The Honanki Ruins consist of the remains of a number of ancient cliff dwellings and examples of rock art found roughly 20 miles from the heart of downtown Sedona, Arizona. Scholars believe Honanki Ruins to have been the home of the Sinagua people (ancestors of the Hopi) between 800 and 900 years ago. The majority of the pictographs found on-site are attributed to the Sinagua, although some of them are believed to date all the way back to 2000 BCE. For all these reasons and more, Honanki Ruins provides visitors with a nearly unparalleled glimpse into the rich cultural and natural history of the Southwestern United States.
Honanki Ruins History and Background
To the best of their current knowledge, scientists believe that the archaeological treasures on display at Honanki Ruins can be accurately dated to anywhere between 1150AD and 1350AD. Like the Palatki Ruins found nearby, in more recent times the Honanki Ruins were initially studied at some length by the Harvard-trained archaeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes. Working for the Smithsonian Institution around the end of the 19th Century, Fewkes was an early advocate for the conservation and preservation of this invaluable historic site. It was Fewkes who gave the Ruins their modern name: Honanki, which means “Badger House” in the Hopi language.
What’s at Honanki Ruins
Today Honanki Ruins—which are themselves located within Coconino National Forest—are operated and protected by the United States Forest Service under the umbrella title of Honanki Heritage Site. Honanki Heritage Site is open 7 days a week, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, between the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm.
A great way to experience Honanki Ruins is via Pink Adventure Tours’ Ancient Ruins tour. Pink Adventure Tours, with their iconic pink jeeps, is the exclusive tour operator for Honanki Heritage Site. They offer a 3-hour guided tour of Honanki Ruins that departs from Sedona 9 times each day; it runs every hour, on-the-hour, between 7:00am and 3:00pm. All throughout the Ancient Ruins tour you’ll learn about the natural history of the area around Honanki and the culture and day-to-day lives of the Sinagua people; there’ll even be a 45-minute-long hike near the historic site itself.
Honanki Ruins are located near a significant number of other attractions and amenities. Just six miles south of here you’ll find Honanki’s sister site, Palatki Ruins.
The ruins at Palatki Heritage Site also consist of the remains of ancient cliff dwellings; there, though, you’ll also find a small Visitor Center and bookstore. Farther afield, the world-famous town of Sedona is only approximately 20 miles to the southeast, where you’ll encounter a wide variety of remarkable natural attractions and a whole host of nice restaurants and suitable accommodations.
Tips for Visiting Honanki Ruins
- In order to park at Honanki Heritage Site, your car must display the appropriate pass. This pass can be purchased on-site at a vending machine; a day pass usually costs about $5. However, please be aware that typically these vending machines do not accept anything but credit cards.
- There is not any water available on-site at Honanki Ruins, making it imperative that you bring your own water when you visit, no matter what time of year it is.
- Pets are not allowed anywhere on the grounds of Honanki Heritage Site. If you are traveling with pets, the only place they will be allowed is in the parking lot.
- Honanki Ruins is occasionally forced to close due to wet weather. As a result, if rain is the forecast for the date you plan to visit, it’s probably a good idea to call ahead and make certain that the site has remained open.