Hovenweep National Monument

Known for its unique square, oval, circular and D-shaped towers, Hovenweep National Monument is located west of Cortez on the Colorado-Utah border. A visitor center, restrooms, and a two-mile moderate walk through a canyon and past several archaeological sites are located at the Square Tower headquarters area. Check at the visitor center for information on visiting the outlying sites.


McElmo Canyon Route passes through red rock canyons, and by orchards and vineyards–stop at Guy Drew Vineyards for a wine tasting. Note Battle Rock School, one of the last one-room school houses in operation. If you take the Pleasant View Route, you will pass many fields of beans in an area known as the Pinto Bean Capital of the World. On the Pleasant View Route also check out Lowry Pueblo, part of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. DISTANCE FROM CORTEZ: McElmo Route is 45 miles one way. Cortez-Pleasant View loop is 85 miles. DAY TRIPPIN’ TIME: Allow a full day. ACCESS: Car, highway, possible gravel roads. McElmo Route is totally paved. Pleasant View Route is paved all the way. Access Fee. SERVICES: Limited. Bring water and a picnic lunch and make sure you have a full tank of gas. There is a campground at Hovenweep.
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