Crane Petroglyph Heritage Site

Discover the largest known and best-preserved collection of petroglyphs in the Verde Valley.

Along the southern fringe of Coconino National Forest, pine trees give way to red sandstone hills and canyons. Evidence of the area’s original inhabitants exists throughout the Verde Valley and Red Rock Country, with remnants of cliff dwellings and rock art concentrated along area waterways. Since the late 1800s, the site has been used as ranch land for various cattle brands. Hidden near these cow pastures exists ancient rock art that dates to around 1100 AD. Here, visitors can see more than 1,000 ancient rock carvings.

See the Rock Art

Little of the ranch structures remain, the rock art is the star of the show. Visitors walk half a mile along a flat trail to get to the amazing carvings attributed to the area’s original inhabitants, the Sinagua people. Native animals are represented in the drawings, including deer, turtles, snakes and birds. Rangers on-site point out the concentric circles and protruding rocks that once served as a solstice calendar. Plan ahead as the site has limited hours, Friday through Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the cooler months. Summer hours from June 20 to August 31 are 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Visit Montezuma Castle

The area’s best-known Sinagua cliff dwelling, Montezuma Castle National Monument is just 10 miles south of the Crane Petroglyph Heritage Site near Camp Verde. Visitors view a collection of tools, weapons, pottery and baskets in the impressive museum before walking a short loop trail to the base of a five-story dwelling remarkably preserved on the side of a limestone cliff. Get back on the road to visit Montezuma Well
in nearby Rimrock. The surprising water feature in a limestone sinkhole includes the remains of a Sinagua pit house.

Next Stop, Sedona

The Highway 179 exit off I-17 leads to both Crane Petroglyph Heritage Site and the city of Sedona. Travelers coming in and out of Red Rock Country can easily add this petroglyph site to the agenda. The drive adds just 3 miles to the trip, and a flat half-mile walk leads to the petroglyph site where the rock art is concentrated in one area for easy viewing. Plus, visitors pass a day use area under a canopy of sycamore and cottonwood trees along Beaver Creek perfect for a picnic before getting back on I-17.

For More Information

Red Rock Heritage Sites
PO Box 20429
Sedona, AZ 86341
(928) 203-2900

Visit Destination Website

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