From 1000-1400 AD the verde valley was home to numerous villages. We had the opportunity to visit Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle while exploring the Sedona, AZ area.


The ancient village sits on top of a small hill was built by the Sinagua people. Planned that way to maximize the available land for farming and provide visibility to neighboring villages and arriving traders. They started building in the area around 1000 AD.

Composed of 110 rooms some 2 or 4 stories tall; the buildings were constructed with rock and mud. Overtime, the village sprawled as their population grew. Eventually they moved on and abandoned this site and others; most likely following nature and finding resources to live on.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Declared a national monument in 1906 it quickly became a destination for the autombile bound tourists. The dwelling overall contains 45-50 rooms with rooms along the cliff wall. It is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America but became damaged by over use. By 1951 public access using ladders was discontinued. Now, we can simply gaze at them from the a respectable distance.

Walking through these two monuments was very educational and just interesting. People centries ago lived and thrived here. They constructed buildings, farmed, cooked and raised their families. Doesn’t sound too far off from what most of us do, does it?