But about 11 miles away visitors can experience a certain sweet atmosphere at Montezuma Well, especially the area near the outlet of this amazing body of water. Over a million gallons of 74-degree water flow from this natural limestone sinkhole (also called a pooled spring), through two underground springs. There can be a temperature difference of 20 degrees between the well itself and the nearby outlet.
“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,” says the National Park Service.
The Well was established in 1943 to protect prehistoric Hohokam and Sinagua sites and historic Apache sites surrounding the Well. It occupies 278 acres along Wet Beaver Creek upstream of the Castle.
“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.”
As the seasons change, this endangered riparian habitat of the Verde River serves as a migration corridor for many animals (through land and air). But for thousands of years, the Verde Valley was also a haven for the movement of people, providing the food and water all life needs for survival.
Do some research. Then, if you live in Arizona, plan an excursion to the castle and well areas. The castle and well are amazing in a visual way, and the outlet area is a peaceful sanctuary that allows you to relax and truly commune with nature. So many unique features.
Enjoy the huge Arizona Sycamores, which only grow in Arizona and New Mexico. It is synonymous with the beauty of the riparian landscape in many of the public parks and monuments of south-central and southern Arizona.
Take plenty of water, good hiking shoes, and be aware that the outlet area is mostly in the shade, but the hike from there to the well, and back to the Ranger Station, is totally in the open. Sunscreen and umbrellas?