of what the interior looked like.
A few feet away is Castle A which nudges a cliff base. This area is badly deteriorated. It was once a five story apartment building with about 45 rooms.
We headed back to the visitors center
Then headed to Montezuma Well which was a short drive from the castle.
The well is just 80 feet above the ranger station up a steep hill, however we found later that they had built a paved path that was a longer walk that was accessible by wheel chair.
I could see why the ranger called this an oasis in the desert. The well received less than 13 inches of rainfall, yet the Well contains over 15 million gallons of water. Everyday the Well is replenished with 1.5 million gallons of new water. It is like a bowl with a crack in its side, the water overflows though a long, narrow cave in the southeast rim to reappear on the other side at the outlet.
There is no fish in the well because they can not breath in the water. The water contains arsenic and high amounts of carbon dioxide. In the absence of fish, life has evolved like no where else on the planet. A tiny amphipod, a shrimp like crustacean, that is no bigger than your small fingernail, thrives.
Located above the Well
I am heading down to Swallet Ruins on waters edge
We decided not to go to the Outlet and headed back to the car and on to Sedona.
We came over a rise and I almost wrecked it was so beautiful.