Palatki Heritage Site – Ancient Cliff Dwelling and Pictographs
Palatki Heritage Site – Ancient Cliff Dwelling and Pictographs – Sedona, Arizona – One of the great benefits of the arid climate in the southwestern United States is that it preserves ancient native American ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs.
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 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. There are two trails, each one is ¼ mile one way, so the round trip distance is one mile. The trail to the pictographs is fairly easy but the trail to the cliff dwelling includes about 50 uneven rocky steps. Good walking shoes are recommended. These trails are not wheelchair accessible. Vault toilets and water are available.
Palatki and it’s 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.
When you visit the Palatki site, make certain that you call ahead for reservations. Space and parking is very limited. If it happens to be busy, you may be disappointed when you are turned away. The site is open seven days/week from 9:30 – 3:00. Here is the number for reservations: (928) 282-3854. You will also need a Red Rock Pass to visit the Palatki Heritage Site. Make certain to pick one up before you go.
We made our visit to the Palatki Heritage site one of the stops on our journey around the Boynton Pass Loop Scenic Drive.
We also highly recommend a stop at Sedona Memories Bakery & Cafe for incredible sandwiches for a picnic. We greatly enjoy their home-made yumminess as we gawked at the beautiful surrounding in the Palatki Heritage Site.
To see even more photographs, here’s a Flickr link with literally hundreds of photographs of the Palatki Heritage Site.