Hovenweep National Monument is composed of six ruins that are located on 784 acres of land. Hovenweep territory is located in a wild and remote part of the Southwest that lays undisturbed. The monument is carefully preserved and was the site of Pueblo farming villages that were active seven centuries ago. Hovenweep National Monument was discovered in 1874 by an explorer and photographer named William Jackson who named the area Hovenweep which is a Paiute word that means "deserted valley." The region did not become a national monument until 1923, and has been taken care of by the National Park Service since that time. Thousands of people travel to the monument every year and are attracted to the interest, appeal, and peaceful nature of the surroundings.
The monument pays tribute to the prehistoric people who once occupied the land long ago called the Hovenweep Indians. The ancient Indians were called the Hovenweep but are believed to be descendants of the present-day Pueblo Indians. Archeologists believe that the Hovenweep lived in the corners of Colorado and Utah until the 12th century. The very first people believed to be in the area arrived their over two thousand years ago and made their homes in the shallow crevices of the caves. In order to survive, the Indians were farmers with complex agricultural systems. The ancient Hovenweep ate wild plants and hunted animals in addition to raising crops like beans, squash, and corn. The people were also excellent artisans who were able to craft a variety of items for everyday use.
Visitors to the Hovenweep National Monument are impressed with the ancient architecture and scenic views that are found at the monument. The remains of the pueblos are left untouched. The pueblos and ancient towers are composed of coursed-stone masonry. Some of the walls that were once perfect dwellings stand at over 20 feet tall and has various places that visitors can explore. A Ranger station, trails, and campground are located on the premises. Visitors that are new to the monument are advised to first stop at the Ranger Station in order to become better acquainted with the monument grounds. Each day, the Ranger Station is open from 8AM - 4:30PM and gives tourists a place to become better oriented to the area. A campground is also available that has 31 separate areas that are equipped with a fire grate and table. A camping fee of $10 is charged and is allowed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Hovenweep National Monument does not charge an entrance fee. Tourists don't have to pay to find themselves exposed to the history and wander of one of the oldest dwellings in the United States. In order to get a full view of the grounds a self-guided trail is available for hikers and tourists. The trail is two miles long and consists of three loops. The trails gives visitors the chance to walk freely through the old dwellings. The total time to walk the trail is an estimated two hours. While walking the monument grounds, encounters with deer, rabbits, rodents, coyotes, and foxes may occur. Hovenweep National Monument is full of wild life and thousands of species live in and around the ancient pueblos.