Hovenweep National Monument, (purple marker), is located in far eastern Utah. But since it is part of the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, (yellow marker), we are including it as one of the state's national monuments.
The monument was created to protect the Native American villages in Utah and Colorado.
There are many villages that make up the monument. On the Utah side, the Cajon Group and the Square Tower Group contain several buildings, towers and kivas.
The Holly Group, located in Keeley Canyon is in Colorado. The Boulder House and Tilted Tower are built on large boulders. It is amazing how these were constructed given the precarious nature of climbing the canyon walls.
Another group, the Horseshoe Group in the Horseshoe Canyon is home to Horseshoe Tower and Horseshoe House. The tower is the largest structure in the area.
In Hackberry Canyon, the Hackberry Group was found to have the largest number of occupants. It is east of Horseshoe.
The most eastern site in Hovenweep is known as Goodman Point. Archeologists believe that between 200-450 A.D. the buildings suggest a large community of people. Between 900-1300 A.D. it became much more populated.
In 1899, Goodman was the first archaeological site in the area and protected by the federal government. Today, most of this site has collapsed and has been buried.
The famous Smithsonian Institute received word of this find and sent a man named Feweks, to survey the area in 1917.
The institute lobbied Washington to put the entire area under federal protection. In 1923, President Harding signed Hovenweep into being.
You can still visit the monument, though tourism is almost nonexistent. The ruins are buried in a remote part of the Colorado Plateau, but to visit here you can walk in the shoes of the Ancients from 200 A.D.
The best way to get to Hovenweep is the southern route. Take Interstate 25 south to Hwy. 50 west. Follow it to Hwy. 160 and southwest for 2-3 hours.
You will arrive in Cortez. Follow the signs to Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and on to Hovenweep.
However, if you happen to be visiting the other national monuments in the western part of Colorado, you can make the trip following Hwy. 50 from Grand Junction to Hwy. 160 south through the Rio Grande National Forest, into Durango and then on to Cortez and the south western corner of the state.