Some views from atop the pueblo at Tuzigoot National Monument might make you wonder how on earth people chose this barren spot to live, and how they possibly scrapped out an existence here. But turn to the North and the East, and a whole different picture emerges. Tavasci Marsh, an ancient oxbow of the Verde River packs this section of valley with life, from cattails and cottonwoods to uncountable species of critters drawn to the plentiful food, water and shelter the marsh provides.
Sedona and Verde Valley adventures include things to do and see in Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Cornville, Page Springs, and Camp Verde.
The panel of petroglyphs is hidden from view, a large juniper obscuring the boulder located just before a narrow one-lane bridge that crosses Red Tank Draw. The petroglyphs are shallow and difficult to make out or distinguish from naturally occurring markings on the lichen-covered rock. But a few moments of patient study pays off and the figures and symbols emerge.
Standing in the cool, dark confines of a room that was built 1,000 years ago kicks the imagination into high gear.
Your common humanity with the people who slept, ate, argued and dreamed in this room surges to the surface of your consciousness, and time seems to simultaneously contract and expand.
On an arid and sometimes harsh landscape, water in all its forms is a sacred element. It is something to be worshiped, solicited, celebrated; an element of birth and rebirth, sustaining all life in a landscape dependent upon rains that seem to fall from one year to the next on the whims of gods, where prayers and ceremonies around water are a way of life and oral traditions about its sacred purpose are carried forward generation to generation.
Without water, existence is no longer a possibility.
One of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America is Montezuma Castle, a five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. Early settlers to the area assumed it was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born.