Scenic USA - Utah
Hovenweep National Monument
|Photos by Alexa Goldman
Night Sky photo by Jacob W. Frank (NPS)
Hovenweep National Monument, located in southeastern Utah, was established to protect a collection of six different early puebloan-era villages. These 800 year old structures were wonderfully constructed with handmade brick, using only hand-labor and stone tools. Unique to Hovenweep, the careful construction of these dwellings and the attention to detail are not seen in other Southwest puebloan villages.
The area's dwellings are spread out along a canyon rim and mesa tops, where a twenty mile trail offers excellent views of every structure. The Square Tower Group, a three story complex, is the only cluster of buildings accessible by road at Hovenweep. Square Tower contains the largest collection of structures in the park, including the remains of nearly thirty kivas on the slopes of Little Ruin Canyon. The homes and kivas are decorated with a variety of indoor furnishings, giving an interesting feel for an early puebloan lifestyle.
Not only does Hovenweep protect the large array of puebloan structures, but it's also recognized for its primitive dark sky. Just recently certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, Hovenweep became the 17th International Dark Sky Park in 2014. Surrounded by BLM land and the Navajo Reservation, Hovenweep escapes most light pollution that is inherent in modern America. Here in some of the darkest skies of Utah, it's possible to see 30 times the stars visible in an urban setting. Stargazing and night sky photography are only allowed from the visitor center parking lot and park campground.
Little Ruin Canyon Trail Guide
Additional Points of Interest
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