The locations of Montezuma's Castle and Montezuma's Well are close enough that both can be done in the same day, but we recommend doing them on different days so that things to be seen aren't hurried past or skipped all together. We did them both on the same day and had to make a return trip to Montezuma's Well to do it right!
Across the pond in the cliff face you can see pueblos. These were built by the Sinagua Indians during the same time period as Montezuma's Castle, 1100-1400 AD. The well is a sacred location for the Zuni, Hopi, and Yavapai Indians whose origins are linked with the Sinagua Indians that lived here.
This is an interesting pueblo. Through the doorway and to the back of the room is a rough opening that appears to enter further into a cave. You can see a similar opening to the back of the pueblo that would have been on the right!
Here is a pretty dragon or damsel fly. It was quite tiny.
Isn't the late day reflection in the water pretty!
On our return trip to Montezuma's Well we had the energy to explore the ancient irrigation system the natives created over 1,000 years ago! These steps down from the well's rim take you to the location where the well water exits from a natural 150' long underground passageway and reappears above Wet Beaver Creek.
This is the ditch as it proceeds downhill from higher up and closer to the rock hillside. The water in the well and irrigation ditch is said to be high in arsenic content and may have caused ill health if the people drank from it rather than from Wet Beaver Creek that it pours into.
The irrigation ditch is still used today by the community of Rimrock to water their fields and livestock! It appears that as this tainted water mixes with the creek water it must become acceptable for use!
Isn't this pretty with the long roots flowing in the water and the foliage growing in the rock crevices!
On the far right is the crevice where the well water resurfaces from its underground passageway through the hillside and is then captured by the irrigation ditch! Without the irrigation ditch, the well water would run directly downhill into Wet Beaver Creek.