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Are you thinking of the Arizona Flagstaff, are you thinking of the Indian ruins? Before I stayed at Flagstaff, I never realized how many Indian ruins there were in North Arizona.

Since there are dozens of things to do around Flagstaff, you may need to plan your day trips based on your main interests rather than seeing them all during your Flagstaff holiday.

Of course the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and Winslow’s AZ are on many to do lists. But the ruins of the Pueblo are also worth the detour.

A visit to the ruins around Flagstaff is characterized by many attractions: historical interest, hiking, panoramic tours and an ideal place to admire the sunset on the outskirts of Flagstaff.

Here are the seven ruins in and around Flagstaff that you should visit on your next trip to Arizona Road.

Label for archaeological sites

First I want to say something about the etiquette when visiting archaeological sites in Arizona. The Coconino National Forest has made a guide for tourists who visit historical places such as ruins and not visit them.

You can read the guide here.

Basic rules:

  • Not to climb, not to sit and stand on the ruins – they’re fragile.
  • No drawings, scratches, carvings on the ruins.
  • Do not move or remove artifacts – only record images.
  • Make no sacrifices and leave nothing in the ruins.

Now we want to know more about the ancient ruins of Flagstaff.

1.      Elden Pueblo Archaeological Site

The first Indian ruins on the list are easily accessible because they are located in Flagstaff. Elden Pueblo is located on the US-89 about 6 miles north of downtown Flagstaff.

The archaeological site of Elden Pueblo has an interpreted path (you can download it along the way with a QR code) so you can get a guided tour.

It is possible that you do not have a mobile phone on the website, so here is the Elden Pueblo Trail Guide in PDF format, which you can download before visiting the site.

Elden Pueblo was founded between 1100 and 1275 n. Chr. built by the people of Sinagua. The property had 60 to 70 rooms, which were built of stone and clay mortar.

The Hopi Indians consider Eldon Pueblo as a special place of ancestors called Pasiovi or Pavasioca.

The inhabitants of Sinagua migrated around 1300-1400 n. Chr. of North Arizona.

The merchandise on the website suggests that it was a busy trade route, trading both articles from Mexico and shellfish from the jewelry store along the coast of California.

The fee: FRIDAY

The watch: Open all year round, without fixed opening hours.

Eldon Pueblo Flagstaff Arizona

2.      Chomolovi State Park

You can combine a visit to the Homolowski ruins with a trip to Arizona Winslow, known for a particular song. Khomolovi State Park is located on the VS-87 in Winslow AZ, about 1 hour east of Flagstaff.

Before entering the park, download a Homologi map in pdf format. The park has a visitor centre, a campsite and several hiking trails.

The Gomolovskiy Visitor Centre presents an exhibition on Hopist hosts, heroes of the Great Patriotic War.

The ancestors of the Hopi people lived in Pueblo in Gomolovi in the 1300s and then migrated to other areas.

On the Homolovi I and Homolovi II sites you can see many ceramic fragments on the floor. Don’t forget to take only pictures and no artifacts.

If you’re lucky, you can go to one of Homolovy’s flagship parties (cancelled in 2020) for a unique experience.

Up-to-date information is available on the website of the National Park. Prestigious parties usually take place on the 4th floor. Saturdays of each month, except December.

Cost: $7 per vehicle/$3 per bicycle/person.

Opening Hours: daily 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Thanksgiving/-Christmas Eve 8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m./Christmas Day – closed)

3.      Cultural Heritage of Honanka

Honanka Heritage Site is a beautiful day trip from Sedona or Flagstaff. The route to the construction site includes an unpaved road, so plan and make sure the road conditions are favourable before you leave the site.

Another possibility is to take a pink jeep tour of Sedona if you want to leave the car to someone else.

Sinagua lived between 1050 and 1350 n. Chr. in this area of red stone. The ruins of Honanka include several two-storey buildings and large meeting rooms.

There were at least 70 rooms in the Honanka Pueblo. During the construction work, a solution of mud and water was used to keep the stones in place.

The fee: Red Rock 5 Daily Passage

Red Rock Weekly Pass 15

Daily and weekly Red Rock subscriptions can be purchased at a vending machine.

America’s Beautiful (National Park Pass) is also valid for entry.

