Hovenweep National Monument Photo Gallery

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Though it consists of only 785 acres, Hovenweep National Monument has some of the most spectacular, well-preserved, easily accessible ancestral sites in southwestern Colorado.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The Square Tower group, the park's most recognizable structure, is clustered around Little Ruin Canyon and dates back to 1230. A gentle 1.5-mile hike along the rim offers unfettered views of the building remains along with a 20-minute loop to the Tower Point overlook.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Twin Towers dominate the southern rim, rising from the native bedrock—one oval, one horseshoe-shaped. Together they had 16 rooms.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The Eroded Boulder House sits midway into the valley, demonstrating how the ancient Puebloans worked their construction into the existing topography.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Unit Type House, on the other canyon ledge, offers a glimpse into the typical building layout, with a few living areas and a central kiva, a room used for religious rituals.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Towers dominate the manmade landscape of Hovenweep. They were used as observatories, signaling stations, work and living rooms, and ceremonial stations, as well as for defense and storage.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Square Tower, easily one of Hovenweep’s most dramatic structures, sits inside the canyon on a large sandstone boulder surrounded by foliage. Unlike other towers in the monument, it was built with a slightly spiral shape, possibly for added strength or aesthetics.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Opposite Square Tower sits Hovenweep Castle. Stone walls, two to three courses thick, indicate the level of masonry expertise.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Growth rings found in a wooden beam within the castle date back to 1277.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The Square Tower group sits at the heart of 500-square-mile Cajon Mesa, part of the Great Sage Plain. Streams in the mesa drain into the San Juan River, further south.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Despite the somewhat barren appearance of the land surrounding the Square Tower group, its inhabitants weren't isolated. Settlements flourished throughout the area, all within a day's walk.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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A 30-site campgrounds is based at the visitor center. But permanent residents of the monument are of a decidedly more rugged variety, like this collared lizard.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Hovenweep is open year-round and is just 43 miles from Cortez, Colorado. In addition to the short hike around the rim of Little Ruin Canyon, you can hike to the Holly group via an eight-mile loop trail.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
 
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