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“Compelling, mysterious, solitary Hovenweep-don't miss”

Hovenweep National Monument
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Cortez
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located in Utah but near Cortez, this site has six ruin sites all built around 1200 AD. Hovenweep is 42 miles from Cortez, CO and approximately 48 from Blanding, UT
Reviewed August 13, 2010

Hovenweep National Monument is far from everything--and that is one of the great beauties of the Four Corners area. The perfectly constructed towers dotting the little canyon draw you into the mysteries of this remote corner of the world. Like Mesa Verde, you can't help but wonder why the ancient Pueboans built here. The multi-story construction is unusual--were they fortresses, storage areas, homes, all of the above? For a two hour stay, you will find much to interest you from the Pueblo III era (1200s), same period as Mesa Verde. The first part of the walkway to the canyon edge (80 feet deep) is accessible to people with mobility issues. After that, the 1.5 mile rim walk down into the canyone and around the top was moderate, not strenous, exercise for our (fairly fit) family after the drive from Cortez and before heading up to Moab. On the walk you get very close to the towers, and can see interesting wildlife like the collared lizard (a big turquoise blue with a yellow head!). The park is pretty rustic (which we like), and the little canyon is a gem. We'll camp here next time we're in the area.

4  Thank drsh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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500 - 504 of 518 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2010

This is an amazing little park. Well worth the journey to this remote area. The 2 mile walk around the tower ruins is great. I want to return when I have more time to explore the backcounty. If you like Chaco, Bandelier, Mesa Verde and Canyon De Chelly this place is for you. Great for kids and one of the most pet friendly parks I have ever been too.

2  Thank voyagerhombre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2009

Hovenweep is high desert and accessible by narrow, country roads. No water, no food, no services. The ruins in this part of the country require a good bit of walking. If you're looking for backcountry hiking and camping, it's a good place to go, but not of much interest to a passing tourist, who will enjoy Mesa Verde much more. If you are a hiker bring lots of water and watch out for rattlesnakes, scorpions and mountain lions.

5  Thank GirlOutWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2009

Hovenweep takes a little effort to get to, but it is worth every mile. Tucked 40+ miles in any direction from town it is a perfect spot to get away from hustle of tourist areas, experience the Ancients and see the stars up close & personal. A friend suggested visiting Hovenweep after I mentioned I was going back for 3rd visit to Chaco Culture. The Square Tower 2 mile loop allows you to get close to numerous ruins and imagine life 1000 years ago. Camping was quiet with semi-shaded picnic tables, water & flush toilets. Note: fire grills are stand up grills that don’t allow for camp fires. Stars were amazing & being so far from metro sites, not affected by man made light.
Hwy G coming in from Cortez (east) is winding canyon road. Hwy 262 in from Utah (west) is straight, mostly high plateau road.

3  Thank Mtngal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2009

Hovenweep, 1997 and about 2000
This is one of many areas in the 4 corners area we vactaion at.
I would suggest going to this sight. If you like being in the high desert with only the other campers around and they are quite and not many around then please visit.
We've, my sister and I, have been twice. The first year we just stayed in the area around the vistor center. The second year we did the vistor center area and one of the outling areas, cutthroat area. This area you need high clearance vechile and 4 wheel drive otherwise I would suggest going here. We camped both times in a tent. The second year we were rained out. Camped next to a draw and it started fulling up but we did not washed out. Just our sleeping bags got wet so we packed up next day, 3am in the moring and went into Cortez which was on our agenda and did Ute reservation trip.

2  Thank rockdirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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