Visitors traveling across northeastern Arizona might find the landscape painted and desolate, but that is far from the truth. This area of Arizona is rich in native traditions and archaeological relics. The high desert grassland tells the stories and the legends of the people who inhabited the region for centuries.
Homolovi State Park is located about halfway between Flagstaff, Arizona and the New Mexico border. It is one of the few places to stop along the stretch of the highway, and it is the only park with a public campground. RVers who want a location to camp for the night will find Homolovi State Park not only convenient but also genuinely entertaining. The park, which operates year-round, offers its guests accommodations and different activities that will interest visitors of all ages.
Homolovi State Park is considered part of the Hopi people’s homeland. During the 14th Century, the people who dwelled at Homolovi, the ancient Anasazi, eventually migrated and joined the Hopis living nearby. Today, the Hopi have strong ties to the land, and they frequently take pilgrimages to the sacred sites of the Homolovi. Because the Hopi wanted to protect the area, they supported the formation of the state park, and the park now serves as a center for research for the Hopi Indians’ late migration period from the 1200s to the late 1300s.
Homolovi State Park is located 33 miles west of Holbrook, Arizona and 65 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona. From Albuquerque, New Mexico, the park is 265 miles west. The park is a convenient place to stop on your travels across the state because it is situated one and a half miles from I-40. Guests heading in either direction will exit off of I-40 at exit 257 and proceed to Arizona Highway 87 N.
The park charges a daily entrance fee for each vehicle entering the park. Visitors will pay this fee upon arrival at the park. An additional vehicle fee will be charged for extra vehicles in your party. The fee does not apply to vehicles towed behind a primary vehicle (RV) when the RV remains at the site, and the towed vehicle is used for transportation.
The Homolovi Campground offers RV guests a high-desert grassland camping experience. This pet-friendly campground operates year round and provides campers with options for either primitive-style or more modern-style camping. Most of the campsites have electric and water, with a select few offering basic camping with no hookups. The back-in sites with electricity have 30-amp electrical service. The larger, pull-through spaces have both 30 and 50 amp electrical service.
The campground can accommodate larger RVs up to 83 feet in some of the pull-through spaces. Paid guests have use of the restrooms, showers, water, and the dump station. Campers should bring a printout of their camping reservations with them at the time of check-in. Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. No generators are permitted at any time. Campers should be aware of desert wildlife and use a flashlight at night when walking outside of your RV. Snakes warm themselves on the pavement at night, and seeing your surroundings will prevent an unwanted snake encounter.
Guests who want to learn more about Homolovi should plan to spend time at the Visitor Center. Numerous exhibits help to explain the archaeology and life of the people of who once dwelled at Homolovi, the ancient ancestors of the Hopi Indians. More modern artifacts like Hopi pottery and handcrafted items are always on display, and their presence helps to tell the story of the Hopi Tradition. A gift shop is attached to the Visitor Center for guests to purchase information materials or other types of northeastern Arizona native crafts and gifts.
Arizona has some of the most picturesque hiking locations because of the vast deserts and ever-changing colors of the sunrises and sunsets. Visitors who love the outdoors will enjoy spending their time on one of the five different trails located within Homolovi State Park. All of the trails are two miles or less, and there is a trail option for people of all abilities. Each path offers something unique such as colorful landscapes, scenic views, or historic structures located along the route. Pick up a park map and decide which trail or trails suit your interest!
Desert animals are some of the most intriguing animals because they are often seen as predatory and somewhat frightening. Guests of the park can learn about the creatures native to this part of Arizona, and begin to revere, and not fear, these amazing animals. Homolovi State Park guests commonly see raptors and grassland birds such as roadrunners, burrowing owls, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, and kestrels. Aside from birds, mammals such as elk, prairie dogs, porcupines, badgers, cougars, jackrabbits, and coyotes inhabit the area. And while they seem frightening to some people, don’t be surprised if you see lizards or even one of the few rattlesnake species that live in the park.
Once a month, the park hosts a star-gazing event meant to educate and inform night-time sky enthusiasts of all ages. The Visitor Center Museum and Observatory invites all overnight guests to join the star party. The cost of the event is free with park admission, and visitors should dress warmly and prepare for a night of sparkling wonder. Telescopes are available for this event, so come ready to see some of the brightest sections of the sky in the state! Check the park’s website to see if a star party is happening at the observatory during your visit.
The Homolovi State Park area, once occupied by the Anasazi, is home to ancient ruins and petroglyphs. These areas tell the story of the hunters and gatherers who lived in small, temporary campsites while they learned how to better prepare the land for more permanent cultivation of crops and life-sustaining food and shelters. After building more permanent dwellings, the Anasazi lived in and then abandoned numerous structures throughout their migration over time. Today, four pueblo ruins remain within Homolovi State Park. Two of the ruins are visible from the trails. Look for the Homolovi II pueblo along the Homolovi II trails, and look for the grinding stone and petroglyphs from the Tsu'vö trail.
Kids ages 6–12 can pledge to become a Junior Ranger at Homolovi State Park! Part of the pledge encourages kids to respect and admire nature, as well as learn to recognize the importance of Arizona’s natural beauty. Guests traveling with kids can stop by the Visitor Center or the Ranger Station to pick up a Junior Ranger activity book, and learn what activities and steps are needed to fulfill the park’s requirement to earn a Junior Ranger Badge. Interested parties can also download a booklet online before your visit, so you are ready to start your adventure the minute you get to the park!