Homolo'vi I Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4820 - 4847 feet
Cellphone: 2-4 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Homolovi I
Fee: $7/vehicle
Attractions: Ancestral Puebloan ruins, pottery shards

The Homolovi I Ruin is located in the Homolovi State Park near Winslow, Arizona. Homolovi (huh-MALL-uh-vee) is a Hopi word that means 'place of the little hills'. Situated along the Little Colorado River the location was home, during the 13th and 14th century, for an ancestral Puebloan people called the Hisat'sinom or Anasazi. Sinom is the Hopi word for 'people' and in this case it forms the conjunction that for the Hopi refers to 'the people that lived long ago'. It is the same term that refers also to the inhabitants of Wupatki, Walnut Canyon, Tuzigoot and many, many other anciently occupied places.

The Homolovi I ruin is one of two pueblo ruins in the park that are open to visitors. The trailhead for Homolovi I is located at the end of the road that leads past the campground near the main entrance to the park.

From the trailhead the path leads west toward a small hill above the Little Colorado River.

It is always interesting to see depictions of what a pueblo would have looked like when it was at its height of development. It is hard to imagine that a village of over 700 rooms once occupied this site. Many of the stones that once formed the walls may have been hauled away in the late 1800's to build the nearby Mormon settlement of Sunset Fort.

The fence around the area gives the impression that the site may have been closed to the public at one time much like the Homolovi III and IV sites are today.

Looking up toward the hillside there is very little indication of the former pueblo walls.

Much like the rest of the park though the ground is strewn with a large assortment of pottery fragments of various styles.

Excavation work has been done at the site. In order to better preserve the walls each area has been lined with plastic at the deepest part of the dig and then recovered with dirt. The plastic will serve as a marker for any future work done at the site.

There are a few modest little stub walls that display a meager example of the previous construction.

Unlike most places where one might find pottery sherds and it is illegal to move or touch them, at Homolovi State Park we were told it was perfectly fine to pick them up and examine them and then return them to their place where they could continue to be enjoyed by future visitors. It is actually very exciting and a bit of an honor to do so.

Homolovi I is situated very close to the Little Colorado River. From various books you can read stories that have been passed down that tell of devastating floods and horrific mosquito infestations that may have contributed to the sites abandonment. Homolovi State Park does have a Visitor Center with a small gift shop where you can find a few worthwhile books to add to your collection and perhaps read of such stories. While Homolovi I doesn't have a lot to see in the way of standing walls it is still interesting to walk around the area and see what was chosen at the time to be a suitable location of the areas largest village. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.