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Hovenweep National Monument
View a slide show of Hovenweep

© Tom Till
Hovenweep National Monument is located along the Colorado-Utah border and is made of five prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages. The buildings were built about 800 years ago. Hovenweep is still a very undeveloped and solitary monument which is one of the reasons it's popular. There is a visitors center and campground and there are guided tours through the Square Tower Unit. Outlying units include Holly, Horseshoe, Hackberry, Cutthroat Castle and Cajon. Hovenweep is open year-round with the Ranger Station open daily during the summer from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. The Ranger Station is closed winter holidays (December 25).

To get to Hovenweep, you have a couple options. You can fly into Cortez, Colorado and drive to Hovenweep or fly into Albuquerque, NM or Salt Lake City, UT. If you're driving, the road to Square Tower House is paved on County RD G and Highway 262. If you'd like to visit the other units, you may but the roads are dirt and gravel so during the winter or after rain, they may be impassable. The weather at Hovenweep is very diverse. During the summer, temperatures can get up to 100 with the lows in the 60s. Fall and Spring times are milder with the highs being in the 70s and 80s. During the winter, temperatures can range from below freezing to the 40s or 50s. Snowfall is usually very light.

When you get inside the park, travel is by foot, bike or vehicle. There is a small campground by the ranger station. It is open seasonally with the sites being designed for tent camping although there are a few sites for RV's less than 25 feet in length. The campground has flush toilets and running water. If you would prefer not to camp, Cortez, Colorado is close by and offers plenty of lodging. The trail system at Hovenweep is primitive and lightly maintained. To protect cultural resources, hiking is limited to established trails only. Hiking trails are available at each of the cultural sites and walking tours are possible with self-guiding trail guides. Trails range in length from a 1/2 mile loop to an 8 mile route that connects two of the cultural site groups.Two trails originate at the Ranger Station and offer visitors the opportunity to view nearby archeological sites: one is a two mile trail that takes about 1.5 hours and has an elevation change of 150 feet; the second trail is shorter and easier.