About the Park
In the high grassland of 14th century northern Arizona, an ancient people found a home along the Little Colorado River. These people, the Hisat'sinom (known to archaeologists as the Anasazi), paused in their migrations to till the rich flood plain and sandy slopes before continuing north to join people already living on the mesas, people who are today known as the Hopi.
The Hopi people of today still consider Homolovi, as well as other precolumbian sites in the southwest, to be part of their homeland. They continue to make pilgrimages to these sites, renewing the ties of the people with the land. The Hopi tell us that the broken pottery and stones are now part of the land and are the trail the Bahana will follow when he returns. Therefore, these are mute reminders that the Hopi continue to follow the true Hopi way and the instructions of Masau'u.
The years have brought many changes to Homolovi. The migrations ended when the people settled at the center of the world, the Hopi Mesas north of Homolovi. However, as new people appeared, such as the Diné (Navajo) and later the Europeans, the Hopi watched as their homeland was occupied by the new people. Eventually they also saw these people begin destroying their ancient homes, digging in these sacred sites for curios and for items to sell.
In an effort to protect some of these sites, the Hopi people supported the idea of Homolovi State Park. This idea resulted in the establishment of the park in 1986 and the opening of the park in 1993.
Homolovi State Park now serves as a center of research for the late migration period of the Hopi from the 1200s to the late 1300s. While archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi to unravel the history of Homolovi, Arizona State Parks provides the opportunity for visitors to visit the sites and use park facilities including a visitor center and museum, various trails and a campground. Several covered picnic tables are located throughout the park. Pullouts provide the opportunity to observe wildlife in this park of over 4,000 acres at an elevation of 4,900 feet.
“Homolovi” is Hopi for “Place of the Little Hills” — the traditional name for Winslow, Arizona.
Although the protects Hopi lands and cultural artifacts, the park also contains a small cemetery from a group of 19th century settlers who founded the city of Sunset. Sunset Cemetery stands as a mute testimony to the undaunted spirit of the brave pioneers who forged a living from this once desolate and forbidding land. Learn more about the cemetery in the Feature Story.