It was a nice drive to the north and west of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. We didn't realize how high up in the mountains we'd gone until we saw snow on the side of the road!
I thought I'd been there before with the boys years ago, but as soon as I arrived I knew I hadn't. I had no idea how big and high it is.
Montezuma Castle is neither a castle nor had anything to do with Montezuma. It was built between 1100 and 1425. It was abandoned 40 years before Montezuma was even born.
It is 5 stories high, with 20 rooms, and is 90 feet up built into the limestone cliffs above Beaver Creek.
Why did they go to so much work to build this "apartment" complex? Even dragging up logs for the roof supports.
It is speculated that it was for protection from both the flooding creek and from enemies. They even posted a lookout at the top of the structure to watch over the farmers and hunters below.
It was quite a complex. I wonder what it was like when it was bustling with people living their everyday lives carving out a place for themselves in the desert.
Wandering back to the visitor's center we went by these trees along the creek. They were so white they looked like winter camouflage...
Our admission to the "castle" included admission to a second site: Tuzigoot National Monument. It was only 35 minutes away. We had to go...
Tuzigoot was a 2 to 3 story pueblo with 110 rooms built between 1125-1400.
There were not many doors but they used ladders and trapdoors...
The view was pretty nice, too.