The Sinagua, ancestors of the Hopi, lived in this area from approximately 1100 to 1300 CE and are believed to be responsible for the ancient architecture of Honanki Heritage Site. It is now part of the Coconino National Forest. Located about 10 miles outside Sedona Arizona, and 4 1/2 miles beyond Palatki Heritage Site, this is an interesting stop for anyone who enjoys visiting ruins of the people who inhabited this land long ago. You can easily combine the trip with Palatki Heritage Site, or make this a one-destination visit. Please note that Pink Jeeps offers the tour to Honanki only and does not stop at Palatki.
Presently, the site itself is maintained by Pink Jeeps, but try to ignore their commercial parking lot presence. On the day we drove in, their greeter, located just off the parking lot, was as personable as any Forest Service volunteer we’ve met. While drinking water is not generally available here, she offered it to us from her storage container. She also seemed very knowledgeable of the area and was eager to answer our questions about Honanki. They do not maintain a visitor’s center.
If you choose to take in Honanki Heritage Site via a Pink Jeeps Tour from Sedona your visit will include transportation to, and a guided walk of, the ruins. By driving yourself, the walk will be self-guided. Unless this is your first visit to Native Americans ruins, a tour seems unnecessary here. The walk is easy– a 3/4 mile loop that requires only a few steps of vertical rise to the ruins and rock art. The path, that begins at the parking lot, goes through a wooded area before reaching the red rock walls where the ruins are located. Although, much like that seen at nearby Palatki, it is just as amazing to see this striking architecture and artwork.
This is a beautiful area. Please respect it by taking nothing but pictures and leaving no more than your footprints. While these may look like ruins today, they are what remains of a once thriving community. We may not know much of the people who inhabited these ruins, but the archeological clues they left behind when they abandoned the area 700 years ago suggests they were a rich and thriving culture.
A Red Rock Pass is required for entry. No pets are allowed beyond the parking lot.
Reaching Honanki Heritage Site via Sedona:
Drive Hwy. 89A through west Sedona, continuing 5 miles beyond the last traffic light. After passing mile marker 365, turn right onto FR525 and follow the road for about 5 1/2 miles (bypassing the Palatki entrance of FR795) . The road will become more rough as you continue. After traveling over the cattleguard at the trail head to Loy Canyon, stay left past private property signs and continue on into the parking lot of Honanki. We suggest you call ahead to determine that the road is passable during winter months and in summer monsoon season. The Forest Service suggests these telephone numbers: Red Rock Ranger District at (928) 282-4119 Palatki Heritage Site at (928) 282-3854.