Located near Rimrock, Arizona, Montezuma Well is a naturally formed limestone sinkhole. The vibrant blue-green waters of Montezuma Well cut a striking contrast against the surrounding shrubby desert landscape. The area is archaeologically, culturally and naturally significant, not least to the indigenous Yavapai people who hold it sacred because they believe they entered this world through it.
Montezuma Well measures 112 m (~367 ft) across and 17 m (~55 ft) deep. It is fed by two underground springs which pump 5,300,000 l (~1,400,000 US gal) of water through it each day. The highly carbonated water also contains high levels of arsenic, making it inhospitable to fish.
The well is not without wildlife, however. In fact, it is the perfect habitat for at least five completely unique species. The Montezuma Well springtail (a six-legged insect), the leech, a diatom (a form of algae), the amphipod and a species of water scorpion are found nowhere else in the world. Several other rare species are also supported by the well’s unique environment, including the Montezuma Well springsnail, alongside vertebrates such as the Sonora mud turtle and ducks.
Montezuma Well is a fascinating feature in this remarkable landscape, but there is also much else to see in the area. It is located some 11 miles away from the Montezuma Castle National Monument, and there are other archaeological sites even closer nearby such a pueblo ruins, Sinaguan cliff dwellings and an ancient irrigation canal, which can all be explored via the clearly marked trails.