Thursday, November 30, 2017

Montezuma Well

November 23 (Thursday)

First thing today we moved the trailer to a different campsite. Our previous site was a 'buddy' site which is designed for two camping units to park 'door to door'. This double site was previously booked for a family weekend so we moved to a pull through single site. It didn't matter to us as the new site had a bit more shade and privacy. For our trouble the Manager gave us a free night.

This was Thanksgiving Day in the US. We knew the roads would be busy, but also that many stores would be closed including some of the tourist sites. We took a gravel road north out of Camp Verde (Road 618) that ended at the V bar V Petroglyph site. Unfortunately the site is closed on Thursdays (not just because it was Thanksgiving, but every Thursday). It was a nice drive though, and we will go back another day.

We weren't too far from the Montezuma Well National Monument so we went there. Yes, they were open but only until 3PM. A couple of very nice volunteer interpreters gave tourists the lowdown on the site.

Sacred Mountain. It looks like an overturned boat. There are Sinaguan ruins on the top.

Now this is a boondocking site!

The 'well' is about 50 feet deep, then a layer of sand and sediment of another 40 or 50 feet, then the rock fissures of unknown depth to the water source. The outlet is through more rock fissures that exit into the valley. The ancient people built a canal to harness the outflow to water their crops. More modern farmers also used the canal for their own irrigation purposes.

How do these trees grow from the rocks!

Male American Wigeon

American Wigeons

Outflow from the well disappears in cracks in the rocks.

The 'Well'

Canal of the outflow water. Note Beaver creek on the far left. Two sources of water for the valley.

The exit out of the rocks and into the canal.

Beaver Creek

A very interesting site. Of course there are cliff dwellings here as well.

Sacred Mountain in the distance. Apparently there is a large site of ancient dwellings on top of this mountain.

A very interesting tree. The Arizona Sycamore. The bark looks like camouflage. Huge beautiful trees!

We drove back through the small town of Rimrock and had a look at some of the residential homes there, then headed across I17 toward the town of Cornville. Unfortunately nearly all businesses were closed for the Holiday and we decided to head back to Camp Verde via Cottonwood.

Another gorgeous sunset….. Our View From Here


  1. Thanks for the tour Dave, it has been some years since Ray and I visited this place.

  2. It was a nice drive around the countryside there, glad you enjoyed it, Love your sunset photos.