Homolovi Ruins State Park
In the high grassland of 14th century northern Arizona, an ancient people found a home along the Little Colorado River. These people, the Hisat'sinom (known to archaeologists as the Anasazi), paused in their migrations to till the rich flood plain and sandy slopes before continuing north to join people already living on the mesas, people who are today known as the Hopi.
The Hopi people of today still consider Homolovi, as well as other precolumbian sites in the southwest, to be part of their homeland. They continue to make pilgrimages to these sites, renewing the ties of the people with the land. The Hopi say that the broken pottery and stones are now part of the land and are the trail the Bahana will follow when he returns. Therefore, these are mute reminders that the Hopi continue to follow the true Hopi way and the instructions of Masau'u.
The years have brought many changes to Homolovi. The migrations ended when the people settled at the center of the world, the Hopi Mesas north of Homolovi. However, as new people appeared, such as the Dine' (Navajo) and later the Europeans, the Hopi watched as their homeland was occupied by the new people. Eventually they also saw these people begin destroying their ancient homes, digging in these sacred sites for curios and for items to sell.
In an effort to protect some of these sites, the Hopi people supported the idea of Homolovi Ruins State Park. This idea resulted in the establishment of the park in 1986 and the opening of the park in 1993.
Homolovi Ruins State Park now serves as a center of research for the late migration period of the Hopi from the 1200's to the late 1300's. While archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi to unravel the history of Homolovi, Arizona State Parks provides the opportunity for visitors to visit the sites and use park facilities including a visitor center and museum, various trails and a campground. Several covered picnic tables are located throughout the park. Pullouts provide the opportunity to observe wildlife in this park of over 4,000 acres at an elevation of 4,900 feet.
All sites have electric hookups. Water is available at the dump station and, from approximately late April through mid October, water is available at the individual sites. Fees vary with use or non-use of electric hookups and with the time of year. Sites include both back-in and pull-through sites which can handle large rigs. All sites have 30 amp hookups. Pull-through sites have both 30 amp & 50 amp hookups. Maximum RV length 83 feet. Ten sites have tent pads. Camping is limited to fourteen nights. Campground fee includes the use of all of the park's day-use recreation areas, plus use of the showers and dump-station.
Nusungvö: The name means "Place of Rest" in the Hopi language. 1.2 miles primitive hike across high prairie grasslands. This trail goes from the Visitor Center to the campground area.
Tsu'vö: The name means "Path of the Rattlesnake" in Hopi. It is a ½ mile loop trail between the twin buttes within the park. It is a nature trail and also an archaelogical trail where you can see milling stone areas and petroglyphs.
Diné: This 1½ mile trail goes to Diné Point and ties in with both other trails. Diné Point shows a scenic view of the park.
Homolovi I parking lot is located about one mile past the park campground and is next to the Little Colorado River. An easy quarter mile stroll on an old dirt road leads to the site. Please follow the flagged route to avoid damaging sensitive structures.
Homolovi II Trail: ½ mile paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. The 100-yard trail allows access to the largest of the Park's archaeological sites and contains an estimated 1,200 to 2,000 rooms. It is believed that these pueblos were once home to ancestors of the present-day Hopi people. Much of the activity took place during the fourteenth century. There continue to be similarities between the architecture, pottery styles, and art motifs of the Hopi people in the north, and the prehistoric inhabitants of Homolovi.
More than 300 archaeological sites have been identified within the park boundaries, including four major fourteenth century pueblos. The visitor center provides exhibits that interpret the significance of this area.
Tours may be available; please contact park services for more information.
Picnic tables with shade are located at the park visitor center, along the road to Homolovi II, and at Homolovi II.
Homolovi Ruins State Park is located in a basin surrounded by the Mogollon Rim to the south, the Hopi Mesas to the north, and the San Francisco Peaks to the west. To the east there is a gradual rise toward Gallup. As a result, Homolovi resides in a rain shadow. Although brief thunderstorms can move through the park, most rain bypasses the park and is seen only in the form of runoff. During the winter, there are often several overcast days in a row, but any snow normally melts off by about 10 am.
Winslow weather is known for high winds in the spring and fall, although wind can strike at any time of the year. Mornings are usually calm, with the breeze picking up at about 11 am, then calming down again at sunset. However, there are exceptions.
Most rain occurs during January and February, then again in July and August. Heavy flows of the Little Colorado River can take out the park water line, in which case the campground will be restricted to "dry camping" only, although restroom facilities will still be available (but with no showers).
From Phoenix, AZ: Head west on W Washington St toward N 1st Ave, keep right at the fork, continue onto W Adams St. Turn right at N Black Canyon Hwy, take the ramp on the left onto I-17 N/US-60 W, continue to follow I-17 N. Take exit 340A to merge onto I-40 E toward Albuquerque, take exit 257 for AZ-87 N toward 2nd Mesa. Turn left at AZ-87 N/I-40 BUS E, continue to follow AZ-87 N.
Closest airport is Flagstaff, AZ.