Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and explore the past in Northern Arizona!  Visit Ancient Ruins, Historical Sites and National Monuments in the area. Flagstaff, the Verde River Valley and Sedona, Arizona are rich with history, from the Native American Sinagua culture, to the Pioneers of Northern Arizona. You will find so many places to explore and ignite the imagination of yourself and your children.

You will find everything from an amazing five-story cliff dwelling and well preserved petroglyph sites, to a self-guided trail exploring a variety of volcanic formations. Below you will find our top suggestions to help guide you on your journey. We have arranged them by location to help you plan a day trip to each destination. All of us at the Sky Rock Inn of Sedona are proud of all that Northern Arizona has to offer and we urge all our guests to get out there and explore the many diverse communities of Northern Arizona.

Sedona, Arizona

Honanki & Palatki Heritage Site
The Palatki Heritage Site and its sister site, Honanki, were the largest cliff dwellings of the Red Rock Country between AD 1150 – 1350. 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 (Badger House) and Palatki (Red House). The Hopi, however, have no specific names for these sites. There are three trails at Palatki Heritage Site, one trail that takes you up to the Sinagua cliff dwellings, one that takes you to a view of the dwellings and a third that goes to the alcoves that shelter the painted symbols, or pictographs from every native culture to ever occupy the Verde Valley.

Tips

These trails, each ¼ mile one way making the round trip distance one and one half mile, are fairly easy but they are not accessible to most wheelchairs. The area next to the cliff dwelling is limited to ten visitors at a time. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Before you visit, please call for reservations at 928.282-3854 and read the Archaeological Site Etiquette Guide. For more information please visit the Coconino National Forest – Honanki Heritage Site.

Jordan Historical Park & Sedona Heritage Museum
Park and Museum open daily (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Adults: $10.00 with Audio/$7.00 Self-Guided
Children (under 13):$3.00 with Audio/Free Self-Guided
Jordan Historical Park (4.80 acres) is located in Uptown Sedona near the end of Jordan Road at 735 Jordan Road. The park is open daily from dawn until dusk with no admission fee. The park features interpretive nature trails, picnic tables, a large fruit orchard and a museum. This park is the site of the former homestead of Walter and Ruth Jordan and the current site of the Sedona Heritage Museum. The focus of the museum is on the Pioneers of the Sedona area, from the earliest settlers in the 1870s through the heyday of western film making in the 1950s.

RimRock, Arizona

V-Bar-V Heritage Site
Open Friday – Monday. Regular hours are (9:30 am – 3:00 pm)
Fees: Red Rock Pass Required or American the Beautiful Pass
The V-Bar-V Heritage Site, acquired in 1994 by the Coconino National Forest, is one of the most well preserved and largest petroglyph sites in the Verde Valley. The petroglyphs that you see at this site are identified as the Beaver Creek Style. This rock art is truly amazing and the information gathered at this site has helped to define important characteristics of the Beaver Creek Style.

Tips

The V-Bar-V Heritage Site is about 18 miles south of Sedona, off of State Route 179 on National Forest Road 618 in Rimrock, Arizona. The petroglyph area is only accessible during scheduled visiting hours. For more information and directions please visit the Coconino National Forest-V-Bar-V Heritage Site.

Camp Verde, Arizona

Fort Verde State Historical Park
Open Daily from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fees: Adults (14+) $7 Youth (7 – 13) $4 Children (0-6) Fee
Directions
Fort Verde State Historic Park is significant as the best surviving assemblage of Indian Wars era military architecture in the State. Thus, the Park is important as a unique site for interpreting a cultural conflict crucial to the development of Arizona.  Several of the original buildings still stand and living history programs are scheduled periodically, giving visitors a glimpse into Arizona’s history. Due to their unique architectural and historic significance, all of the buildings at Fort Verde are listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. For information please visit Fort Verde State Historical Park.

