We are nine months into the pandemic and are imagining our travels in the coming year. It will be different. No longer are cities, bars and airlines a safe option. Open air, less people, and remote places are safer options as a travel destination.
Along Arizona State Highway 264 between Tuba City and Gallup, New Mexico are hidden places that you can find only with a local guide. These places are in the heart of the Hopi Homelands and have special stories, significance and history. You won’t find these places in a tourism brochure except maybe social media by someone who has been here.
So, are you a traveler who needs a “plan”? Do you just book a tour and show up? Do you want to take a look-see for one day or do you like to camp out? What is your motivation or expectation for the visit? Knowledge, History, Authentic, hand-made Jewelry & Crafts? Whatever your preference, a visit can be tailored to your schedule on the Hopi Reservation.
Consider visiting our Hopi Homelands.
To make the most of your time, effort and wallet, you will need to consider the following information.
HOPI TOURISM GUIDELINES
- Visitation to cultural sites, historic villages and natural landmarks can only be made with a Hopi Tour Guide.
- Photography of or near the Hopi Villages is prohibited.
- Photography of natural landscapes may be permitted with a photography permit.
You may question these restrictions. It is important to understand the privilege of visiting a living culture and people. Think how you would feel if someone came into the front or back yard of your home and started taking photos. A small measure of privacy is required. A local guide, knowledgeable of the conditions of the environment is necessary, as some places require a four-wheel drive vehicle. There is no 911 rescue in remote areas.
We appreciate a visitor who voluntarily consents to abide with these guidelines.
HOPI TOUR GUIDE
The Hopi Tribe has a listing of tour guides who are permitted to take visitors into non-restricted areas of the Hopi Reservation. Some cultural sites are off limits. Each tour guide has a different style of presentation and historical knowledge. You may have a good to excellent guide. Be very clear on the type of experience you would like and the length of time you are willing to expend as much of the time is spent on the road, getting to and from remote locations.
WHO IS A HOPI TOUR GUIDE?
We all have an idea of different types of guides from international travels. Good or bad experiences can make or break a visit off the grid. All of the Hopi Tour Guides that are permitted by the Hopi Tribe are tribal members. They live on Hopi, have knowledge of Hopi history and know the different ways of getting in and out of remote areas. These individuals are self-employed and make seasonal income from visitors to the Hopi Reservation. Each Hopi Tour Guide should have an emergency plan to get assistance if needed. Weather, health/vehicle emergencies, and natural disasters will require special attention. Cash is preferable to these individuals.
Start your inquiry with a tour guide service here:
Evelyn Fredericks, whitebearhopiart.com, 928-255-2112, P.O. Box 134, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039, Location: SR264, milepost 272.5
Hopi Footprints, email@example.com, 602-715-6916, P.O. Box 1048, Hotevilla, AZ 86030
VISIT THE HOPI VILLAGES
Twelve Hopi Villages continue as living communities since at least 900 A.D. There is a continuous history and experience as to why we are still here today. An experienced tour guide will be able to tell you this story. Two villages allow visitation:
Old Oraibi Village is the oldest, continuously inhabited community in North America. To set your feet on this ground is truly touching the ancient history of the North American continent.
Walpi Village on First Mesa is spectacular as you can look down hundreds of feet and see 100 miles in any direction. Other villages on mesa tops can be driven through and have shops that can be visited. There may be village visitation permits that can be obtained by the tour guide.
VISIT ECOLOGICAL SITES
The most-visited sites on the Hopi Reservation include:
Tawa Park, a visual feast of hundreds of petroglyphs images ranging from the Archaic, Basket Maker and Ancestral Puebloean periods of time.
Hopi Tutuveni is located along the ancient Hopi Salt Trail and records living and extinct Hopi Clan Symbol Petroglyphs.
Blue Canyon, an ecological wonder of colorful hoodoos and unique landscapes most visited by professional photographers, day and night.
Coal Canyon, a natural landscape of pastel colors and canyons carved only as mother nature intended. Also a professional photographer’s light play delight throughout the day and night.
All of these eco-sites are a photographer’s dream, both by daylight and nightlight, and photography is permitted with a permit. These areas are on well-traveled roads but inclement weather may require a last minute change of plans.
Other specific areas that require four wheel vehicles, overnight stays, or long hikes will require special planning by your tour guide. Other destinations as Bears Ears, a most recent designated National Monument and the Grand Canyon National Park are within a day’s drive from Hopi.
The Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites in Tuba City, AZ is conveniently located at the western gateway to Hopi tribal lands. ExperienceHopi.com, 928-283-4500
Hopi Cultural Center in Second Mesa, AZ is centrally located on the Hopi Reservation just off State Route 264. Hopiculturalcenter.com, 928-734-2401
Hopi Owned Gift Shops
All along State Route you will find Hopi owned gift shops with authentic Hopi Arts and Crafts. Your hand crafted gift purchases will directly support local artisans whose talents keep the local traditions and culture alive. No imports from China here.
Cash is appreciated.
EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Hopi Law Enforcement Emergency 928-734-7340
Hopi Health Care Center 928-737-6000
Hopi EMS 928-737-6000
Hopi Tribe 928-734-3000
As of September, 2020, the Hopi Tribe has moved on to Stage One of the recomended CDC Covid-19 guidelines to gradually lift restrictions. Masks and social distancing are required. Small groups, no larger than 10 can travel with a Hopi tour guide. Call ahead to get more recent updates.