Ready for an adventure in Sedona? The drive to Sedona’s cliff dwellings is an adventure in itself- Palataki & Honanki Heritage sites both showcase Arizona’s ancient civilizations.
Before You Go: Palataki & Honanki Heritage Site Overview
Traveling to these two cliff dwellings requires a little bit of planning. If you want to visit Palatki the only way to do so is to take a tour. Tours are limited to 10 people per tour.
Tickets are limited and you’ll need to reserve ahead of time. There is no fee for the tours, however there is a $1.00 per ticket reservation fee and you will need a Red Rock Pass to park.
Reserve your tickets at Recreation.gov – Palatki Heritage Site Tours
There is a pit toilet, but no other facilities. Don’t forget to bring water and in addition either print or take a screen shot of your tickets as internet is spotty.
Where is Palataki & Honanki Heritage Sites
How to Get to Palatki and Honanki Cliff Dwellings
From the “Y” in Sedona drive West on 89A for three miles and take a right on Dry Creek Road for two miles. Continue on Boynton Pass Road for one mile and follow the road south (left) for two miles
Best Time to Visit Cliff Dwellings
We visited the cliff dwellings in the month of April.
Spring is a great time of year to visit the cliff dwellings. The weather is pleasant this time of year and flowers are in bloom.
Summer is not the best time to visit Palataki & Honanki. Once the weather reaches 100 degrees or higher tours are suspended. Heavy monsoon rains can also suspend tours.
Fall is a great time of year to visit the cliff dwellings. The weather is nice this time of year.
Winter: is a good time to visit the cliff dwellings. Cooler weather makes it hike. However, heavy rains or snow melting can limit access on the dirt roads to the cliff dwellings. Tours may be suspended if this happens.
How to Get Around Palatki and Honanki Cliff Dwellings
To visit the cliff dwellings you’ll need a car. Alternatively, if you’re only interested in seeing Honanki Cliff Dwellings you can take a guided jeep tour from Sedona.
Visit Palatki Heritage Site: Sedona Cliff Dwellings
When the directions include dirt roads you never know how rough the road will be or how much longer it might actually take so we left an hour early. We allowed 1.5 hours to arrive at Palataki from our hotel in Sedona and arrived with about 20 min to spare, so we didn’t need to leave quite as early.
Near the parking lot is a restroom and machine to pay for parking. If you have a Red Rock pass you won’t need to pay for parking. The dirt path will guide you from the parking lot to a little white house.
Since we were early we were able to join the first tour of the morning. Our group was an elderly couple, a couple from California and a family from Minnesota for a total of 10 with us.
You start your tour in the small gift shop where you will get a brief overview of the area, taken to the start of the path and handed off to our volunteer tour guide. The total hike is about one mile in length.
With the red dirt beneath our feet and a gradual climb in front of us we started the tour to the Palatki ruins. It starts out level and then gradually climbs up natural stone steps. We came to an area of flat rock and proceeded up another stone staircase.
A quick hike and we were at the base of the Palatki Cliff Dwellings. Considering the elements and age of the ruins they are in amazing condition.
Our volunteer guide detailed what daily life was like for the residents of Palatki.
The second part of the tour is to view hundreds of petroglyphs. Follow the path back towards the beginning of your tour and rather than turning to go towards the parking lot you can continue straight up a gradual hill to a cliff.
In a few minutes we reached the top by the Grotto and met our next guide on the tour. From here we’re able to view ancient drawings that span hundreds of years.
Petroglyphs tell a story. These two sites have an amazing collection of petroglyphs.
Before you leave Palatki stop by the white house again and view the short video to see the waterfalls.
Honanki Heritage Site
The drive to Honanki Cliff Dwellings is just six miles from Palatki, however the road is rough and it will take 20-30 minutes to get there. While you can get to Palatki without the need of a higher clearance vehicle it is recommended to have one for the six-mile drive between the two cliff dwellings.
Just like Palatki, the Singua people called Honanki home nearly 1,400 years ago. For the first 900 years or so they lived in pit houses on the flat area of land beneath the cliffs and then eventually built the cliff dwellings you can see today.
An unshaded dirt path leads you into the scrub brush eventually a gradually climbing shaded path. The loop is just over a half mile.
Similar to Palataki we winded our way up the path and just behind the trees we have a glimpse of Honanki ruins.
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