The colour purple
According to iamaccepted, Ironwood is the name given to the shrub-like tree that gave the National Monument its name. The Ironwood, which gives its name to the Ironwood Forest National Monument, is primarily found in the southwestern part of the state of Arizona in the United States. If its biotope requirements are met, it can occupy large areas. All in all, the Ironwood is quite inconspicuous in the course of the year, it only catches the observer’s eye when it is in bloom.
Ironwood tree in the Arizona semi-desert
Only in late spring does the tree bloom purple. Then he turns large areas of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona into a purple-red sea of color.
The Ironwood has an important function in the desert ecosystem. It serves as food for bighorn sheep and serves as a breeding ground for various hawks, pigeons and owls. It provides shade for all kinds of desert creatures during the great heat of the day, and it is also a good windbreak. For numerous insects of the desert, the ironwood is very important.
Ironwoods and cacti
Ironwood Forest National Monument is located northwest of the city of Tuscon. Other cities near the National Monument include Marana and Casa Grande. The Ironwood Forest National Monument was established in 2000. The size of the National Monument is 130,000 hectares. The sanctuary is very similar to that of the nearby Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Semi-desert Ironwood Forest in Arizona – Cholla and Saguaro cacti
Saguaro National Park is not too far from Ironwood Forest. In addition to the ironwood, cacti dominate the landscape, such as saguaro and cholla cacti.
Infrastructure needs improvement
There is only one paved road at Ironwood Forest National Monument, Avra Valley Road. There are also some unpaved roads. In the region of the national monument there is otherwise only barren farmland and a few scattered settlements. Camping is permitted and free almost everywhere in the Ironwood Forest National Monument area. Since there is no campground in nearby Saguaro National Park, many visitors to the National Park stay overnight in their tents or RVs in the Ironwood Forest area.
Hiking – learning – amazement
The easiest and best way to explore Ironwood Forest National Monument is to hike through the sanctuary. There is a good view of the area from the mountains of the National Monument. The most interesting area of Ironwood Forest is in the Silver Mine area. The Ghosttown “Silver Bell” is also located there. One should traverse the sanctuary with caution due to the presence of rattlesnakes.
Mine still in operation
The Ironwood Forest National Monument includes a working copper mine (silver mine?). Some ghost settlements from after the arrival of the white man can also be found in the sanctuary. Former residents of the area, Native Americans, have left drawings on rocks.
Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located in Arizona, between the cities of Flaggstaff and Phoenix. The National Monument is located in the Verde Valley. Montezuma Castle is a well-preserved limestone-hewn rock dwelling called Cliff Dwelling of the 12th-century Sinagua – Native Americans. Montezuma Castle was declared a US National Monument in 1906.
Montezuma Castle – Rock Dwelling of the Sinagua Natives – 12th Century
The Sinagua stayed in what is now Montezuma Castle for about 300 years; they lived from agriculture. The rock dwelling, about 30 meters above the small creek Beaver Creek, offered the Sinagua good protection from enemies and from the rigors of nature. Beaver Creek secured the water supply for the Natives. The Montezuma Castle complex has 20 rooms on five floors and is reasonably well preserved due to the arid climate.
False honor for Montezuma
The Aztecs of Montezuma certainly did not build these dwellings; Ignorance led to this designation. The first Europeans in the region were Spaniards. They thought the rock dwelling was an Aztec castle. The protected area of the Montezuma Castle National Monument has a size of 3.4 km². Near the National Monument there is a small visitor center with a library and a small museum. Visual access to the rock dwellings is via a loop trail along Beaver Creek.
Montezuma Castle – a path runs in front past the stone attraction
Montezuma Castle National Monument is accessible year-round. However, direct access to the rock dwellings is prohibited. You can only view the whole thing from the circular path at Beaver Creek. A little further away from the building complex described is another rock dwelling, which is not in the good state of preservation.