Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Quick Facts

Hovenweep National Monument

Colorado

(970) 562-4282

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Hovenweep National Monument protects five prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders. Hovenweep is noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character. The Square Tower Group is the primary contact facility with a visitor center, campground, and interpretive trail. Other groups (or villages) include Holly, Horseshoe, Hackberry, Cutthroat Castle and Cajon. History & Culture Human habitation at Hovenweep dates to over 10,000 years ago when nomadic Paleoindians visited the Cajon Mesa to gather food and hunt game. These people used the area for centuries, following the seasonal weather patterns. By about A.D. 900, people started to settle at Hovenweep year-round, planting and harvesting crops in the rich soil of the mesa top.

Map of Hovenweep

Latitude, Longitude: 37.349737, -108.619445

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Activities

  • Camping

    There is a small campground near the visitor center which is open year-round on a first come, first-served basis. The 30 site campground is designed for tent camping, though a few sites will accommodate RVs up to 36 feet long. Sites include tent pads, fire grills and picnic tables with shade structures, however there are no hookups available. Flush toilets and running water are available at the campground restrooms.

  • Hiking

    The trail system at Hovenweep provides visitors excellent views of all the archeological sites. The Square Tower Group features a two mile loop that begins at the visitor center and is a perfect starting point for any visit. Between the visitor center and the first overlook (a distance of roughly 300 yards), the trail is paved and may be traversed by visitors in wheelchairs with assistance. Most visitors spend an hour exploring the area, with the full two-mile loop taking at least 1.5 hours.

  • Historic Sites

    Rangers conduct short porch and overlook talks on a regular basis spring through fall. Evening programs are presented May through September in the campground amphitheater. Subjects vary from season to season. Please contact the park or ask at the visitor center for current schedules. Guided walks and other interpretive programs can be arranged for larger groups.

  • Picnicking

    Food is not available at Hovenweep National Monument, but picnicking is available.

Seasonality/Weather

Hovenweep is open year-round. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April through September) and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (October through March). The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days.

Directions

Driving

The road to the visitor center and Square Tower Group is paved from Cortez, Colorado, on County Road G (the McElmo Canyon Road), and from White Mesa (south of Blanding) on Highway 262. The road from Highway 666 (near Pleasant View) is dirt and may be impassable after storms. This road accesses most of the outlying units in Colorado. All roads into the outlying units are dirt and are not maintained regularly. High-clearance vehicles are recommended for visiting these sites.

Flying

Commercial airlines serve Cortez and Grand Junction, CO, Salt Lake City and Moab, UT, and Albuquerque, NM as well as other cities in the Four Corners area.

Public Transportation

Commercial bus and van shuttles service nearby towns, but not Hovenweep specifically.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(970) 562-4282

Links