Hidden south of Dove Creek and west of Cortez are 164,000 acres of public lands dotted with archaeological sites and the remains of the Puebloan culture. With more than 6,000 recorded sites, and in some places up to 100 per square mile, a trip through the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a journey of discovery. Intermixed among cattle, farm land and the never-ending desert, rest the history and traditions of a culture now extinct. Located at the southern end of Canyon of the Ancients lies Hovenweep National Monument, extraordinary in both its magnitude and intimacy. A day in the desert exploring Canyons of the Ancients truly epitomizes the staggering scope of history and culture that the Four Corners has to offer.

The Great Kiva at the Lowry Pueblo opens up across the desert
and is one of the most impressive sites in Canyons of the
Ancients. Visitors to Hovenweep National Monument tour Little Ruin Canyon
and take in the sites of Hovenweep Castle on a hot Saturday
afternoon. A now-dated sign opposing the monuments designation weathers in
the McElmo Canyon sun. The monument was designated by presidential
proclamation on June 9, 2000. A horny toad soaks up the sunshine at the Lowry Pueblo last
weekend. Charles Eaton and Theresa Felt, of Salt Lake City, start their
hike up Sand Canyon on Saturday afternoon. A cactus blooms along the trail in Hovenweep National Monument
Saturday. Square Tower rises from the floor of Little Ruin Canyon in
Hovenweep National Monument.