Hovenweep National Monument Travel Guide

  • Horseshoe Tower
    Horseshoe Tower
    by KiKitC
  • Cutthroat
    Cutthroat
    by KiKitC
  • Cutthroat Castle
    Cutthroat Castle
    by KiKitC

Hovenweep National Monument Things to Do

  • Horseshoe and Hackberry Groups

    Due to their close proximity, these two groups of ruins share access trails. There is a one-mile (round trip) walking trail to Hackberry Canyon that takes you past structures in both the Horshoe and Hackberry Groups. You will come across Horseshoe Tower which sits on a point marking the start of the Horseshoe Site. The Tower overlooks Horseshoe...

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  • Holly Group Ruins

    The Holly Group's prominent features, Tilted Tower and Boulder House were inhabited between 1200 AD and 1300 AD.The Canyon of the Ancients is an area of southwestern Colorado and southeast Utah, which includes a high concentration of ancestral Puebloan ruins. This area had a high population density, and "villages" such as this group date from...

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  • Cutthroat Castle Group

    Hovenweep National Monument is a collection of ancestral Puebloan people, situated in the Canyons of the Ancients. The Cutthroat Castle Group is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado and has unique features.Added to Hovenweep National Monument in 1956, this collection of ruins has features unique from other groups scattered throughout the...

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Hovenweep National Monument Transportation

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    by KiKitC Updated Sep 24, 2009

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    Access into the Canyon and Hovenweep can be reached with any vehicle or motorhome. The Little Ruin Canyon is by the Hovenweep Visitor Center, and there is plenty of room for trailers and motor homes. The Lowry Pueblo has a small parking area, I would not suggest bringing your motor home back there, but any vehicle can reach this site.

    If you plan to visit the Painted Hand Pueblo, the road back to the small parking area can be accessed with four wheel drive vehicle. The road can be rough and rutty depending on the current weather. The first year, we reached this site with a stock Land Rover.

    The next year, we ventured further into the canyon, which required high clearance four wheel drive. The road is very uneven, rocky and rutty. Reaching Cutthroat Castle was a fun off-road exploration. I would not suggest a stock vehicle, or venturing out there alone.

    Dan on the Trail Jarek in the Canyon Typical Trail
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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Hovenweep National Monument Local Customs

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    by KiKitC Updated Sep 9, 2007

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    You will find on many structures, such as the Hovenweep Castle and the Unit Type House in the Square Tower Group (Little Ruin Canyon), strategically placed openings that admit shafts of sunlight on the equinoxes and solstices.

    An ancient calendar to mark planting and harvest times, perhaps?

    These Puebloan people had farmed and hunted on this land for centuries...so these would be essential times to mark.

    Hovenweep Castle
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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Hovenweep National Monument Warnings and Dangers

  • Watch for Rattlesnakes

    It probably really doesn't have to be pointed out...but THIS IS RATTLESNAKE COUNTRY. As you walk through these trails, admiring the scenery and sites, be aware of the fact that snakes are present in the area.Always stay on the trail...that's your best safety, but remember snakes don't read signs...

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  • Summers Get HOT Here

    If you're visiting any of the ruins, remember the environment you are in. The summers get very hot..remember to bring plenty of water with you. Most of the sites in Hovenweep and the Canyons of the Ancients requires a distance of walking.Be prepared. We like our "CamelBack" backpacks, which put the water on your back, accessible easily by a...

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Hovenweep National Monument Favorites

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    by KiKitC Written Sep 8, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I couldn't say this any better than it is said in all the brochures distributed at these sites...

    "The name Anasazi has long been used for the prehistoric farmers of the Four Corners. The term now favored is ancestral Puebloan, indicating they were the ancestors of modern-day Puebloans. Many Pueblo people maintain physical and spiritual connections to these places. Please appreciate and respect them."

    You know, it really was sad to see graffetti etched into the rocks of these ancient homes by ignorant tourists. Really, how would you feel if you invited somebody into your home and they carved their name into your kitchen table???

    Trail back to the Visitors Center
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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