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Utah National Monuments & Recreational Areas

Location: McElmo Route Cortez, CO 81321

Hovenweep, the Ute Indian word meaning "deserted valley", stands as a sentinel of Ancestral Puebloan ruins in a landscape of sage and juniper. Abondoned around the late 1200s, most of the ancient buildings are situated on teh edges of shallow cliffs, balanced over boulder heaps, or guarding seeps.<br>
A short loop hike winds around the Square Tower House and Hovenweep Castle. Portals in the castle appear to align sunlight each seasonal solstice and equinox. Hovenweep is both a mystical pilgrimage and a fascinating study in ancient culture. Located 39 miles northeast of Bluff on US 191 and Hwy 262, there is a campground and visitor center with campfire talks and ranger-guided hikes.