Honanki Ruins Sedona Arizona Day Trip

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Looking for something fun to do near Sedona and want a unique experience?

Honanki Ruins is the Sedona Arizona day trip for you if you enjoy adventure, history, and stunning views of Sedona red rock canyons in the Coconino National Forest.

Around 800 years ago the archaeological site known today as Honanki was home to around 200 people. These ancestors of the Hopi people were called the Sinagua by the Spanish (sin agua = without water) referring to the arid conditions.

The Sinagua lived in the area from around 1050 to 1350 CE.

Honanki Ruins Cliff Dwellings Sedona

Getting to Honanki Ruin

Address: 11750 N Loy Butte Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336

Honanki cliff dwellings site is located about 15 miles northwest of Sedona. On the way there you will see stunning views of Sedona red rock formations.

Palatki Heritage Site is also nearby, check the US Forest Service website to see if it is open again. At the time of this writing the site was closed, with no set re-opening date.

Forest Road 525 is dirt and gravel and mostly like a washboard. It took me 45 minutes (in a Toyota Yaris) to travel the 10 miles to Honanki ruins.

Forest Rd 525 to Honanki Heritage Site

From Sedona 45 minutes

Take Hwy 89A west and when you pass mile marker 365 turn right onto Forest Road 525 and continue for 10 miles. Watch for signage to Honanki Heritage Site. You can also access Palatki Heritage Site from Forest Road 525 but check to make sure it’s open.

From Flagstaff 1 hr 45 minutes

Take Hwy 89A south to Sedona and west of town when you pass mile marker 365 turn right onto Forest Road 525 and continue for 10 miles. Watch for signage to Honanki Heritage Site. You can also access Palatki Heritage Site from Forest Road 525 but check to make sure it’s open.

From Phoenix 2 hr 15 minutes

Take I-17 north to exit 287 for AZ-260 to Cottonwood then take Hwy 89A north for 9 miles, towards Sedona. Turn left onto Forest Road 525 and follow it for 10 miles to Honanki Heritage Site.

Honanki cliff dwellings and petroglyphs

Pink Jeep Tours

If you want to visit Honanki Heritage Site but you don’t want to drive, you can arrange a guided tour from Sedona with the Pink Jeep Tours.

The Pink Jeep peeps have contracted with the Arizona Forest Service and they offer tours during regular hours plus tours before 9:30 am and after 3:00 pm.

Pink Jeep Tours cost around $100 per person and include transportation to/from the site and the tour guide will provide historical information about the Sedona cliff dwellings and answer your questions about the site and surrounding area.

Honanki Pink Jeep Tours

Fees and Hours

9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Permitted entry via Pink Jeep Tours are offered before 9:30 am and after 3:00 pm

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

Honanki ruin

Admittance Fee

Daily Red Rock Pass $5

Weekly Red Rock Pass $15

Daily and weekly Red Rock passes available for purchase from vending machine

America the Beautiful (US National Parks pass) is also valid for entry

There is a small office at the entrance where you check-in with the staff. Vault toilets are located near the entrance.

No pets and no food allowed beyond the parking lot.

Honanki entrance gate

Honanki Heritage Site

Take the Discovery Trail to the historic pueblo ruins or take the shorter and more level trail right to the Honanki dwellings site.

Visitor sign and trail marker Honanki site

Both the Discovery Trail and Honanki Ruin trail are short easy walks

Around 800 years ago the archaeological site known today as Honanki was home to around 200 people.

These ancestors of the Hopi people were called the Sinagua by the Spanish (sin agua = without water) referring to the arid conditions.

The Sinagua lived in the area from around 1050 to 1350 CE.

A mixture of water and mud holds the stone building blocks together.

The dwellings included some two-story structures and a larger community space for gatherings and celebrations perhaps.

Archaeologists documented more than 70 rooms at the Honanki Sedona ruins.

There are many pictographs and petroglyphs at Honanki ruins. Some predate the Sinagua people and some are from later on, by the Yavapai or Apache people.

Honanki ruins Sedona Arizona

Honanki pictographs

Who Lived at Honanki?

There is evidence of humans inhabiting sites in Arizona going back at least 10,000 years. The people of Honanki pueblo lived here from 1150 to 1350 CE. They are the ancestors of the Hopi people.

The Sinagua were hunters and farmers that grew beans, corn, cotton, squash. They also created pottery and petroglyphs; you can see some on the side of the canyon.

It is not clear as to why the people at Honanki moved away from this location. The Hope people believe the migration from the Honanki site to Hopi was part of a planned, and sacred, migration.

Honanki Pueblo

Camping Near Honanki Ruin

Driving along Forest Road 525 you will notice a lot of camping sites. Most of the sites are group camping sites.

These campsites are for dry camping and they are FREE!

The campsites closest to Hwy 89A fill up the fastest because easy access to the highway and getting to/from Sedona.

Forest Road 525 is like a washboard most of the way. But the further you drive the better the views get and fewer people.

Off Road Trails

You’ll see several OHV trail markers while driving down Forest Road 525. The parking area at Honanki Ruins is the start of the Outlaw Trail, a scenic 23 mile loop trail for high clearance vehicle such as jeeps, ATV, or dune buggies.

Off road vehicles like this one are common around Sedona

Snakes Lizards Birds

The sign at the start of the trail to the Honanki redrock canyon warns visitors to watch for snakes, as this is their home. Rattlesnakes are common in Arizona. Do not try to approach or touch any snakes.

Be aware of snakes at Honanki ruin

I didn’t see any snakes on the trails, but I did see several lizards at the Honanki Ruins.

Birdwatching is a popular activity around Sedona and the Verde Valley. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spot any of the birds common in this part of Arizona.

Watch for canyon towhees, gila woodpeckers, phainopepla, cardinals, roadrunners, and more.

Here’s a link to the Friends of Verde Valley birding trails map and list of birds in the area.

Lizard on a red rock Sedona Arizona

Enjoy visiting Honanki Heritage Site and exploring Sedona Arizona!

Looking for a Sedona hike with beautiful views of the red rocks? Little Horse Trail is a great trail for hiking and cycling.

Want to enjoy the outdoors but escape the heat of Sedona? Check out the West Fork Trail at Oak Creek Canyon for a wonderful hike along a creek, in the shade!

Flagstaff is another Arizona city I recommend you spend at least a few days – it’s a great base for exploring the area, including Sedona. Read my post about the best day trips from Flagstaff.

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Honanki Ruins Archaeological Site Sedona

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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