The hike from the visitor's center took about an hour, but it was well worth the time. There's a .44 mile there & back trail, which isn't bad. How to protect your park. The trails on the Colorado side can be accessed most of the way by an unmanaged dirt road. Other Hovenweep sites can be reached by taking Hovenweep Road past the visitors center turn off. Oddly enough, they didn’t stay in their stone houses very long. There isn't much shade beyond the visitor center so if you'd like to take your time, make sure to dress appropriately and bring a water bottle. Can I drive to the ruins? You can see many of the same angles and lines of masonry throughout, with small amounts of work visible on corners or doorways. The 785 acre monument, consisting of five units, was created in 1923. In 1917-1918 the Smithsonian Institute surveyed the area and recommended the ruins to be protected. moderate (5) Length: 12.5 mi • Est. The six prehistoric villages built between 1200 and 1300 AD once housed more than 2,500 people. I guess if you have kids or take more time along the trail it could take 2 hours but that seems a bit extreme. It really takes you back when you see the ancient ruins-very cool! Driving slowly, we had no troubles. This place is advertised all over the local area- but not until you get to the entry road is there a notice that the monument is closed. At Hovenweep, on what is now the Colorado-Utah border, the Anasazi Indians built elegant towers that rose from the rocks. The main draw is the historic structures. We felt we saw everything. Permits and Fees: No entrance fees for day use, $15 per night at campground. Featured Destination. Square Tower is close by the Castle, also. There are over 100 species of birds known to live or migrate through Hovenweep. Your guide will share little-known places within the Monument and a deep understanding the landscape and cultures that lived here. This is a fun, quick hike if you are short on time. Combine history and a remote location at this ancestral Puebloan site. Though they did a nice thing. “Cajun” group at Hovenweep National Monument. . There's an information kiosk & a REALLY crappy gravel road to the right. We felt we saw everything. Hovenweep Castle, captured here in this enchanting twilight view, is one of the most impressive groups of towers and masonry structures in Little Ruins Canyon. Spend the night under the stars in Hovenweep's campground. Great side trip. Square Tower is close by the Castle, also. The Hovenweep Castle. We were at Hovenweep a couple of years ago and hiked a few of the trails. This national monument has more than 6,350 documented ancient sites (and an estimated 30,000 total sites), including kivas, rock art, and even multi-room dwellings of the ancient residents of this region. Take care! A self-guiding tour lets visitors explore the prehistoric sites of Square Tower Group. We first learned of Hovenweep National Monument years ago when we moved to Colorado. It's probably between 45 minutes to an hour and half to do the whole loop. We were only going 5MPH in places. Use this National Park Service guide to be prepared and avoid common mistakes. This little Bark Scorpion is about 2 inches long and packs a hefty sting. Flush toilets. You can see the other ruins from across the canyon. There is no charge to drive into the monument. Well . Distance & Gain: 1.8 miles, flat. They left information outside, though. Besides being fun to say, it was a super beautiful and interesting stop on our trip. You will see some of the towers and structures at Cajon right from the trailhead. Continue your visit to www.tripadvisor.com. Exploring what to see and do in Hovenweep National Monument can be overwhelming, but Frommer's has the definitive guide on the internet for things to do. The Monument is on the 88 mile Canyon of the Ancients loop drive, so we decided we’d take a look. Get books, maps, and other materials to help you plan your visit. Hovenweep is a great addition to visiting the other Puebloan ruins at Mesa Verde National Park and Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Hovenweep National Monument is land of beauty and culture, of sweeping desert horizon dotted with the remains of ancestral Puebloan villages. As I was already so close, however, I decided to drop into the main unit of Hovenweep National Monument as well. Have to come back. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. It’s amazing what these builders accomplished in this small amount of time. Look for events and activities at Hovenweep. 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