Montezuma's Well

Stop 5

Our original plan was to visit Stoneman Lake, a stop you may have noticed on our map. In a good field trip, however, you must be flexible. The students had such a positive experience at Grand Falls that we didn't have the time to drive over and back to Stoneman Lake - a total time of 2 hours. So, we dropped by this limestone formation just 10 minutes off the I-17 and let 'em run off the last of their steam. It was a good break on the way back to the big city.

Directions - Coming south from Flagstaff on I-17, as you enter the Verde Valley, follow the signs. The site is about 10 minutes off the highway.

Background - This area is home to the Verde Formation, a Cenozoic calcite-rich rock formed from the 'photosynthetic activity of freshwater plants.'(Nations, 51) Note: Most limestone is deposited inorganically as a slow precipitate when CO2 is drawn out of the atmosphere.

The National Park Service has provided a good geologic explanation on their trailside signs, so click on the images for the geologic background.

Introduction | Verde Salt Mine | Schnebly Hill | Overnight | Cinder Cones | Grand Falls