Visiting the Past in Northern Arizona

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

Ancient Ruins, Historical Sites and National Monuments in Northern Arizona

Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and explore the Ancient Ruins, Historical Sites and National Monuments in Northern Arizona! Flagstaff, the Verde River Valley and Sedona, Arizona are rich with history, from the history of the Native American Sinagua culture, to the Pioneers of Northern Arizona. You will find 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 for your exploration of the past. We have arranged them by location to help you plan a day trip to each destination. All of us at the 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.

Verde Valley History

Sedona, Arizona

Honanki & Palatki Heritage Site
Open 7 days a week (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

Fees: Red Rock Pass Required

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. 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. Pink Jeep offers and Ancient Ruin Tour of these sites. Read about our experience on the pink jeep tour here. For more information, and directions please visit the Coconino National Forest – Honanki Heritage Site.

• • • • •

Jordan Historical Park & Sedona Heritage Museum
Park and Museum open daily
 $5 Museum Admission

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. There is a $5 admission fee for the Sedona Heritage Museum. To learn more about the museum including current exhibits and special events, or directions please visit the Sedona Heritage Museum website.

• • • • •

V-Bar-V Heritage Site
Open Friday – Monday. Regular hours are (9:30 am – 3:00 pm)
Red Rock Pass Required

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. 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/Clarkdale

Fort Verde State Historical Park
Open Daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fees: Adults (14+) $5 Youth (7 – 13) $2 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 for anyone 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. When you look at the dwelling you can’t help but imagine the intellect and creativity the Sinagua people had to be able to survive in this desert landscape. You can feel the presence of the people that inhabited the area as you walk along the pathway surrounded by giant old sycamore trees and the flowing Beaver Creek.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…Read More

• • • • •

Montezuma’s Well
Open 7 days a week (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Fee: Free
Directions

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. Turtles seem to thrive in this particular environment. The Well itself is amazingly blue and hosts unique organism that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. 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….Read More

• • • • •

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. 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…Read More

• • • • •

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

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Seasonal Hours – visit website
Fees: Ages 16 and up $5.00 / Under 16 Free
Directions

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. Although we don’t know what they called themselves, archaeologists consider them representatives of the Sinagua culture. They were farmers, living in scattered groups adjacent to their corn fields. Their homes were pithouses, dug partially into the ground. 900 years later, Sunset Crater is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. The volcano’s red rim and the dark lava flows seem to have cooled and hardened to a jagged surface only yesterday. As plants return, so do the animals that use them for food and shelter. And so do human visitors, intrigued by this opportunity to see nature’s response to a volcanic eruption. Make sure to walk the Lava Flow Trail while you are there! For directions to this monument click here.  For more information visit Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.

• • • • •

Walnut Canyon National Monument
Seasonal Hours – visit website
Fees:$5
Directions

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! You will enjoy the scenic beauty the Rim Trail provided, but I have to tell you, if you can handle it, the Island Trail is the way to go! The Trail starts with a ramp type walkway down, then stairs taking you down further into the canyon where you will see cliff dwelling rooms along the trail with more visible across the canyon. The trail is paved making it a little easier to walk but I suggest if you have back problems, or a fear of heights, stick to the rim trail…Read More

• • • • •

Wupatki National Monument
Open Daily (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Fees: Ages 16 and up $5.00 / Under 16 Free
Directions

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. For more information visit the Wupatki National Monument.

• • • • •

Inn of SedonaA visit to Sedona can be anything you want to make it. Whether you’re interested in ancient cultures or hiking, wild animals or off road adventure, Sedona has something to offer. To save our guests time and money we’ve put together several great packages that make it easy to plan that Sedona getaway. To learn more about our Sedona hotel please visit the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

This entry was posted in About Sedona, AZ, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Sedona Historical Sites and National Monuments, Things to do in Sedona, Tuzigoot National Monument, V Bar V Heritage Site, Walnut Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *