Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
164.00 ft (49.99 m)
Trail type
1.80 mi (2.90 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Little Rim Trail in Hoveenweep National Monument is a 1.8-mile loop trail where hikers are able to explore the Square Tower Group.  The trail starts at the visitor center where hikers should stop in and pay the daily fee (or present their Interagency Pass).  Once the hiker pays the fee, they can begin the hike on the paved portion of the trail.  Hikers will then continue to where the trail forms a loop. The hike has minimal elevation gain, and if hikers were to tackle the elevation then hikers should choose to go clockwise. 

The first dwelling that visitors will see is the Stronghold House, named for the fact that the dwelling looks like a fortress.  Hikers also have a view of Eroded Boulder House across the canyon.  When hikers make a right hand turn at the start of the loop they will dip into the Little Ruin Canyon and immediately climb back out.  The trail is mostly flat from there on out.  Once on the opposite ride of the canyon hikers will pass the Twin Towers and Rim Rock House. For the next quarter mile hikers can look into the canyon and enjoy the views of all of the dwellings.  Then hikers will pass Hovenweep house and the trail will start to loop around back to the start.  Hikers will then see Square Tower, a three-story building on what appears to be an island in the canyon.  Followed closely by the Hovenweep Castle which is the largest dwelling in the group.  At this point hikers can choose to walk to Tower Point for a spectacular view of the canyon and the Ute Mountains in the distance.  After Tower Point hikers will pass one more dwelling, Unit Type House, before returning back to the visitor’s center.

While the trail is short, there are quite a few dwellings for hikers to explore.  Hikers should be sure to pick up a trail guide from the visitors center to learn about the people who once lived in the canyon.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round



Significant amount of ancestral Puebloan dwellings. Places to rest.


Hard to get to.

Trailhead Elevation

5,239.00 ft (1,596.85 m)

Highest point

5,245.00 ft (1,598.68 m)

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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