Cathedral Rock


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Eagle Rock Formation at Pataki

This website is not designed to provide directions or navigation of the trails but solely intended to give you an idea what you may see and experience on the hikes.  

The Sinagua or people of the red rocks arrived in Palatki around 650 AD.  For 600 years they farmed and hunted antelope and deer.  Visitors can take a guided tour of Indian ruins and an alcove with rock art and pictographs.  ENTERANCE IS RESTRICTED AND RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIED -- SEE BELOW  The trail is a short easy hike of approximately 1 mile round trip to the ruins and 1/2 mile round trip to the rock art alcove.  The alcove contains pictographs which are from the Sinagua and also from Archaic cultures, drawn some 6000 years ago. 

To learn more about Palatki go to

Palatki is reached by taking Dry Creek Road north of Sedona and turning left on Boynton Canyon Pass Road.  Just past the Doe/Bear Mountain parking lot, the road becomes a dirt road which is fairly well graded.  Follow the signs and take a right at a "T" interchange onto Forest Road 795.

Alternatively, one can take HWY 89A south of the Sedona "Y" and turn right onto Forest Road 525 then to Forest Road 795 (eight miles after turning off HWY 89A).  These are dirt roads but are fairly well maintained and passable by car.   

However, if there has been snow or rain, contact the Heritage Site to make sure the roads are passable and the site is open.   

Palatki Topographic Map

RESTRICTED ACCESS:  Entrance is restricted between the hours of 9:30 am and 3:00 pm.  Public access is restricted.  Call 928-282-3854 for reservations for a guided tour.

Palatki Sign

Closed gate with restricted access sign displayed on the left.   Click on picture to enlarge.

Palatki Gate

Red Cliffs approaching Palatki.

Palatki - Red Cliffs



Trail to Palataki Heritage  

Trail to Palatki Indian Ruins

Palatki Heritage Place.  These Indian ruins were the homes of the Sinagua People who were thought to be connected with the Hopi Indian tribe.  Palatki is Hopi for "Red House".

 Indian Ruins - Palatki


Palatki Heritage Site


Palatki Indian Ruins

Inside the dwelling, one can see holes in the wall which supported wooden beams for a second floor.  Windows were modified and closed with rocks by the Sinagua.  The current floor is several feet above the original floor, making the height of the room appear shorter than it was when the Sinagua dwelling was inhabited. 

Inside a Palataki Indian Dwelling

The trail back to the visitor's center.

Palatki Cliffs


Trail Back from Sinagua Indian Dwelllings

Distant view of the dwellings

The trail from the dwellings takes one back to the visitor's center and then a short hike up to a rock art alcove which served as a ceremonial place for the inhabitants.   The picture shows the entrance to the right. 

Trail to the Ceremonial Place

Many of the pictographs are from the Sinagua.  But some abstract symbols and drawings are from the Archaic cultures, dating 3000-6000 years ago.

Palatki Pictographs


Fires that were built in the alcove have glazed some of the pictographs into the wall forming a fire hardened durable impression.

Eagle - Natural Formation
An Eagle can be seen in the wall.  This is a natural and not a man made formation. 

Fire Harden Pictographs

The picture on the right is a view of the cliffs on the east side of Palatki.

Cliffs to the East of Palatki

One of the pictographs shows a ridge of mountains with the sun above the ridge.  It is felt that this ridge corresponds to the eastern cliffs shown above.  The position of the sun, just to the south of the flat butte, corresponds to the winter solstice. 

Pictographs Calendar



Palatki Pictographs


American Indian Pictographs


Native American Pictographs






Native American Pictographs

Trail heading back from the rock art alcove to the visitor's center.    

Trail Back to Visitor's Center

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