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Name: Honanki Ruins Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Hike Difficulty: (Easy)
Time: 30 minutes - hour (hike only) Region: NW Arizona
Length: 0.5 miles (max) Elevation gain/loss/change: +100 / -100 ft / +0 ft (loop)
Type: Loop Avg Elevation: 4700 ft
Best time to go: fall, winter, spring Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Medium
Danger/fear rating:Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: October, 2011
Short Description: A very short hike to some great cliff dwellings near Sedona
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Outlaw Trail Treasure; Mooney Trail Overlook; Robber's Roost
References / Contact Information: Coconino National Forest; National Forest Photo Album; Hike Arizona
Points of interest: Honanki Indian Cliff Dwellings, great views of Sedona's famous red rocks; no 4WD needed
Special Considerations: Requires Red Rock Pass. These can be purchased at any Ranger station, kiosks, Circle K's and many other stores in Sedona or Oak Creek.
How to get there: From Coconino National Forest website: Turn right on Dry Creek Road off 89A (south of the "Y", still in the town of Sedona) 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. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a wonderful short hike to a bunch of Indian cliff dwellings that's more about history than the hike. These are some of the best preserved cliff dwellings I've seen in a while and the rock art is outstanding.

General Information and History

From the Coconino National Forest website:

The Honanki Heritage Site cliff dwelling and rock art site is located near the town of Sedona in north-central Arizona. 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 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).

The Sinagua, ancestors of the Hopi, lived here from about AD1100 to 1300 preparing meals, raising their families, and making tools from stone, leather, and wood. Nearby they hunted for deer and rabbit, tended various crops, and gathered edible wild plants.


An interesting note about the difference between petroglyphs and pictographs: a petroglyph is rock art that's been scratched into the rock's surface, while a pictograph is rock art that's been painted on. Now you can impress (and correct) your friends!

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The Trail

The hardest part of this trail is actually getting to the trailhead (and that's easy too). The trail itself is short and easy and I don't need to have a description. If you get lost on this trail, you shouldn't be out of your living room :-)! There are a few steps, but for the most part it's flat and wide.

The main thing to think about here is respecting our history. Please don't disturb or vandalize the ruins. I know the site has been having significant problems with graffiti and if it continues, I wouldn't be surprised if they shut it down. Please, respect it!

Have fun and be safe!

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