DAY 12: VISIT THE HONANKI INDIAN RUINS & ROCK ART
The Sinagua, pre-Colombian ancestors of the Hopi, lived here from about AD1100 to 1300 preparing meals, raising their families, and making tools from stone, leather, and wood. Close by they hunted for rabbit and deer, tended crops, and gathered edible wild plants.
The Sinagua lived in an area between modern day Flagstaff and Phoenix. The last known record of Sinagua occupation for any sites are from around 1425. The reasons for abandonment of their home sites are not known, but warfare and drought have been suggested. Several Hopi clans trace their roots to immigrants from the Sinagua culture. The Hopis believe their ancestors left the Verde Valley for religious reasons.
The Honanki Heritage Site cliff dwelling and rock art site is currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service under the Red Rock Pass Program, the site is open to the general public for visits seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call the Red Rock Ranger District at (928) 282-4119 or Palatki at (928) 282-3854 before you go.
The site is a short hike from the parking area. Toilet facilities are available on site.
The road to the site can be a bit rough, particularly after a hard rain. I first visited the site in a rented Jeep (Barlow Jeeps) but you should be able to do it in most passenger vehicles, just go slow in the rough patches.
Honanki Heritage Site From Sedona: Take Hwy. 89A through West Sedona and continue past the last traffic light for five miles. Just past mile marker 365, turn right onto Forest Road 525. Follow Forest Road 525 for 9.5 miles. Just past the cattleguard at Loy Canyon trailhead you will bear to the left to go around some private property.
Alternatively, those with high-clearance vehicles and/or a sense of adventure can turn right on Dry Creek Road off 89A and follow the signs for Enchantment Resort/Loy Butte. At the road to the Enchantment Resort, turn left onto Boynton Pass Road (FR 152C), and follow the signs for Loy Butte/Palatki (FR 525 to FR 795, pass FR 795 and continue up 525 2.5 miles to Honanki). This road is generally passable to passenger cars when dry, but it is not regularly maintained by the County and has some rough and rocky stretches. The compensation for abusing your motor vehicle are wonderful views of the red rock formations that Sedona is so famous for.