Montezuma Well - Artesian Well, Black Canyon ,AZ
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poehunters
N 34° 38.952 W 111° 45.132
12S E 431068 N 3834399
Quick Description: Montezuma Well, a unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument, is a place like no other in the world. This unique geologic feature is located 11 miles from Montezuma Castle and is home to species of animals found nowhere else on the planet.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 8/1/2013 7:05:08 AM
Waymark Code: WMHPP4
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Tobix
Views: 9

Long Description:
This unique geological feature is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. A continuous water flow has created a lush, verdant oasis in the middle of desert grassland. Such a reliable source of life-giving water has lured humans for thousands of years, although Montezuma was never one of them.

Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument. Early settlers to the area believed that the exquisitely-preserved five-story cliff dwelling belonged to Aztec emperor Montezuma. In truth, the “castle” was built by the Sinagua and was deserted a century before Montezuma was born.

Yet the name stuck to both the ruins and the beautiful pond which measures 55 feet deep and 368 feet across. Subterranean springs replenish the well with 1.5 million gallons of water a day, an amount unvarying since prehistoric times. The water, which maintains an even temperature of 76 degrees year round, enters a swallet, or opening through which a stream descends underground. It flows through 150 feet of limestone before re-emerging from an outlet into an irrigation ditch. Sections of this ditch date back over 1,000 years.

The Hohokam were the first to establish permanent residence near the well, about the year 600 AD. They lived in pithouses and diverted water to grow crops. Around 1125 AD the Sinagua moved into the Verde Valley. They built more sophisticated cliff dwellings that can still be seen on the rock ledge above the well, on surrounding hillsides, and of course, the famous castle in the other portion of the monument. The Sinagua continued to irrigate crops utilizing the consistent water flowing from the ground.

Sometime around 1425, the Sinagua abandoned the area, leaving large villages deserted. Reasons for their departure remain a mystery but warfare, drought and disease are a few of the theories suggested. It is believed many Sinagua families moved north, eventually joining other ancestral Puebloan groups at the Hopi Mesas.

Today, visitors to Montezuma Well can savor a tranquil desert oasis, radiant with history. A paved trail leads to scenic overlooks of the well and sheltered cliff houses. Along the way, informational signs fill in the ecological and cultural details. The trail curves down into the recesses of the well for close-up views of more ruins and the swallet.

Circling back to the rim the path then drops through a shade-drenched corridor to the outlet, on a ledge above Beaver Creek. Under the lush canopy of Arizona sycamores and velvet ash trees, temperatures at the outlet are sometimes 20 degrees cooler than atop the well. It’s easy to imagine the Sinagua people enjoying the same soothing respite on summer days centuries ago.

A picnic area sits on a terrace below the well and nearby is another cultural treasure: a Hopi garden. For the first time in almost 600 years, Hopi corn, beans and watermelon are being grown at Montezuma Well. In a cooperative effort between the National Park Service, Friends of the Well, the Institute of Ecotourism and the Hopi Tribe, a traditional Hopi garden has been built at the monument.

The effort reestablishes the Hopi’s ancient connection to their ancestral lands in the Verde Valley. It also provides a chance for visitors to witness traditional Hopi agriculture. Seeds are handpicked from the ancient seed stock that are direct descendents of the crops grown by Sinagua farmers at this very place, using water from the 1,000 year old irrigation canal.

Hours: Open Daily: 8 AM- 5 PM
Phone: (928)567-4521
website: (visit link)

Visit Instructions:
• Include a photo of the Artesian Well.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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merlot visited Montezuma Well - Artesian Well, Black Canyon ,AZ 11/1/2014 merlot visited it
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