Honanki, which means “bear house,” is believed to have been one of the largest Sinagua communities in the Verde Valley. The Pink Jeep Tours Company is the official site steward. A representative of the company is at the visitor kiosk for you to sign-in and to answer general questions. A Red Rock Pass is required for parking. There are no guides at the site.
The Honanki ruins housed three separate cultures at different times in history. The Sinagua, Yavapai, and Apache Indians all resided in these
ruins over the past seven centuries. The ruins are remarkably preserved and still an active archeological dig site. The red rock canyons became
areas of intensive occupation with the construction of cliff dwellings. Honanki and Palatki are two of the largest and best preserved cliff dwellings in the Verde Valley. The Sinagua lived here from about A.D. 1100 to 1300. This period of Southern Sinagua prehistory is called the “Honanki Phase.” Honanki contains a more extensive set of ruins than Palatki. It represents one of the largest population centers in the Verde Valley. There were more than 60 ground floor rooms. There was another
whole row of rooms in front of what is visible today, which would bring
the total to 72 rooms, with various phases of construction and
abandonment. The Sinagua abandoned the site around 1300 A.D., about 50 years after they left Palatki.
The rooms at the east end were all destroyed simultaneously in a fire.
The rooms were disassembled and stones were used in the construction of new rooms elsewhere on the site, judging by burn-marked stones. There were at least three phases of construction in the alcove.
There is also a significant amount of rock art at the site, however, it is generally not as varied or accessible as that at Palatki. The rock art was done by the Sinagua and the Yavapai.
Honanki is open for visits seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The road to Honanki from the Palatki interchange can be very very rough, especially after monsoon rains. If you have a low clearance passenger car, you should call the Ranger Station to determine the condition of the road before heading out to the site.
Visit the Coconino National Forest Red Rock Country
website for more information.
Please be sure to acquaint yourself with the Site Etiquette guidelines before visiting the site.