Lomaki Ruins

Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5300 - 5326 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Lomaki Ruins
Fee: $20/vehicle
Attractions: Ancestral Puebloan ruins

The Lomaki Ruins are located in the Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona. The site includes several pueblos that sit above a box canyon as well as the similar situated remains of the Lomaki Ruins. Even more rubble piles are viewable on nearby mesas and hillsides giving the impression that the area of the Wupatki National Monument was a vibrant community some 800 years ago. Lomaki is a Hopi name that means 'Beautiful House'.

The trailhead for the Lomaki Ruin is down a half mile long paved spur road. The turnoff is about 4 miles from US Highway 89 to the west and 10 miles from the Wupatki National Monument Visitor Center to the east.

The trails to the various ruins in the Lomaki group are hard packed gravel with a few sections of slickrock. There are many interpretive signs along the trail that teach a few things about what you are looking at.

The trail passes the ruins of several pueblos en route to the Lomaki Ruin. The first is a 2 room structure that overlooks the box canyon from the southeast rim.

The ruins in the Lomaki group have been stabilized but no reconstruction has occurred. That means the walls that you are looking at have endured the ravages of time for over 800 years. It is interesting to wonder what changes that they would have been capable of in their building technique could they have made that would have allowed the upper walls and roofs to last just as long as the base of the structures.

The area within the walls of the box canyon was used for growing crops. A small shelter at ground level can be seen beneath the 2 room structure on the southeast corner at the mouth of the canyon. The layout of the canyon and the surrounding structures would have made it easier to protect their fields from both animals and intruders. (we had our garden trampled by moose a time or two while living in Alaska)

A much more extensive pueblo occupied the opposite rim of the box canyon.

The Lomaki Ruin stands at the end of the trail on the rim above another shallow canyon.

It is interesting to note that the people here would have placed pottery in places to catch rain water. When more water was needed for making mortar and mud for building walls and roofs, or for other uses when the rain wasn't enough, the people would have carried water from the Little Colorado River some 10 miles away. Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon so it makes you wonder just how much they could carry at a time and what method was preferable for conveying the water for 10 miles.

The area around Flagstaff, Arizona has seen a lot of volcanic activity in the past. All of the peaks that you can see to the south are volcanic cinder cones.

Looking around a little it is easy to see more ruins that have not been opened to the general public. Some of them have standing walls and a few are merely rubble piles. It is interesting to visit the Lomaki group of ruins to get a better idea of the extent that this area was populated 800 years ago. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.