Monday, May 15, 2017

Catching up... Sedona - 8. MONTEZUMA WELL

"The Well is a place like no other.  It shows us the power of water to affect land, life and people. It is an oasis in a harsh desert, home to species found nowhere else.  It is a peaceful pond, yet is is also the setting of a nightly struggle between life and death. And it is the ancestral home and a place of great power for Native Americans whose fore-bearers lived here."  Quoted from the National Park Service flyer.

This was another interesting short trip to see how and where Native Americans lived many years ago.  One of the cultures to build here was probably the Hohokam, who lived alongside one or more cultures who had been in the Verde Valley even longer.

By the 1100's, the people of the Sinagua culture began building small dwellings in the cliffs around the Well.  Over time, they built more than 30 rooms along the rim.  Their Pueblo here was one of the 40 to 60 villages that dotted the banks of the waterways throughout the valley.

By 1425, the people had migrated to other places, but the Hopi, Zuni and Yavapai all recount oral histories of their ancestors living here.  The Western Apache, as well, have revered this landscape for centuries.

(The above was also from the National Park Service flyer.)  Very interesting place and history.

Every day, the Well is replenished with 1.5 million gallons of new water. Like a bowl with a crack in it's side, the water overflows through a long, narrow cave in the southeast rim to reappear on the other side at the outlet.

There was a duck down in the water - a Mallard?  From Wikipedia:  At least five endemic species are found exclusively in Montezuma Well: a diatom, the Montezuma Well springsnail, a water scorpion, the Hyalella montezuma amphipod, and the Motobdella montezuma leech — the most endemic species in any spring in the southwestern United States.  Snails, water scorpions, leeches...  YUK!  He must have liked  them, because he kept ducking under to feed.

Montezuma Well is a beautiful, very peaceful place, even with sightseers wandering around.  I saw  that cool caterpillar shown above inching along the path. We walked down the shaded path to the water, where I found the room in the the rock wall with the door (below the caterpillar pic).  I was pretty close to it, and was able to see inside.  The rest of the rooms/dwellings were built high into the cliff walls.  These ancient people must have been great climbers!  I wondered if the lower dwelling was built for expecting and new moms or the elderly people who couldn't climb up to the cliff houses. 

This was well worth a visit - no pun intended - and free, too!  Here's a link to find out more if you are interested:  Wikipedia info for Montezuma Well.

From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!   😎💧🤓💧😎


  1. You are exploring wonderful places hope someday we can get there too !
    Thanks for the great pictures and info.

  2. Did you get a drink from the well? Lol!

  3. Thanks Barb for the additional information. We are already planning on stopping there this fall on our way to Quartzsite.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. The well is so beautiful! You've sure been keeping yourself busy too!


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