Hovenweep National Monument, Cortez

4.6
#1 of 8 in Things to do in Cortez
Marking an area inhabited for tens of thousands of years, Hovenweep National Monument includes a group of six village groups built by ancestral Puebloans that include towers, castles, cliff dwellings, and more. Reminiscent of medieval designs in Europe, these structures testify to the indigenous peoples' superb masonry skills. During your tour, keep your eyes peeled for petroglyphs and try to interpret the rock art. Choose between three hiking trails to explore the attraction, or stay in the onsite campground and trek all the paths in a few days. Before hitting the trail, stop by the visitor's center for maps and watch the educational film for more details. Note: do not rely on GPS signals to navigate the area, as they tend to send visitors to the wrong locations. Use a map instead. Make Hovenweep National Monument part of your personalized Cortez itinerary using our Cortez online holiday maker .
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Hovenweep National Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
526 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Hovenweep is another site of pueblo ruins in the four corners area. If you're in the area of Mesa Verde and have some extra time this is a great addition. I visited early am and enjoyed a nice hike.  more »
  • a must if you are in the area easy to find and very interesting you can make very nice photos
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  • If you're traveling all the way out to Mesa Verde you should plan for a stop here as well. The canyon hike takes you all the way down and around the rim. You can get really close to the structures and...  more »
Google
  • Fascinating glimpse into the past; most sites are within an easy hike but the part of the loop that goes through the canyon is not for people who are unsure on their feet; visitor center has some good information (do not miss the plaque describing the astronomical measurements built into the structures); would be great if the road to Holly Group were improved sometime
  • Bit far off the beaten track, but a nice place to visit. Shame about the lack of hookups but they have toilets and drinking water avalible. Bargain for $10 a night. The ruins are well worth a look. Keep an eye out for lizards! They like to pose for photos!!! A perfect evening being able to sit next to a roaring campfire and watching the stars come out.
  • Great views and history. Trails were easy enough to see all the main sights. Best view of Sleeping Ute mountain we found on our trip.
  • If you're in the Four Corners/Cortez area, it's worth a visit. Offering a 2 mile relatively easy, well marked hike to see the many well preserved dwellings. The gift shop/office/public restrooms are well maintained by a sarcastic, underutilized park ranger. Camping is first come, first serve, the only campground around for MANY miles. Surrounded by the Navajo Nation.
  • Such an important historically significant site, but no access for those unable to initiate strenuous activity. My wife and I were unable to hike the trails as we are in our 70's and physically unable. Great movie, but not close to the wonder of Mess Verde.

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Where to stay in Cortez

Since most people who come to Cortez are tourists visiting nearby Mesa Verde National Park, budget-friendly lodging rules here. You'll find a few motels on the outskirts of the town, but most accommodations are concentrated on the town's main street and consist of popular hotel chains with standard rooms. Those who like the outdoors can choose from several campgrounds and RV parks around the city.
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