Montezuma Castle National Monument 
Open Daily (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Fee: $10 (fee covers Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument)
Directions
This is a perfect Sedona day trip if you are interested in the history of Native Americans in Northern Arizona, specifically the Sinagua people. Dedicated in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, Montezuma Castle gives you an opportunity to travel back nearly a thousand years to a time when the Sinagua people inhabited this amazing five-story cliff dwelling.The Sinagua people are believed to have lived in this area for around four hundred years and then, for no apparent reason, they vanished. No one seems to have an answer for their disappearance. There are a lot of theories and conjectures, but it still remains a mystery to this day.

Also Include

Montezuma’s Well
Open 7 days a week (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Fee: Free
From Montezuma Castle head about 11 miles north on Route 17 to visit Montezuma’s Well (still an active spring). Montezuma’s well is a very unique limestone sinkhole with an extremely high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide You would think that would make this well void of any form of life, but that is not the case. One common amphibian you can almost always catch a glimpse of is a turtle. Relax and explore the trails, especially the trail by the Swallet Ruin! Montezuma’s Well welcomes you to explore, but please remember that the well is considered sacred by many local tribes, show respect for the environment you are in.

Clarkdale, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument
Open daily from (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Fee: $10 (fee covers Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument)
Directions The Tuzigoot National Monument is an ancient village or pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua in the 13th century and was excavated between 1933 and 1934 as part of the New Deal. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. The first buildings were built around A.D. 1000. The Sinagua were agriculturalists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles. The people left the area around 1400. The current site is comprised of 42 acres.

Tip

Take a few hours and discover the incredible legacy of an ancient people at Tuzigoot National Monument. A self-guided, 1/3-mile loop trail leads you around and through the incredible 110 room pueblo. The trail also offers outstanding views of the Verde River and Tavasci Marsh. Another 1/2 mile round trip trail takes you to a beautiful constructed overlook of Tavasci Marsh.

Flagstaff, AZ

Day Trip Note: Consider taking the Scenic Loop Drive: Sunset Crater Volcano is located along a 34 mile scenic loop road that takes you from open meadows and the beautiful Ponderosa pine forests surrounding Sunset Crater, through Juniper grasslands and view of the Painted Desert, to the open red rock landscape of the Wupatki Basin and Wupatki National Monument. Drive time along the Loop Road is about 1 hour.

The following fees cover entrance to both Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument for seven days.
$25.00 per passenger vehicle
$20.00 per motorcycle
$15.00 per cyclist or pedestrian

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Seasonal Hours – visit website
Sunset Crater Volcano was born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100. Powerful explosions profoundly affected the lives of local people and forever changed the landscape and ecology of the area. Lava flows and cinders still look as fresh and rugged as the day they were formed. But among the dramatic geologic features, you’ll find trees, wildflowers, and signs of wildlife – life returns. People had been living here for several hundred years, at least, before the volcano erupted. Sunset Crater is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau.

Follow with

Wupatki National Monument
Open Daily (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
From hunter-gatherers to farmers, herders, ranchers, and caretakers, many people have called Wupatki home. Less than 800 years ago, Wupatki Pueblo was the largest pueblo around. It flourished for a time as a meeting place of different cultures. Yet this was one of the warmest and driest places on the Colorado Plateau, offering little obvious food, water, or comfort.  The builders of  Wupatki and nearby pueblos have moved on, but their legacy remains. It will take about 2 hours to see five prehistoric pueblos. If you have less time, allow at least 30 minutes to visit the largest Wupatki Pueblo  located behind the Visitor Center.

Be ready for an amazing view

Walnut Canyon National Monument
Seasonal Hours – visit website
Fees:$15 covers 7 days
Experience  Walnut Canyon National Monument, once home to a vital pueblo community over 700 years ago that built their homes in shallow alcoves along the ledges of the canyon. Carved by Walnut Creek over a period of 6 million years the canyon is twenty miles long, 400 feet deep and 1/4 a mile wide. The canyon offers two trails, the Rim Trail that takes you on an easy beautiful stroll above the rim of the canyon and the Island Trail that is more strenuous. and descends 185 vertical feet into the canyon!

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