Ladder Village & The Anasazi Doorway

There are at least ten Sinagua cliff dwellings in the upper Long Canyon. Two of these are located close together on the same ledge, so they are always visited on the same hike. These are two of the strangest ruins in the Verde Valley.
For one thing they are on the south side of the canyon and their general orientation is north, which means they do not get very much sun in the winter. Most dwellings are built in the north side and facing south, because this is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Another odd aspect of these ruins is that one of them has the distinctive T-shaped doorway (shown above) that is associated with the Anasazi culture, which once flourished 200 miles to the north. All the other dwellings in the Verde Valley have rectangular doorways.
Ladder Village in context to its surroundings
Keep following the same ledge and you will come to Ladder Village, named for a rickety ladder that was left behind by archaeology students from Northern Arizona University. They used it to gain access to a small cave above the ruin. Be advised that this ladder is old and dangerous. There is NOTHING to see in the cave. DO NOT attempt to climb the ladder. Everyone I know who has climbed it said they shouldn't have.
Ladder Village
Ladder at Ladder Village (do not climb!)
Ladder at Ladder Village


There is more than one way to access the Anasazi Door and Ladder Village. The original route described in previous editions of The Wanderer's Guide is steep and brushy. That's the way we went on my one and only visit to these ruins.
Be advised that the route I suggest now is one I've never personally hiked, but it should be easier to find and follow, with a lot less brush to contend with. It's the result of studying satellite images. Therefore the GPS route we provide for these ruins is approximate. 
The satellite images show a distinct social trail in the lower and upper parts of the route, where it passes through brush. In the middle part it climbs a series of small ledges as it passes through more open and rocky terrain. It's in this section that there will be some route finding, but you'll be following a ridge line up, so it should be fairly easy.  Based on the trail profile shown below, I doubt there is any scrambling if you go this way.


RATED: Difficult due to steep uphill climbs, thick brush and route finding. There is an existing social trail. Finding this trail is essential due to the thick brush.

Social Trail

.7 miles one way from the system trail.

588 ft

3-4 hours round trip from the nearest parking area.

Sep - May.
Hike early in the day to avoid summer heat.

No. Please do not visit ruins with your pet.