About 15 minutes north of Sedona is Slide Rock State Park. You can come here and cool off in Oak Creek, and try out the natural 80 foot water slide that gives the park its name.
Below, Matt rides the slide while Jesse reads on the sidelines.
Jesse gets into the act below, taking a leap off one of the rocks.
Heading south from Sedona are Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.
Tuzigoot sits on a long limestone ridge above the Verde River floodplain.
Tuzigoot is the Apache word for crooked water, and is the remnant of a Southern Sinagua village, inhabitated between 1125 and 1400 A.D.
Not far from Tuzigoot is Montezuma Castle, a five-story, 20 room dwelling built in the 12th century by Southern Sinagua farmers. How'd they get up there? Ladders.
Built along the Beaver creek, the name Montezuma Castle is a misnomer. The first Euro-American explorers to see it in 1874 didn't believe the local indigenous people could have built such an imposing structure. They attributed it to the Aztecs; the center of the Aztec world was Mexico City, a.k.a. Montezuma. The name stuck.
The castle would have been agreat place to live; cool in summer, warm in winter. The elevation would provide some relief from biting mosquitos, as well as a nice creekfront view.
Montezuma Castle is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the United States, and was declared a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.
The National Park Service has more info about Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot at their website.
Scenic Oak Creek Canyon is next.
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