The Sinagua Indians of the Verde Valley left many prehistoric ruins for Arizonans to visit today. The Sinagua, the name given to these Native American people by the Spanish Conquistadors and which means “without water”, were the dominate culture in the Verde Valley between 500 - 1300 A.D.
Some of the Sinagua ruins, like Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot, are U.S. National Monuments with thousands of tourists visiting each year. But there are lesser-known Sinagua sites to visit that are not national monuments but equally spectacular. One such site is called Honanki.
The Sinagua are believed to be ancestors of the Hopi people. Honanki is a Hopi word that means “bear house.” The Honanki ruins are some of the largest Sinagua ruins in the Verde Valley with over 30 ground floor rooms located under a cliff. Parts of the ruins were once two to three stories in height.
The architecture of Honanki is impressive but the petroglyphs and pictographs found there are quite special. The ancient flute-player, Kokopelli, stands watch over the site. Glyphs of ancient hands remind today’s visitors of those who have gone before. Spirit and animal petroglyphs are found throughout the site.
Evidence found at Honanki indicated that the site was also used by the modern Yavapai Apache people. The name Yavapai means “people of the sun.” A second ruins close to Honanki, called Palatki (meaning “red house”) indicates similar cultural use.
The Archeological Resource Protection Act of 1979 protects all historic sites of Arizona, including Honanki. Any disturbance of a historical site or collection of artifacts is against the law. Take only pictures and leave only footsteps are the laws for all of Arizona’s historical sites.
Honanki is located between the towns of Cottonwood and Sedona. Visitors to Honanki should travel north from Cottonwood, on Highway 89A toward Sedona. About 1/2 mile beyond mile-marker 364, turn left onto Forest Road 525, the Loy Butte Road. Follow the signs on a good dirt road for 10.2 miles to the parking area for Honanki.
A one-day, $5.00 Red Rock Pass is required to visit Honanki. For more information about where to buy a Red Rock Pass, visit the following web site: http://www.redrockcountry.org/.
The GPS coordinates for the parking lot of Honanki is N 34 56.190’ W 111 56.060’. An easy 1/8-mile hiking trail leads to the ruins. For more information about Honanki, visit the following web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/honanki-ruins.shtml
|A real Kokopelli pictograph.|
|Pictographs of ancient hands.|