Hovenweep National Monument


Hovenweep National Monument protects five prehistoric, Puebloan-era villages spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders. Hovenweep is noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character. The Square Tower Group is the primary contact facility with a visitor center, campground, and interpretive trail. Other groups (or villages) include Holly, Horseshoe, Hackberry, Cutthroat Castle and Cajon. History & Culture Human habitation at Hovenweep dates to over 10,000 years ago when nomadic Paleoindians visited the Cajon Mesa to gather food and hunt game. These people used the area for centuries, following the seasonal weather patterns. By about A.D. 900, people started to settle at Hovenweep year-round, planting and harvesting crops in the rich soil of the mesa top.


Seasonality / Weather

Hovenweep is open year-round. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April through September) and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (October through March). The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days.



The road to the visitor center and Square Tower Group is paved from Cortez, Colorado, on County Road G (the McElmo Canyon Road), and from White Mesa (south of Blanding) on Highway 262. The road from Highway 666 (near Pleasant View) is dirt and may be impassable after storms. This road accesses most of the outlying units in Colorado. All roads into the outlying units are dirt and are not maintained regularly. High-clearance vehicles are recommended for visiting these sites.


Commercial airlines serve Cortez and Grand Junction, CO, Salt Lake City and Moab, UT, and Albuquerque, NM as well as other cities in the Four Corners area.

Public Transport: 

Commercial bus and van shuttles service nearby towns, but not Hovenweep specifically.