Montezuma National Monument provides families with a singular look into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. From a 20 room high-rise apartment to Montezuma Well. Junior Ranger program available.
Passes are available at a discounted rate of $8.00 for both Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments. If you are planning on visiting both parks, ask for this discounted pass when you purchase your entrance fee at either park. There is no entrance fee for visiting Montezuma Well.
We stopped at this to see the ancient cliff dwellings. There is an easy 1-mile loop walk with plenty of shade & benches for resting. There is an awesome free Junior Ranger Program here (as with every national park) that encourages the kids to look beyond the obvious. The booklet contains several age-appropriate activities & took us about 30 minutes to complete. When you turn it in, you are sworn in by the Park Ranger & given a badge. Super-fun, educational & gives the kids something to do other than looking at something that might not hold their interest too long. Be sure to stop at the Indian Fry Bread stand on the side of the road for a treat!
Anyone traveling up Interstate 40 towards Sedona, Flagstaff, or the Grand Canyon should definitely take the time to stop at Montezuma's Castle. It is amazing how a short 10 minute drive off the highway can take families back in time.
The Singua people built and entire village into the side of a sheer cliff face beginning around 700AD. Montezuma's Castle is an incredible site seeing it in person will leave you wondering how they did it. Kids can participate in a Junior Ranger program which requires them to complete a booklet (with age appropriate activities) to earn their badge. I love the program because it engages the children and helps them really learn about the incredible history that surrounds them. Truth be told, I learned quite a bit while helping my kids complete the program.
Good to know: You can't actually go inside the castle because they are trying to protect the site from vandalism but the wall along the cliff face and nearby river is quite pleasant. If you decide to go to nearby Tuzigoot NM be sure to save your receipt. You will receive discount admission at the second monument you visit.
Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour at this location.
I went to Montezuna Castle several times as a kid and loved it. I always thought it was neat to see that castle so high up on that mountain and try to imagine living there all those years ago. In the past you were able to actually go into the castle but because of vandalisiam you now have to observe the castle from the 1/3 mile loop below. Expect an entrance fee for adults but the kids still get in free!