Friday, March 24, 2006

A Visit to Montezuma's Well

Although Montezuma's Well is only eleven miles from Montezuma's Castle we somehow overlooked visiting this portion of the national park. So since we were out exploring Sedona and doing some geocaching yesterday we decided to stop by.

Montezuma's Well is a large limestone sinkhole created thousands of years ago when the warm, underground springs eroded the limestone rock causing it to give way and form the large basin. Each day 600 pounds of eroded limestone flows out of the well with the water into the adjacent creek through a small opening in the rock. The Sinagua cliff dwellers who lived here took advantage of the waters to irrigate their crops and their irrigation canals can still be seen here.

You can walk down into the basin to view the cliff dwellings on the other side of the Well and to see the small cave dwelling openings left at the base of the rocks and there is a 1/3 mile long paved trail that wanders through the grounds with interpretive signs explaining some of the geographical features and plant life you see.

There is no entrance fee for the park which is accessible from I-17 at exit 293. Just follow the signs for four miles to the entrance.

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