Holly Group - Hovenweep National Monument, CO

Guide 2 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,368 feet
Elevation Gain -32 feet
Accumulated Gain 12 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 - 1 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 0.31
Interest Ruins
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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15  2018-06-22 Steph_and_Blake
29  2017-10-15
Hovenweep Hikes
author avatar Guides 100
Routes 63
Photos 2,548
Trips 184 map ( 820 miles )
Age 73 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
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Preferred Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Winter
Sun  5:19am - 7:26pm
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stunning architecture
by Steph_and_Blake

This is a short, easy hike to an ancient pueblo and a special archaeoastronomy site in Hovenweep National Monument.

The Hike
From the parking area, follow the obvious trail headed west. In a very short distance you will come to the first ruin, Tilted Tower. The name of this ruin will quickly become obvious once you see that the base of the structure is clinging to the broken boulder. The Hovenweep website says that the boulder shifted sometime after the ruin was abandoned and that the upper stories of Tilted Tower have fallen into the canyon below.

Continuing west you’ll next see Holly Tower, another multi-story building built around 1200, situated a little below the canyon rim. Located adjacent to a seep, it is also perched upon a very large boulder. The third structure is Holly House, on the other side of the canyon.

Aside from the stunning architecture, this site is known for its solstice panel (hidden beneath an overhang about 200 feet due south of Holly House). The ancestral Pueblo people used existing rock features that interacted with the sun in a special way. As the sun rises on and near the summer solstice a small, narrow band of light (a “dagger”) lands on a boulder under an overhang. At its maximum brightness, the dagger connects the centers of two petroglyphs - one a spiral and the other a pair of concentric circles. If you want to learn more about solstice panels, please stop by the Hovenweep Visitor Center for more information (which I couldn’t find on their website).

The hike is all of about a quarter-mile long, roundtrip, and is on fairly level ground. If you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle, you should probably not drive all the way to the trailhead and park further away. But that would add only about a ½-mile or so to your hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-06-25 Steph_and_Blake
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    area related
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.

Permit $$
National Monument Fee $10-25 per 7 Days

Hovenweep National Monument
$6per vehicle (Good for 7 days) Permit Information

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
From Cortez, head north on US-491 for 18 miles. Turn left onto Road BB. Drive 6 miles then turn left onto County Road 10. Drive 15 miles then turn left onto the signed road. Follow the signs to the Holly Group parking area. See end of Description, above, about the road condition at the end.
page created by Steph_and_Blake on Jun 25 2018 2:10 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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