Three Kiva Pueblo, a ruin publicized and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, is located in Montezuma Canyon, along county road C146. Accessible by a short footpath, the pueblo has a reconstructed kiva with a wooden ladder leading to its interior. The remainder of the pueblo has stabilized walls and can be viewed from either atop the rebuilt kiva or from a path going around the site.
A group of archaeologists from Brigham Young University excavated the site and found 14 rooms and 3 kivas, a midden, a working area and, possibly, a turkey run. According to a local BLM ranger, this pueblo was once part of a quarter-million population in the Montezuma Canyon and was abandoned around 1300 AD.
Although there were 3 separate kivas, only Kiva Number 1 was reconstructed. It is thought that the other 2 kivas were from different occupations from Number 1. It is also believed that the occupants were farmers and raised turkey based on the number of corn cobs and turkey bones found in the area.
Inside the round kiva, about 12 - 13 feet in diameter, are niches, benches, a sipapu (a hole in the floor where the mythical tribal ancestors first emerged from the primordial underworld), a fire pit, and a ventilator shaft. The roof is made of mud and wood beams.
We gotta' say it was interesting to be inside and consider previous people congregating. What were they talking about? What were their concerns? Were they celebrating or making tough decisions about their future?
A brochure for Three Kiva Pueblo can be picked up at the visitor centers in Bluff and Monticello. You can also obtain information from reacreation.gov
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.