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Beneath Secret Mountain: The Palatki & Honanki Ruins

Arizona Winter Loop | Saturday, February 4, 2023

After spending the last seven days in Arizona it was unfortunately time to start heading home. But first, we would be spending this morning visiting a couple ruins and rock art sites in the Red Rock Wilderness near Sedona. This would be our very first time in the Sedona area, and even though we knew it would be a little more popular and crowded than we would like we were a little interested to see what this area was all about. Before we had left home on this trip I had booked the earliest tour at the Palatki Heritage Site for Saturday morning, and even though the site was closed at the time due to muddy roads, I hoped that it would be open by the time we got there, and thankfully it was! Since the tour did not start until 9:30am, we were able to sleep in a little later than usual before leaving our hotel in Camp Verde and making our way to the base of Secret Mountain.

Welcome to the Red Rock Country of Arizona.

Red Rock

Once the gate was opened we entered the Palatki Heritage Site and passed this sign along the road.

Palatki Stone Sign

This was our view of Red Canyon as we waited for the tour to begin near the small Visitor Center.

Red Canyon Walls

It was only a short walk over to the Palatki Ruins.

Palatki Ruins

Missing Walls

Palatki Alcove Ruins

Two Stories

Right Side Ruins

These large and faded pictographs high above the ruins were pretty cool.

High Shields

After leaving the ruins we hiked over to The Grotto to see all the rock art found there. There was quite a bit, but much of it was faded and hard to see.

Pictograph Alcove

Palatki Pictographs

Dark Panel

Next, we continued west along the cliffs to the large Agave Roasting Pit Alcove.

The Roasting Pit Alcove

There were plenty more interesting pictographs found around this area, too.

Big Shield

Pictograph Colors

Tall Panel

Agave Roasting Pit Pictographs

Once our tour had concluded we drove over to the Honanki Heritage Site so we could go on the self-guided tour to see the ruins and rock art found there.

Honanki Ruin

Honanki Ruins II

Honanki High Pictographs

Honanki Flute Player

Before we started our long drive home, we visited a couple lesser-known pictograph panels and then drove through Sedona and up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. It was a nice way to end our week in Arizona and we look forward to returning!

Pictograph Panel


Bow & Arrow

White Panel

Pictograph Panel II

>> The Palatki & Honanki Ruins Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. SteveR
    SteveR February 16, 2023

    Thanks for taking us along on your Arizona journey with your excellent photography and dialogue! The downside is that it makes us long for the desert as winter continues in Alberta.

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