Hohvenweep National Monument is almost into Colorado in a very remote corner of eastern Utah.
One turns off the main highway near Blanding and then travels across miles of empty sagebrush skirting the Ute Indian reservation.
The name Hohvenweep means “deserted valley” in Ute-Paiute language. A very apt name.
One comes upon several shallow canyons cut into the sandstone. What is different here is that the structures which are towers are grouped at the head of each canyon where in flowing water was dammed up for crops.
The ancestors of todays Pueblo Indians first came about 1100 C.E. and began these towers around 1230. By the late 1200’s prolonged drought and overuse of natural resources and possibly strife led to the abandonment of the area. Moving on and settling in the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico and the Hopi Mesas of Arizona. Today careful preservation and repair work is going on steadily- the work being done by local Ute.
The reason for towers is not fully understood. Most are clustered near springs and seeps and may have been for the protection of those valuable water sources.
Above a ranger we met along the trail who told us much about the place.