Beaver Creek has always been a major focus of life in the Verde Valley. Prehistoric Sinagua farmers constructed Montezuma Castle and other structures near the creek. They dug ditches to carry creek water to irrigate the fields of corn, beans, squash, and cotton they cultivated on flat patches of creek-bottom land. They also hunted animals attracted by the creek, and gathered creekside plants.
Ever-sensitive to the moods of Beaver Creek - because their lives literally depended on it - the Sinagua watched their lifeline change with the seasons. Sometimes - seemingly in the blink of an eye - the gentle, clear meander grew into a raging, muddy torrent, leaving debris stranded high in creekside trees.
For Montezuma Castle's Sinagua residents, there was no dropping by the market to pickup a last-minute staple or two. If plants were needed, the Sinagua either had to grow them or find them already growing. An ancient tradition of living off the land taught them how, when, and where. Look for markers along the trail that identify some of the plants the Sinagua used. [Marker show Hackberry, Arizona sycamore, and Yucca]