With summer quickly coming to an end for those on summer break, my good friend Reanna and I decided to take a day trip somewhere up north to escape the Valley heat, if only for a little while. We both agreed that Sedona would be the perfect place.
Leaving in the late morning, we began driving on the highway. We blasted our music and talked about everything, making the drive go by quickly. About an hour and a half into the drive, we saw a sign promoting Montezuma Castle. I have visited the castle many times with my parents when we would go on day trips when I was younger. Reanna, on the other hand, had never visited, let alone heard of the place. We decided to check it out.
Montezuma Castle is a cliff dwelling made by the Sinagua people over 1,000 years ago. It’s one of the most well-preserved dwellings in North America, and thousands of people come to marvel at how it was constructed and see how intact the apartment-like home still is.
After we walked into the state park, we headed down the path to look at the historic ruin. Even though I have seen it many times, the huge structure still amazes me. The dwelling is so high up on the limestone cliff, it’s unbelievable to imagine that people had to climb it every day.
While walking around the park, a park ranger informed us that another ranger was about to start talking to a group of visitors. Awesome, we would get to learn more about the Sinagua people and how they managed to build a house so far up from the ground. We walked and sat down, ready to be educated.
Well, the ranger didn’t talk about the cliff dwelling at all. Instead, he spoke to us about the dangers of rattlesnakes, strangely. I suppose Reanna and I are now well informed on that subject.
After taking one last look at Montezuma Castle, we got back in the car and headed down the highway. We made another stop at Montezuma Well, which is 11 miles north of the cliff dwelling.
The well contains over one million gallons of water that flows in daily and was a water source to people and animals for thousands of years. There are smaller cliff dwellings surrounding the walls of the well, and it must have been a serene, beautiful place to reside.
After climbing down to the water and exploring around the ruins, our stomachs were growling. We agreed to drive to beautiful Sedona and get some lunch.
Reanna and I ate at Wildflower Bread Company, and the food was delicious, especially the potato cream cheese soup. With our hunger completely gone, it was time to explore the area.
After visiting a few stores, we drove to Highway 89 and went north. This winding, scenic road is absolutely stunning. It twists and curves around red rock cliffs and is so green, with towering trees and water on the side of the road.
After gazing at the gorgeous scenery, we parked our car on the side of the road and went down to Oak Creek. We climbed down some rocks and put our feet in the freezing water. The area surrounding the creek is so peaceful and relaxing; the water flows over river rocks and creates a soothing sound.
After spending time at the creek, we climbed back up the rocks and decided it was time to head home after spending almost the entire day exploring.
We hopped back on the highway and began heading home, but first we stopped at a stand on the side of the road and bought organic apple cider. It was delicious, and we drank it on the way home, reminiscing about our fun and enjoyable day we spent sightseeing.