April 23, 2016 (Saturday)
Today we went to Montezuma Castle National Monument off of I-17 just outside of Cottonwood, Arizona. There is $10 admission fee per person, but we were there over the National Parks Week and admission was free. You could also use your America the Beautiful Pass for free admission. The entrance fee also includes nearby Tuzigoot National Monument, which is a remnant of a Southern Sinagua village built between 1,000 and 1,400 A.D. The self guided tour on a paved path takes around 45 minutes to complete, and has information along the way. Dogs are allowed to on the trail with you as long as they are leashed. They have a spot for picnics along the river, but bring your own food or buy snacks at the visitor center. We were pleased that it wasn’t crowded, even for a Saturday morning during peak season. There is plenty of parking available in the lot.
The monument itself shows how the people in this area lived 1,000 years ago. The carved homes in to the rock overlooking the river. They relied heavily on water from the river, and the plants nearby to sustain themselves. Quite amazing considering how long ago they lived here.