Jun 232015

By Tammy Gray

Although roadwork on Interstate 40 has temporarily changed the access point, Homolovi State Park is still open and welcoming visitors, especially for the special events planned throughout the summer months.

Road construction blocking the westbound exit to Highway 87 that leads to the park means that visitors will need to go to Transcon Lane to exit and then travel east on old Route 66 to Highway 87, then north to the park.

The summer programs are held at the park every Saturday, with most starting at 9 a.m. On Saturday, June 27, rangers will hold a petrified wood walk through the park’s miniature Petrified Forest, which covers about one acre. The hike to the site is about one mile long, and visitors should bring water and wear good walking shoes.

On July 4, rangers will host a sunset hike at the park beginning at 5 p.m. The hike is about 4.25 miles long and travels to Diné Point within the park and then back to the visitor’s center. Although the hike starts at the campground, participants should check in first at the visitor’s center. Hikers are asked to bring a flashlight and water.

Saturday, July 11, is the date set for the park’s regular petroglyph tour. The tour begins at 9 a.m. and lasts about three hours. Reservations are suggested, and participants will drive their own vehicle for part of the tour and hike approximately 1.5 miles to reach some of the sites.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, rangers will hold a pottery talk and exhibition at the visitor’s center. Hopi potter Gwen Setalla will demonstrate traditional techniques and answer questions about Hopi pottery. The pottery exhibition lasts about 90 minutes.

The special events will then continue to rotate throughout the rest of summer, with the petrified wood walk also scheduled on July 25 and Aug. 29, the sunset hike on Aug. 22 and Sept. 19, the petroglyph tour on Aug. 8 and Sept. 5, and pottery demonstrations on Aug. 15 and Sept. 12.

All participants in the summer activities must pay the standard day-use fee to enter the park, which is $7 per vehicle or $3 per individual for those entering on bike.

For more information on the summer activities or Homolovi State Park, visit http://azstateparks.com/Parks/HORU/index.html or call (928) 289-4106.