Montezuma Castle - Western National Parks Association

Montezuma Castle

National Monument


On December 8, 1906, the National Park Service established this site as its third national monument dedicated to preserving American Indian culture. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival, and, ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape.

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Located in Arizona’s Verde Valley and encompassing more than 800 acres, Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the four original sites that President Theodore Roosevelt designated as national monuments in 1906 under the American Antiquities Act. President Roosevelt identified Montezuma Castle as a place “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest.” Historians believe that Sinagua women built the structures between 1100 CE and 1350 CE. A pre-Columbian culture, the Sinagua people lived near Flagstaff and Verde Valley—several of today’s Hopi clans trace their ancestry to the Sinagua, who lived in the area between 500 CE and 1425 CE. By the time Montezuma Castle National Monument was designated in 1906, treasure hunters and looters had damaged the structures and stolen many artifacts. Today, the monument works to preserve the important cultural and historical values of this place.

Stories from Montezuma Castle

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Distribution, Abudance, Habitat Use, and Breeding Ecology in the Verde River Watershed of Arizona
Monitoring the Removal of the Non-Native Slider Turtle and Evaluating its Effects on the Native Sonoran Mud Turtle at Montezuma Well (Year 1)
Testing the Efficacy of Acoustic Lures on Western Bat Species
Since our founding in 1938

WNPA has provided more than

$136 million

in aid to our partner parks to fund educational programs, initiatives, and scientific research

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist

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When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.