Really a must-see while in the Sedona area, this easy-to-access, native American wonder was so worth the side-trip.
About a half hour south of Sedona near Camp Verde, along Bever Creek, this National Monument (since 1906) is one of the best preserved Cliff Dwellings in North America. Built and used by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people, It was occupied from approximately 1100-1425 AD, it's occupation peaking around 1300 AD. A sofisticated complex, the structure comprises 20 rooms on 5 levels (floors) and was likely occupied by about 50 people. Carved in the limestone cliff, the Sinagua were courageous builders - using primative tools for construction and accessing the entire site by ladders. We really do not know exactly why the Sinagua abandoned the complex, but their ancestors still live in the region. Several Hopi Clans trace their roots to the Sinagua and the Beaver Creek area. Neither part of the monument's name is correct. The Sinaqua dwelling was abandoned 100 years before Montezuma was born and the Dwellings were not a castle. It was more like a "prehistoric high rise apartment complex". ~ Paraphrased from Wikipedia
A three exposure HDR, 1/800s, 1/400 s, 1/200 s, ISO 100, f/9, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM @ 26 mm