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Montezuma Well

Montezuma Castle National Monument, Rimrock, Arizona 86335 USA

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“formed by the collapse of a limestone cavern”

Montezuma Well, a unit of Montezuma Castle, is located 11 miles from the park. Formed long ago by the collapse of a limestone cavern, over one million gallons of water a day flows continuously into the Well. This constant supply of warm, fresh water provides an aquatic habitat like no other in the world, and has served as an oasis for wildlife and humans for thousands of years. The legacy of the Sinagua culture surrounds you during a visit to Montezuma Well. From cliff dwellings perched along the rim to large pueblo ruins and an ancient pit house, the variety of these archeological sites is a testament to the ingenuity of these people. Take your time as you explore the trails at Montezuma Well and discover the tranquility of a site still considered sacred by many local tribes. The shaded forest along the trail near the swallet ruin and the outlet provides welcome relief from the unrelenting Arizona sunshine. The temperature difference at the outlet can be up to 20 degrees cooler than along the rim of the Well, making it easy to imagine the people of the Sinagua culture spending the hot summer days in this tranquil setting. The constant supply of warm, 74 degree water was the life-blood of the people who made their home here. Over 1.5 million gallons of water flows into the Well every day, a rate that has not fluctuated measurably despite recent droughts throughout the state of Arizona. This water enters a "swallet" near the end of the trail into the Well and flows through over 150 feet of limestone before re-emerging from the outlet into an irrigation ditch on the other side. Sections of this ditch date back over 1,000 years. The value of this water is recognized still today, as many residents of nearby Rimrock, AZ, rely on water flowing through the irrigation ditch for their gardens and livestock.

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Reviewed by

  • 10 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
February 17, 2015

Had a good walk around. Short trails. The well has some very interesting science behind it. Well worth a stop

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
September 02, 2014
Rated 5.0

Went here with my four kids (ages 7,5,4,3). They had a blast. I actually enjoyed this site more than Montezuma's castle. Be sure to hike down to where the well drains out and where it enters the canal.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
February 23, 2014

Great views!! Just dnt forget to bring water and hiking shoes!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
April 16, 2017
Rated 5.0

This was our favorite of the 3 sites in the area. (Tuzigoot is our least favorite, Castle was ok but very busy)

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Reviewed by

  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 06, 2017
Rated 4.0

Nearby Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments, you can experience all three parks in one afternoon. Fascinating well that proved to be crucial to survival of several cultures proven in the cliff dwellings that line the rim of the well. Along with the well and cliff dwellings, interestingly, in the absence of fish due to arsenic and high levels of carbon dioxide, there are five species that "exist nowhere else on the planet". If in the physical condition to handle steps, take the paved path down to the swallet ruin for a totally different view. At the park ranger's building, you will find a pamphlet on the well, but at the top of the well there will be a ranger to answer questions and point out various observations. The path down to the ruin is narrow so please keep others in mind when bringing dogs.


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Reviewed by

  • 10 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
April 02, 2015

Was better than the actual castle.

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Montezuma Well

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Rimrock, Arizona
86335 USA

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  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
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