9:30 to 3:00.

Admission by Pink Jeep Tours is possible until 9:30 a.m. and after 3:00 p.m.

Closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

4.      Montesuma Castle and Lake Montesuma

National Monument The Castle of Montesum unites two historical sites in one national monument. Note that these two locations are about 10 miles apart at Camp Verde Arizona.

Montesuma Castle is one of the best preserved Indian ruins in North America, partly because it is no longer possible to climb the ruins. The stone houses are in a remarkable state, the structure was built around 1100 – 1200 n. Chr. was built.

Below is a pueblo on the rock, and a detailed diorama that gives an impression of the daily life of the inhabitants of Sinagua who lived here until early 1400.

The limestone and mud structure, built in stone houses, overlooks the creek. Castle Montezuma, 5 floors high, used wooden beams for its roofs. The stairs were used as stairs and access to the roofs.

The Montezuma Fountain brings more than one million litres of water a day. The springs that feed the lake provide Sinagua with the water and irrigation needed for agriculture.

Today we can still see some of the canals built to irrigate crops.

Rate: $10 and it’s good for 7 days at Montesuma Castle and Tuzigut National Monument.

Children under the age of 16 – FREE admission

Montezuma’s Well – Free entrance for everyone.

Clock

daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed at Christmas and New Year and closed at 2:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)

5.      Ruins of Tuzigut

The Tuzigut National Monument – a great choice for a day trip in combination with the Cotton Tree and Dead Horse Ranch State Park – don’t drop the name, it’s a great place!

All these destinations are a short distance from Sedona, on Highway 89, heading southwest.

Tuzigut is the Apache word for curved water and accommodates about 150 people. This is another of the pueblo’s of southern Sinagua that was built around 1000 AD. Chr. was built of stone and mortar.

If you visit the ruins of Tuzigut, you’ll see why they chose this place. There is a beautiful view of the Verde valley and the country is rich in farmland.

Bird watching is very popular in this area and there is a short walk to the swamp where you can search for birds, so bring your binoculars.

Rate: $10 and it’s good for 7 days at Montesuma Castle and Tuzigut National Monument.

Children under the age of 16 – FREE admission

Montezuma’s Well – Free entrance for everyone.

Opening Hours: every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed for Christmas and New Year).

6.      Walnut Canyon National Monument

East of Flagstaff, on the rocks of Walnut Canyon, you can admire the ruins of the Indian rocks. On your way to the island, follow the path right next to the rooms, which offer a beautiful view of the gorge.

Listen to the birdsong and look for stone houses on the other side of the canyon. You can imagine Walnut Canyon was an incredible place to live.

The small caves that formed in the canyon walls formed an ideal base for the construction of Sinagua. By adding stones and loam mortar walls, families could get their own room.

For a smooth finish, the walls were covered with clay plaster. Pipe boats can store water or food. In Sinagua they grew beans, corn and pumpkins.

The Rim Trail takes you through the gorge, the picnic area and the kennels. Don’t forget to watch snakes in hot weather.

Cost: $15 per person/child aged 15 and for FREE registration.

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30 every day

7.      Vupatki Pueblos

I saved the best for last. The Wupaca National Monument is my favorite among all the ruins around Flagstaff. It consists of five pueblos of different sizes.

If you drive from the south entrance (through the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument) you will find it:

  • Ukoki Pueblo
  • Updates about Pueblo
  • Pueblo Citadel
  • Accommodation in Box Canyon
  • Lomaki Pueblo

The houses are built of limestone and sandstone and maintained with clay mortar. The Wupatki Pueblo is the largest, with a total of about 100 rooms, plus a handball court and a public area.

Watch the sunset at Pueblo Wupatki (Pueblo Citadel is a great place to watch the sunset). And observe the animal world at sunset and sunrise. Rabbits with tails are common, and you can also see a slowly moving wheel in the streets.

Near Wupatka you can see lizards and gopher snakes, don’t panic! Gopher snakes are harmless to humans, but not to rodents. On my last visit to the ruins of Wupaca I saw a snake goat.

The fee: Includes Wupatki and Sunset Crater $25 per vehicle, $20 for a motorcycle, $15 for a pedestrian.

The watch: The paths are open from sunrise to sunset.

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