The Sedona area is full of surprises and interesting places. Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot are three really interesting places are not far from Sedona. These are ancient ruins left by people who lived there between 1,000 and 1,400 AD.
The hilltop community at Tuzigoot overlooks the entire valley. The Visitors Center contains models and artifacts from the community as well as details about the people who lived there. The ruins are a very short walk from the Visitors Center and it appears that they are in the process of restoring one of the rooms. The original pueblo was two stories high in places and contained 87 ground floor rooms.
Montezuma Castle is what remains of the homes of the cliff dwellers. I found the ruins fascinating because they are build high into the cliffs. Accessing the living area from the ground must have been a bit of a challenge given the height of the dwelling and the simple construction of the ladders required. While there is not much left of the ruins it is still fascinating to see how these ancient cliff dwellers lived.
Montezuma Well is a very small, natural lake sunk into the rock formations. One side of the well contains the ruins of an ancient dwelling built into the sheer sides of the well. While the well is impressive the most impressive area lies a few minutes from the well. From the parking lot take the trail at the Ranger Shed up to the well. After admiring the well continue on the trail for a couple of minutes. You will see stairs on the left that descend to the well area. At the bottom of the stairs is a trail that follows the stream that flows from the well. The path is below a tree canopy with rock walls on one side. This peaceful and beautiful place is a complete contrast to the desert area only a few steps away.