Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hovenweep National Monument, Utah

On April 28 we went to Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah. It was a long drive for approximately 40 miles back to the Monument, but well worth the drive. Hovenweep is remote, but a wonderful place. The names is Ute for "deserted valley."

It was an extremely windy day, but we ventured as far along the trail as we could and had some awesome views of these ancestral Puebloan ruins.

There are six prehistoric villages along the 20-mile stretch of mesas on which the villages were built. The Hovenweep people were closely associated with the puebloan peoples at nearby Mesa Verde. Hovenweep was settled around 900, and by the late 1200s was home to over 2500 people. The people were mainly farmers, growing mainly corn, beans, and squash.

Hovenweep contains a rich variety of interesting structures, including square and circular towers, D-shaped buildings and many kivas.

The Hovenweeps abandoned the villages in the late 13th century, probably due to a prolonged drought in the area.

Hovenweep was declared a monument of the National Parks system in 1923. There is a very nice visitor center, a good system of walking trails, and a campground.

We were glad we took the extra time to drive back to Hovenweep; it was well worth the trip.

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