Beaver Creek Field Seminar
Available year-round on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday
Wet Beaver Creek is a perennial clear stream that flows all year through a very lush and scenic desert canyon. Flowing on a twisted course through the Mogollon Rim, Wet Beaver Creek meanders through a sheer canyon of Supai sandstone and shale. Beaver Creek flows past the sites visited on this seminar.
The first stop will be the Yavapai-Apache Nation Cultural Center and the monumental sculpture to "The Exodus." The Beaver Creek watershed is sacred to several Native American tribes, including the local Yavapai Apache people. Yavapai and Apache history spans several hundred years in the Verde Valley at a minimum. The tribes generally coexisted, as two culturally distinct groups in the country surrounding the Verde River. In the case of the Yavapai, they extended westward from the Verde Country out into the low desert bordering the Colorado River and for the Tonto Apache, eastward from the Verde River towards the White Mountains. Both groups ranged as far north as the Grand Canyon for resources and south to the Phoenix Basin. Today, reservation lands are in Camp Verde, Rimrock and Clarkdale.
The second stop will be Montezuma Castle National Monument. The Castle provides visitors with an excellent example of Sinagua architecture. Evidence of permanent dwellings like those at Montezuma Castle begins to appear in the Verde Valley about AD 1050, though the Sinagua culture may have occupied the region as early as AD 700. Construction of the Castle probably occurred gradually, level-by-level, over many generations. The region's population likely peaked around 1300 AD, with the Castle housing between 30 and 50 people in at least 20 separate rooms. We will visit the several structures at the Monument in addition to the Castle.
We will continue to the third stop, Montezuma Well. Montezuma Well, a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument, is a natural limestone sinkhole through which some 1,500,000 US gallons of water emerge each day from an underground spring. The ruins of several prehistoric dwellings are scattered in and around the rim of the Well. The earliest of the ruins located on the property is a "pithouse" that dates to about AD 1050. More than 50 "rooms" are found inside the park boundaries. The rooms were used for living space,food storage and religious ceremonies.
START: We start at 8:30 am in the Archaeology Center for an overview - leaving the Center promptly at 9:00. You should plan to arrive no later than 8:00 to check-in. Park in the rear parking lot.
LENGTH: 3-4 hours
TRANSPORTATION: We use a stretch van and take no more than 10 passengers. Each van has comfortable seating, heat and air conditioning and tinted windows.
PRICE: $125 per person includes transportation from the Center, water and Monument admission fee. Members and their guests receive a 15% discount.
GROUP SIZE: We can schedule a field seminar with a minimum of 2 participants and maximum of 10. A private tour can be arranged with pick-up at your location with a minimum of four participants.
DIFFICULTY: All trails are paved. Montezuma Well, however, has sections of many steps or steep inclines.
Additional information on the seminars, such as required clothing and supplies, can be found in the Details page.