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.
Directions: From West Sedona take Dry Creek Road and follow the brown directional signs. The road is partially paved but becomes a difficult gravel road in parts for cars. From Cottonwood, take FR 525 north. As you near the red rocks there is a fork in the road. Honanki is on the left fork. This section of the road is not recommended for passenger cars.
Hours: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm daily. The site is monitored by a site steward from Pink Jeep.
Fee: A Red Rock Pass or equivalent is required per vehicle.
Visitor Center: None
Toilets: Vault-type toilets are available near the parking area. Drinking water is not available.
Trail: A 3/4-mile roundtrip loop trail goes through a pinon-juniper forest that leads to the Honanki site. Near the site you can take the Discovery Trail offshoot, but either side of the fork leads to the ruins.
Wheelchair access: Only a small portion is which does allow access to the viewing Ramada.