Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Activities & Programs

Plan Your Visit

Visitors to Hovenweep enjoy short hikes, natural quiet and some of the finest examples of ancestral Puebloan architecture in the southwest. The trail system provides access to each of the cultural site units. All units are open to the public but most are in remote locations and can be difficult to reach. The Square Tower Group is an ideal place to begin your exploration of Hovenweep. Stop by the visitor center, attend an interpretive program, and be sure to hike all or part of the two-mile self-guiding trail around Little Ruin Canyon.

Outdoor Activities

Camping
There is a small campground near the visitor center which is open year round on a first-come, first-served basis. The sites are 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. The fee is $10 per night. Flush toilets and running water are available.

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.

Visitors may also explore the outlying sites, which include Cajon, Cutthroat Castle, Goodman Point, Holly and Horseshoe/Hackberry. Most areas have very short (a half mile or less one-way) trails which are primitive and lightly maintained. Backpacking is not permitted at Hovenweep.

Interpretive Programs
Rangers conduct short patio and overlook talks on a regular basis spring through fall. Subjects vary from season to season. Please contact the park or ask at the visitor center for current schedules. Contact the park in advance to schedule guided walks and other interpretive programs for large groups.

Stargazing
There are many compelling stories told about Hovenweep. One story observes that several of the structures and rock art panels seem designed to mark major celestial events such as the summer solstice. While this is largely conjecture, the open skies of Hovenweep certainly draw one's attention, and fortunately the night sky is about as dark today as it was 700 years ago.