Hovenweep - "deserted valley" - Nat'l Monument 4/10/12

Didn't make it to out-of-the-way Hovenweep last year, so this year we drove out-of-our-way to pay this prehistoric ancestral Pueblo canyon a well-deserved visit. Located in SE Utah/SW Colorado, in canyon and mesa country north of the San Juan River, it holds many inspiring, archaeological features. Circa 700-1300 AD. The towers are remarkable: multi-storied, oval, rectangular or D-shaped, with detailed masonry. Tantalizing towers. We were totally baffled (along with experts, I'm sure) as to the how and why... and the ancients aren't talking - so their structure and existence will remain forever a secret. Fascinating.

Eh, what's up doc? sez the cute collared lizard on the 2-mi loop trail.

Eroded Boulder House, which incorporates the huge rock under which it sits as part of its roof & walls. I think it looks like an eroded snake head.

Archeologist Maureen w/ Hopi workers surveying Hovenweep "Castle." She gave us lots of historical info. What a great job she has!

Jimmy surveying the incredible castle!

"D" shaped towers....

Down in the canyon, two-story Square Tower sits on a large sandstone boulder. It was built in a slight spiral shape.

Our favorite structure in the outlying Holly Unit, a Square Tower, built upon rock, but how...?

Finally, desert paintbrush for a spot of color.


  1. I loved that place! Maybe mostly because so little "toursit infrastructure" exists there... you feel sort of like you just discovered this forgotten spot.

    It is pouring here in Sacramento as I write this. I envy your weather.

  2. Wow! I need to see this now.

  3. So much fun. Back in the days before Mo and RV's I traveled to Santa Fe all alone in my little red Ford Ranger pick-up and slept all alone in the back at Hovenweep. It was so magical then, I had it all to myself. It was in February and the metal top of my little canopy was freezing, but oh how I loved that place. Sooooo great to see it again through you.


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