Palatki Heritage Site#10 in Best Things To Do in Sedona
For a glimpse of what life was like in the red rocks between A.D. 1150 and 1350, take a drive to the Palatki Heritage Site. These ancient cliff dwellings were once the home of the Hopi tribe and are now among the largest cave dwellings in the area. The pictographs that cover the walls of the site impress many visitors. Recent travelers also praised the informative and enthusiastic staff.
There are three hiking trails at the Palatki Heritage Site – one that will take you directly to the Sinagua cliff dwellings, one that leads you to a view of the dwellings and another to the pictographs. Each of these trails measures about 1/4 of a mile one-way and all are widely recommended by visitors.
To access the site, follow Route 89A west of the "Y" intersection, then make a right on Forest Road 525. Parking is available, but you will need to purchase a Red Rock Pass for your vehicle when you get there (a day pass costs $5 per vehicle). The site is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and reservations are required (plan to arrive 10 minutes before your reservation time). Admission and tours are free. Restrooms, a bookstore and drinking water are available at the visitor center. For more information, check out the Palatki Heritage Site website.
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#1 Hiking Trails
The region boasts more than 100 different trails, each offering its own unique experience. Most lead into the red rocks, offering intrepid explorers plenty of postcard-worthy photo ops. Travelers are enthralled with many of Sedona's trails, but one of the most popular is the Cathedral Rock Trail, which starts about 4 miles south of the "Y" intersection. Though it isn't the easiest trek, the trail does offer great views of one of Sedona's most notable red rock formations. Recent visitors said the effort is definitely worth the views. For a less strenuous journey that still promises Cathedral Rock panoramas, try the Airport Mesa Loop, an easy path located near the Sedona Airport. Other popular hiking trails include the Bell Rock Pathway, the Devil's Bridge Trail, Boynton Canyon and Palatki Ruins, which features several ancient Native American ruins and cave paintings.
When making your way to a trailhead, consider stopping at The Hike House, where recent visitors rave about the helpful and knowledgeable staff. This facility – located across the street from Tlaquepaque – is devoted to preparing Sedona hikers. Using their unique Trail Finder database, the staff members at The Hike House can help determine which trail is right for you based on your time frame and skill level. This facility also houses a shop specializing in hiking gear and a cafe chock-full of healthy treats. After stopping here, you'll be well dressed and energized to hit the trails. The Hike House also offers guided hikes; reservations can be made on the center's website.
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