View from Montezuma Well to Beaver Creek


D.F. Mitchell, Photographer Unknown inpr1402pe.jpg IN-PR-1402 B&W 1508-1402-0005 inpr1402pe Stereograph Print 3.5x7.5 Historic Photographs 1880s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Named Montezuma Well by the American troops who first discovered it, the desert oasis's mysterious waters and lush greenery provided a refuge from the summer heat and winter cold.  The same waters also provided the lifeblood for numerous civilizations, some of whose former dwellings, scattered about the rim and cliff walls, added to its mystique.

It was the kind of place that had sparked imaginations long before the first Americans laid eyes on it.  The pond may look somewhat shallow, as it's only covering the bottom of the sinkhole, but it's actually quite deep. There's a false bottom at 55 feet, formed from suspended, fluidized sand. The actual solid bottom varies: at the west spring, it's 124 feet down, while at the east it's only 74 feet below the pond's surface.


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