Hovenweep National Monument
Hours and Fees:
8am to 6pm (May through September)
8am to 4:30pm (October through April)
Individuals: $3 (Good for 7 Days)
Vehicles: $6 (Good for 7 days)
Hovenweep National Monument is home to a great collection of cliff-top Puebloan ruins which lies along Utah/Colorado border. Several multi-storied towers are easily accessed via a network of trails, most adjacent to the visitor center and campground. There are three other sites which are a short drive away via unimproved dirt roads.
Notes About Our Visit:
We arrived at the Hovenweep visitor center about midday and quickly set off to walk the 2-mile Square Tower Group Trail which leads from the visitor center out to and around the canyon. We took the recommended 1-1/2 hour time to explore and take photos and found it to be more than enough for a quick walk. After we setup camp I returned to the Hovenweep Castle Tower area to take some sunset photos.
The next morning we woke up, picked up camp, and headed off to the three outlying cliff ruins. We used the area map provided by the visitor center to make our way to the other ruins. Access to the ruins outside the main area is over dirt roads, which in spots were fairly rocky but not bad. We really enjoyed the Cutthroat Castle and Holly ruin and felt the drive and hike were worth it. During our hikes to these outlying ruins we never came across another person, something we really enjoyed.
To make things easy for us we chose to camp at the Hovenweep camp ground which is about 1/3 of a mile from the visitor center. Access was easy and there were several RV and tent spots available as it was the off-season. The covered picnic table was nice and allowed us a place to get out from under the sun. The cost was $10/night, and they do not offer discounts for the Interagency Access Pass
We found the campground to be a wonderful location for stargazing. Although the weather was turning cold, we opted to setup the tent without the rainfly so that we could bundle up in sleeping bags and enjoy the stars moving overhead.