Honanki Heritage Site and Loy Canyon

Cottonwood, AZ

This morning we took care of some business before heading out to do some hiking.  We purchased the Jeep in California and want to register it in Pennsylvania.  Of course, nothing is easy.  We called a tag service in York and they said you had to register an out-of-state vehicle in person, or give someone power-of-attorney to complete the transaction.  So we had to “borrow” a form from a web site, fill it out, and have it notarized.   When we told our daughter, Jessica, that she would be receiving it, her first question was to ask if it gave her the authority to “pull the plug.”  Now why she would want to do that is beyond us, but we made sure that authority was not included in the document, just in case she was serious.

After mailing the necessary papers, we headed toward Sedona to visit ancient Indian cliff dwellings at Honanki Heritage Site, about ten miles down a dusty, bumpy dirt road at the base of a series of cliffs.

Parking for Honanki Heritage Site

The Sinagua people, the main tribe we have seen at the other sites we visited in the area, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 AD.  Honanki was later inhabited by both Yavapai and Apache people. Pictographs dating between 1400-1875 AD can be attributed to these two groups. 

Dwellings are hidden when seen from a distance

Main dwelling area

Pictographs are a key feature of the site. Some of the pictographs were present before the caves were inhabited, dating back to 2000 BC.  However, most of the pictographs are additions from the Sinagua peoples dating between 900-1300 AD.

Honanki consists of two separate pueblos, suggesting two family or kin groups may have lived here, one in each pueblo. The circular shield-like pictographs above the eastern pueblo have been interpreted by some archaeologists as being a kin or clan symbol.

We left the Honanki area and stopped at a nearby trailhead to check out the Loy Canyon.  The trail was basically flat, a nice change after the vertical climb of yesterday’s hike up Bear Mountain.  But some of the views were very impressive.

After returning back to the Jeep, we headed toward Sedona.  Even then, we had to stop a number of times to enjoy the wide vistas on the horizon.

Since it was our last day in Sedona, we decided to treat ourselves to a meal at the Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant.  They had closed the upper deck due to cold temperatures (didn’t seem that cold to us – we don’t think the servers wanted to climb the stairs) but the view from our table by the window was pretty nice.

The view from our table

The view from the street outside the restaurant

After leaving the restaurant, we took a drive through a residential neighborhood.  The view seen from most of the homes was fantastic.  The picture below shows Coffee Pot Rock from a neighborhood street.

We don’t really want to leave Sedona, but have motorhome repairs schedule to be completed next week in Tucson, so it’s time to head south.  More on that later . . .

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2 Responses to Honanki Heritage Site and Loy Canyon

  1. Marsha says:

    Got to love that daughter of yours. She has a great sense of humor…I think!

    i don’t know why this blows my mind, but I just can’t get over that there were people here in the USA in AD. It just amazes me.

    Honanki Heritage Site and Loy Canyon are more wonderful sites. Again, so much beauty! You two are going to have a very difficult time figuring out your Top 10 for this year. What a wonderful dilemma.

    Safe travels back to Tuscon. I don’t think I would want to leave Sedona either.

  2. Erin says:

    I enjoyed catching up on your visit to Sedona and environs … visited many of the places you went to in 2001, including a dinner at Oaxaca. Hope to spend more time when we finally make it west again someday soon.

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