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Pets allowed
Yes
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Hovenweep National Monument is a very small and very fascinating park. With units in both southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado, what the monument lacks in size it makes up for in unique history. Hovenweep contains some of the best examples of Ancestral Puebloan masonry towers found anywhere. Most of the towers and dwellings were built between 1200 and 1300 AD, just before the area was mysteriously abandoned. The topography of the monument is generally flat with a few shallow canyons where the ruins are found. Most areas are covered in the common pinyon pine and juniper forest that is common in the region. While this area may not be as naturally beautiful as many areas in the region, the human history and ingenuity on display is truly remarkable. Because of Hovenweep's small size, hiking is generally limited to the short interpretive trails that take visitors to the ruins. Driving access varies from unit to unit. Some, like the Square Tower unit are easy to reach; others, like the Cajon group, require more effort and a better vehicle.

The park has a nice visitor center and a developed campground with restrooms and water. It is also one of the few national park service units left that doesn't charge an entrance fee. 

Because of its proximity to other large and popular national parks like Canyonlands and Mesa Verde, Hovenweep is often overlooked, but a stop in the monument is well worth the time. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Fascinating history. Many ruins. Few crowds.

Cons

Remote. Limited hiking. Limited camping.

Address

Co Rd 439
Bluff, UT 84512
United States

Features

ADA accessible
Campgrounds + Campsites
Showers
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Bicycling
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big Game Watching

Site type

Full hookups

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

08.10.16
Hovenweep is special because the trails take you so close to the dwellings. I was there hiking the Square Tower unit during a cloudburst. The rain stopped, but water trickled through the rocks and down into the canyon, a demonstration of how the presence of water enabled the people to live there.
The only shade in the campground is provided by structures over the picnic tables in each campsite. If you visit after the monsoon begins temperatures will be cooler, but there's always the chance of rain and flooding.
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