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“Unusual ruins, good, short trail, nice campground + extras” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument
McElmo Route, Cortez, CO 81321
970-562-4282
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Ranked #2 of 13 Attractions in Cortez
Type: Ancient Ruins, Monuments/ Statues, National Parks, Cultural
Activities: Driving, Camping, Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in Utah but near Cortez, this site has six ruins all built around 1200 AD.
West Linn
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Unusual ruins, good, short trail, nice campground + extras”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

There are ruins all around the Four Corners area but the ones at Hovenweep are inspired and unusual, as if they had an architect who didn't follow the standards of the time and who had an eye for beauty. The easy trail around the canyon rim, across the bottom of the canyon and back to the rim takes you up close to the main set of ruins. There are other ruins a short hike, or short drive away.
The campground is exposed to the wind but is otherwise very nice, with good restrooms, water and covered picnic tables. There's a small visitors center and gift shop also. The sky is dark and full of stars. Spent one night there during a several hour thunderstorm and at one point crawled out of my tent and into the car when the strikes were only a couple of seconds away. I'd avoid that situation if you camp there.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Get Up Close”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

After many trips to Anasazi sites, you can start to burn out on ruins. This national monument, however, gets you up close to the ruins and gives you a chance to study how they may have been build and to speculate as to why they were built where they were. You can hike the whole monument or stand in one place and see most of it. Because it can be very dry, always take water with you when you attempt to hike this area. I'd consider this a very good way to see a collection of ruins with minimal effort. There is an 80 foot drop in elevation on the hike, so if you aren't healthy, go to the overlook and use binoculars or a telephoto lens to see the ruins.
The monument is located in the middle of nowhere, so be prepared for a drive out of Cortez (bad roads) or Moab (some gravel roads).

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Inspirational! Spiritual and peaceful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

We were visiting at the perfect time of year! The trail was about two miles with about an 80' hike down into the canyon. It touched my soul to hike down into the canyon with pueblos on both sides and knowing that centuries ago these same trails were traveled by the "Ancients". There is a wheelchair accessible paved trail. The Rangers are knowledgeable and very pleasant.

Visited October 2013
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Cortez, Colorado
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Baby Mesa Verde”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

That is my nickname for this smaller assortment of ancient ruins. Hike through the cluster is one hour if you keep walking. I can stay all afternoon. This is one of the places that I believe the people of Mesa Verde established when they gave up on trying to survive up there. It is remote and never crowded. Summers can be hot, go in the morning, or go in the afternoon and stay for the sunset. Take your camera and extra water.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Worth the trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Although my husband and I questioned the location - and the long drive on a county road - the pueblo ruins were literally otherworldly! We took a hike around the grounds - and were amazed at how much we saw and how much we learned.

Visited September 2013
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