Ancient Indian Dwellings and Petroglyph Rock Art
Montezuma Castle has been described as the best preserved and most dramatic cliff dwelling in the United States. These dwellings rise 100 feet above the Beaver Creek floodplain, and are a testimony to the resilience and innovations of the Sinagua Indians. Montezuma Castle is 90% original despite years of excavation and visitation. It is built into a deep alcove with masonry rooms added in phases. The roof was built of sycamore beams, reeds, grasses and clay which served as the floor for the next room built on top.
Montezuma Well is a natural sinkhole 368 feet wide, with cliffs that tower 70 feet above the water's surface. Every day 1.5 million gallons of warm water flows into the well, fed by large underwater vents, some as deep as 56 feet below the surface. The water exits the well through a cave 300 feet long, emerging into an irrigation ditch originally constructed almost 1000 years ago by the Sinagua Indians. Even today the well offers an oasis for visitors and wildlife.
Tuzigoot (Apache for "crooked water") is the remains of a Sinagua village which sits atop a ridge 120 feet above the Verde Valley. The original pueblo was two stories high is some places and had 77 ground room floors. Most of the rooms that remain are partially preserved walls a few feet high. The largest dwelling, on top of the hill, is complete with a reconstructed ceiling plus a ladder up to the roof. From the roof there are panoramic views in all directions. The visitor center has a nice display of Indian artifacts, most of which have been found on-site.
Palatki Heritage Site
Palatki (Hopi for Red House) Heritage Site is located just outside Sedona. There are two trails at Palatki, one trail takes you to the Sinagua cliff dwellings and a second that goes to the alcoves that shelter the rock art or pictographs. The trail to the pictographs is fairly easy but the trail to the cliff dwellings includes about 50 rocky steps. Palatki, and its sister site Honanki, are the largest cliff dwellings in the Red Rock country and is a fun day adventure while staying at our Sedona Boutique hotel.
Honanki Heritage Site
Honanki Heritage Site (Hopi for "Bear House") was built by the Sinagua around 100-1300 A.D. Honanki is located in a remote Red Rock canyon outside Sedona, just off an unpaved road. This well preserved pueblo is of masonry construction and is one of the area's largest, once having 60 rooms. Some of the walls still stand, while others are in various states of deterioration. Above the ruins are numerous pictographs, some of which predated the cliff dwellings by several thousand years.
V-B-V Petroglyph Site
V-Bar-B Petroglyph Site is the largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley and is one of the best preserved. The rock art site consists of 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 panels. Volunteers from the Verde Valley Archaeological society and the Friends of the Forest provide interesting interpretive tours and on site management. A visitor center with restroom and bookstore is located at the start of the easy half mile walk to the site. V-Bar-V is a short drive from our Sedona Boutique B&B style hotel.
Here in one of the warmest driest places on the Colorado Plateau, with little obvious food or water, people lived and others visited from far and wide. Trade items from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico have been discovered here. Eventually the builders of Wupatki and nearby pueblos moved on, but on trails, and through items left behind, you can let their stories touch you! This Pueblo is in the Flagstaff area. http://www.nps.gov/wupa/index.htm
Walnut Canyon Pueblos
Come gaze across the curved canyon walls! Among the remarkable geological cliff formations of the canyon itself, the shapes of the former homes of ancient inhabitants of Walnut Canyon are easily evident. On a hike along the Rim or Island Trails you can imagine what life was like along and within Walnut Canyon while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before us. http://www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm