Hovenweep National Monument in Pictures
Hovenweep National Monument is a small NPS site in the far southeast corner of Utah that protects some truly unique ancient ruins. The site consists of six villages that were home to about 2,500 people, but what’s unique here is the masonry. The people of Hovenweep built multistory stone towers that are perched on the edges around a canyon, and they are some of the best preserved anywhere.
The site is associated with many different tribes of ancient Puebloan peoples, and the current structures were built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. While there are many sites in the area that are similar, such as those at Mesa Verde National Park, none are as sturdy or well-constructed as the structures at Hovenweep. While researchers aren’t sure what the towers were used for specifically, everyone can agree that the level of craftsmanship and skill required to build them is remarkable.
Hovenweep National Monument is about an hour’s drive west from Mesa Verde National Park and about a two hour drive south from Moab, UT.
Things to see and do
- Hike around the foot paths through the turrets and the ruins
- Enjoy sweeping views of the canyon and cliff dwellings
- Wildlife spotting
- Enjoy Ranger-led programs, including stargazing talks with telescope viewings, porch talks, and hikes
- Tent and RV Camping
- Enjoy a sunset
- Find some petroglyphs at The Holly Unit portion of the park
Hovenweep National Monument Hours
Hovenweep National Monument is open year round, 24 hours a day. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
The Hovenweep Visitor Center is open every day from 9am-4pm, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays when they are closed. It is also closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Directions to Hovenweep National Monument
Don’t rely on GPS to get you here! Because of the mix of paved and unpaved roads, GPS tends to get confused.
Hovenweep National Monument Park Stats
Date created: March 2, 1923 and singed into law by President Warren G. Harding
Annual Visitors: 26,710 in 2021
Fun Fact: The modern-day ancestors of the Hovenweep culture include the Pueblo, Zuni, and Hopi peoples who still live in the four-corners area and in parts of the surrounding states.
Visitor Centers and Passport Stamps
Hovenweep has a small Visitor Center and Park Store where visitors can get passport stamps and other items. Be sure to pick up some water if you need it during the summer months. You don’t want to be out on the trails in the summer heat without water.
Other Nearby Parks
Have you visited Hovenweep National Monument?
Other nearby National Park Sites
- Utah: A Family Road Trip to Visit Utah’s Mighty Five
- Colorado: Visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Colorado: Colorado National Monument
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- California: Joshua Tree National Park
- Montana: Things to do in Glacier National Park
- West Virginia: Visiting New River Gorge National Park
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