We have enjoyed three days here in the Sedona area. It has been a busy week here just before Thanksgiving. Over the weekend we drove up the Red Rock Scenic Byway, which runs between Oak Creek and Sedona, through the massive red rock formations that the place is famous for. Each trail head we tried was parked to the limit. The only viable option was to park in Sedona and take the hiker shuttles. We chose to get an early dinner instead. There is always something nice to see in Sedona.
|From the left; Castle Rock (Red Butte), Bell Rock(Red Rock Sticking Up), Courthouse Butte Eagle’s Mountian), (Red Cliffs), Lee Mountian (Sheep Mountian). The name in (parenthesis) is the Apache name.|
We tired for the trailheads again on Monday, but alas, the same problem. It was wine tasting for us. It might take some serious strategic planning to take a hike in this town.
We did have Sunday to visit the Montezuma Castle National Monument. While Montezuma had nothing to do with the place, the Castle, built between 1000 and 1300 CE by the Sinagua people, is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the Verde Valley.
|The Castle had 20 rooms and was 5 stories high.|
|The remains of this dwelling, built against the cliff wall, were larger than the Castle, and a part of the larger community that lived here.|
|A walk to the Castle winds through a grove or Arizona Sycamore|
|The Castle was strategically located along Beaver Creek|
You can also visit the Montezuma Well located several miles distant. The wWell is a natural occurring spring that is part of the orgin stories of the native people of the valley. It also has several ruins along the rim.
|There are three ruins along the rim|
|A short walk down to the waters edge reveals another cave dwelling|
|On the walls here you can find faded pictographs. Here is a serpent in red.|
|Here, also in red, a human figure|
|Another short detour takes you to the most serene part of the park. This is the Well’s outlet. It flows into Beaver Creek.|
|The ancients put this water to use. This is the restored irrigation canal that channeled water to gardens below.|
|From the Well you can get an expansive view of the Verde Vally.|