Hovenweep National Monument

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I love Hovenweep – perhaps because it is so far out and peaceful, perhaps because of the ruins and how close you can visit them or perhaps it is just the spirit of the place. For whatever reason, this is one of my must see sites on a southern Utah tour.


The Castle

The largest ruin at Hovenweep and the first one that you see is the Castle. Here it is viewed from across the canyon from the south.


Windmill in the Desert

This image was taken near Hovenweep – it helps give you the feeling of the area. Fairly isolated and quiet, yet really inviting.


The Square Tower

No they are not building a new tower, they are working on stabilizing the Square Tower down in the canyon below the Castle.


Ruins along Canyon Edge

This and other ruins line the canyons edge. The trails system takes you to all of the major ones in the canyon and it is a delightfully short hike.


Wall Detail

Getting close enough to exam the walls is a part of the Hovenweep experience. It makes it intimate and interesting as you wander the trails where these people lived.


HovenweepIn the category of easily accessible ruins, Hovenweep is the finest Utah has to offer.The ruins surround a shallow canyon. The structures are mostly one-story one- room towers, built right along the edge of the canyon.The excitement of Hovenweep is that first, the ruins can all be viewed by following a short loop hike, and second, only 27,000 people visited Hovenweep last year, making it a quiet spot to visit.

The ruins were discovered by a Mormon expedition in 1854. The Smithsonian Institute made an archaeological survey of these ruins in 1917- 1918. To protect the ruins 784 acres were set aside as the Hovenweep National Monument.

There is a visitor center at the park, opened year-round. I also enjoy spending the night at the small campground in the park.


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