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Investigate the Ancestral Puebloan ruins of Hovenweep National Monument, just 39 miles northeast of Bluff, near the Colorado border. Six abandoned groupings of ruins are revealed to visitors who can explore using paved and dirt roads, as well as hiking trails. Get ready for a fascinating glimpse into an ancient culture!
Among the most impressive set of ruins are the iconic Square Tower House and Hovenweep Castle. It is said that they were abandoned in the late 1200s and have structures with portals that are aligned perfectly to allow the sunlight and shadows during the equinoxes and solstices. The Square Tower Group Loop Trail runs just over 1.5 miles roundtrip and is the best way to explore this impressive area.
The Cajon Group, the farthest south of the ruins, features village structures that indicate a one-time population of 80 to 100 people. There are also four groups of ruins across the border in Colorado, including Cutthroat Castle, Holly, Horseshoe, and Hackberry.
The historic villages and sites are open throughout the year except for certain holidays. Interpretive programs are led by National Park Service Rangers, and self-guided hikes are allowed, although hiking into the ruins is prohibited.