We've driven by the Castle scores of times, but the passing interest in the site never resulted in a highway exit. This summer, however, we decided to see our own backyard, and gathered up several often passed-by sites into a few days' vacation.
Don't get me wrong, Montezuma Castle is a beautiful, relaxing, and informative place. It is less than 10 minutes off the highway and extremely easy to find. The visitors center is informative, and the guides very helpful. I especially liked our little old volunteer guide who peppered us with his own version of events here. But although on can gaze at the cliff dwelling for awhile, it only takes about three minutes to take it all in. Since one may no longer actually go inside the dwelling, it would be nice if there were a floor plan or diorama, but one is forced to rely on one's imagination for anything past the walls.
We were traveling with our teenage children, and the entrance fee was $30 for the combined group. We could have seen a two-hour feature film for slightly more than that. I know, I know, this is priceless history and a bargain at that price, but when you're trying to see five different parks in the area and each one charges $5/head, it gets pretty expensive. Yeah, we bought the $80 pass, but at these walk-in parks (Tuzigoot, Montezuma, Sunset Crater, Wupatki) the pass only pays for the first four adults, and you pay another $5 for each additional. The Grand Canyon charges nothing for your whole car-load of visitors if you have the pass, and there's just a LITTLE more to see at the there.
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