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Montezuma Castle National Monument

If you spend enough time in the desert, you will hear it speak.
— Nnedi Okorafor
Life in the Cliffs
Gaze through the windows of the past when you visit this unforgettable prehistoric example of housing ingenuity, hidden away in the stark and spellbinding Arizona desert.
Located in Camp Verde, Arizona, Montezuma Castle National Monument protects the well-preserved living spaces of the Sinagua Indians.

Like an ancient five-story apartment building, Montezuma Castle towers above the desert below, a stone-and-mortar marvel of early architectural engineering. Experts have determined that the Castle was built over three centuries and provided shelter for the Sinagua Indians during flood seasons. However, contrary to the belief of the European-Americans who discovered the structure, there’s no historical connection to the Aztec emperor for whom it’s named—the structure was abandoned more than 40 years prior to his birth.

Today, approximately 350,000 people per year visit the Castle, browse the museum, and stroll through the scenic sycamore grove. The towering trees offer welcome shade and a critical habitat for hundreds of native plants and animals.