Palatki Ruin

Palatki Ruin

Palatki has the best ancient dwelling that you can get close to in the Sedona area. The small canyon that it sits in is also amazing. If you have any interest at all in archaeology both Honanki and Palatki are absolute must see sites. They are both free to visit with a “Red Rock Pass”, short and easy 1/4 mile walks on well maintained dirt paths. Give yourself about 3 hours to fully absorb both sites. I recommend going as early as possible. That way you can still fit in another hike!

The following is from the Coconino National Forest Service website:
“Red Rock Country-Palatki”

Palatki Heritage Site – Ancient Cliff Dwelling and Pictographs Sheltered by Colorful Cliffs of Red Canyon
The Palatki Heritage Site cliff dwelling and rock art site is located near the town of Sedona in north-central Arizona. Currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service under the Red Rock Pass Program, the site is open to the general public for visits seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). A small visitor center and bookstore, run by the Arizona Natural History Association, is located a short distance from the parking lot.

There are two trails at Palatki Heritage Site, one trail that takes you to the view of the Sinagua cliff dwellings, and a second that goes to the alcoves that shelter the painted symbols, or pictographs from every native culture to ever occupy the Verde Valley. These trails, each ¼ mile one way making the round trip distance one mile, are fairly easy but they are not accessible to most wheelchairs. The trail up to the cliff dwelling is closed because a crack developed at the top of the arch immediately over the cliff dwelling in July 2010. Plans are underway to build a trail and viewing platform to improve the view of the dwelling. Good walking shoes are recommended.

Palatki and its sister site, Honanki were the largest cliff dwellings of the Red Rock country between A.D.1150 – 1300. They were first described by Dr. Jesse Walter Fewkes, famous turn-of-the century archaeologist from the Smithsonian Institution, who gave them the Hopi names of Honanki (Bear House) and Palatki (Red House). The Hopi, however, have no specific names for these sites.
Before you visit, please call for reservations at (928) 282-3854 and visit our “Archaeological Site Etiquette Guide”. (Click on “Overview/Background” in the right column)
Pets are not allowed beyond the parking area at this heritage site.

Operational Hours: Open 7 days a week, 9:30 to 3:00.
If there has been rain or snow recently, it is recommended that you contact Palatki or the Red Rock Ranger District at (928)-203-2900 to learn the condition of the roads to the Site. If the roads are impassable, Palatki Heritage Site will be closed; signs indicating the closed status will normally be posted at key access points.

Call Palatki at (928) 282-3854 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to make a reservation. Reservations help the Forest Service manage the number of visitors who are at the site at one time.

Fees: A Red Rock Pass (or equivalent) is required on all vehicles parked at our Cultural Sites. This pass can be purchased here. If you are headed for Honanki, be sure to pick up a pass on the way, as they don’t sell them there.


From Sedona: Travel through west Sedona on Hwy. 89A, turn right onto Dry Creek Rd. There are signs at every intersection that will direct you towards Palatki. At the end of Dry Creek Rd, turn left onto Boynton Pass Road (FR 152C). At the next stop sign, turn left again. In a couple of miles, the pavement will end and you should continue on the rough gravel road for three miles until you reach another T intersection where you should turn right. It is 2 miles to Palatki from this intersection. These roads are generally passable to passenger cars when dry, but it is not regularly maintained by the County and has some rough and rocky stretches.

An alternative way to access Palatki is to take Hwy. 89A through West Sedona and continue past the last traffic light for five miles. Just past mile marker 365, turn right onto Forest Road 525. Go north for 5 miles and when F.R. 525 bears left, continue straight ahead onto Forest Road 795 for two miles. This road will lead directly into the Palatki parking lot.

From Cottonwood: Take 89A north from Cottonwood. About 1/2 mile north of mile marker 364, turn left onto a dirt road (Forest Road 525 to Forest Road 795; passable for passenger cars when dry), and drive 7 miles to Palatki Heritage Site and the parking lot.