Arizona: Montezuma Castle National Monument & Sunset Crater National Monument (2014)

In May 2014, we spent Memorial Day weekend in the Camp Verde area. Camp Verde is a convenient jumping off point for visiting Flagstaff and Sedona areas.

One of the weekend days, we headed to Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde, then drove up past Flagstaff to the Sunset Crater National Monument.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

On December 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Montezuma Castle as one of the nation’s first four national monuments. Early visitors to the monument were allowed access to the structure by climbing a series of ladders up the side of the limestone cliffs. Due to extensive damage, public access of the ruins was discontinued in 1951.

Montezuma Castle reminds me of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico.

Long range view of Castle A, a pueblo ruin of the Sinagua people.
A closer look at the ruin.
Close up look at the ruin.
A sign on the trail near Castle A. There is a trail path to view the pueblo ruin.
Local foliage near the trail that caught my eye.

Once we were done viewing Montezuma Castle, we drove up to the Flagstaff area to Sunset Crater National Monument.

Sunset Crater National Monument

This is an easily doable trip in one day. Break up the journey with a meal in Flagstaff. Make sure you have your annual parks pass – entrance fees are covered by the pass.

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