Homolovi State Park

Reconstructed underground kiva walls in Homolovi 2
Reconstructed kiva walls

Homolovi State Park protects more than 300 archaeological sites, including 7 separate 13th and 14th century pueblo ruins, in its more than 4,000 acres. Only 2 of these ancient pueblos are open to the public. This area is sacred to the Hopi because it is a site left from the 1300's when their ancestors continued their migrations to find the center of the world: the mesas where the Hopi live now. The migrating Hopi ancestors (Hisat'sinom) stopped from the 1200s to the late 1300s and built their pueblos and tilled the soil here beside the Little Colorado River. Today's Hopi return to these sites every year to renew their ties with the people of that long ago time. As far as the Hopi are concerned, this is still part of their ancient homeland even though many of their ancestral sites have been occupied and desecrated by the Dine' (Navajo) late-comers and the even-later European invaders. The Hopi people supported the establishment of Homolovi State Park as a means of protecting these memories of their ancestors, and the sacredness of these sites.

Today, Homolovi State Park is a center for research into the 1200s-to-late-1300s ways of life that the Hopi ancestors lived here. Archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi in hopes of unraveling some of the mysteries found in this sacred place.

Wildlife in the area includes badgers, bobcats, gray foxes, jackrabbits, desert cottontails, porcupines and prairie dogs. There's also more than 100 species of birds, including golden eagles, killdeer, great blue herons and red-tailed hawks. Among the reptiles you'll find horned lizards, bull snakes, collared lizards, western king rattlesnakes and Hopi rattlesnakes.

Homolovi State Park offers 53 campsites with electric and water hookups (water is only on from April through mid-November). There are restrooms and showers (water on all year round), a dump station, picnic tables, grills, day-use ramadas and several hiking trails (one of which leads to Homolovi II, an ancient pueblo containing an estimated 1,200 rooms). Homolovi State Park also has a visitor center and an excellent museum with many interpretive exhibits. Homolovi State Park is open every day of the year, although the Visitor Center closes for Christmas Day. Homolovi State Park is located on State Highway 87, about 1.3 miles north of Exit 257 on the I-40.

A view looking across the Little Colorado River with lots of brush and vegetation toward the San Francisco Peaks on the horizon
Looking northwest across the Little Colorado River valley toward the San Francisco Peaks
Map of Homolovi 1 showing the main structures, the kivas and the plaza
Map of Homolovi 1

Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License