Montezuma Castle got its name from white settlers who assumed it had been built by the Aztec and was home to the Aztec emperor, Montezuma. However, they were wrong. This 5 story, 20 bedroom building is carved into the limestone cliff in Camp Verde, Arizona and was built by the cliff-dwelling Sinagua Indians. It still stands today as a National Monument.
If you choose to go here it is $10/adult and your ticket is good for 7 days and gives you entrance to Montezuma National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument. With that all being said, if you get there an hour before closing they let you in for free and you don’t need more than an hour to visit this place.
From the entrance it is a very short walk to see the “castle”. It’s fun to look at and talk to your kids about what it would be like to live in such a place. From there, you take the small loop around the rest of the monument where there are several plaques to read that are very informative and there is a small replica that has a button you can push that gives you more information but other than that, there isn’t much else to see. We stopped by while we were passing through the general area after visiting the Meteor Crater. We got to the monument about 40 minutes before it closed and spent a total of about 25-30 minutes there which was plenty of time.
Overall my personal opinion is its not worth a long drive to see just this BUT if you are passing by the general area and have time to do a slight detour it is worth a one time visit. It is pretty impressive. I mean, how many houses are still standing 800 years later?! Also, don’t forget that if you have a 4th grader you can get your National Park Pass for free admittance into all National Parks and National Monuments.