Hovenweep National Monument - Castle Ruin

Hovenweep National Monument, established in 1923, is a treasure trove of archelogical discovery. Evidence of human presence begins with hunting and gathering over 10,000 years ago and continues to the six prehistoric stone villages constructed sometime between A.D. 1200-1300. Hovenweep Castle is one such ruin along the monument's Little Ruin Canyon trail. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description This view of Castle Ruin in 1910 shows piles of bricks at the bases of sections of this ruin. In the leftmost structure, the top of a window can be made out on the back wall. The area around the base of the ruin is clear of vegetation, mature cliff rose and sagebrush can be seen on the slopes behind the ruin as well as the foreground. Young shrubs are just beginning to colonize the margin between these areas.
Date 1910
Photographer Colter
Photo Source NPS - MEVE

Desert Lab Collection
Description After almost 100 years since the previous photo, there are visible changes to the ruin. The leftmost foreground structure has lost the right wall and part of the corner, as well as the top of the window on the wall farthest from the camera. The middle ruin shows evidence of both collapse and partial restoration, with bricks missing from the top and edges of existing walls, but with some gaps filled in. Shrubs now obscure the base of the rightmost ruin from the camera's view. Notably, the loose bricks surrounding the base have been removed. Large mature shrubs now grow quite close to the ruin now as well as on the slopes in the background, and a clear path leads through the shrubs in the foreground. A sign points visitors towards Tower Point Loop. A few juniper trees are also visible on the slopes behind the ruins.
Date 2007-03-26
Photographer Tharnstrom
Photo Source Desert Lab Collection

Description Castle Ruin remains almost identical to its condition in 2007. The large shrubs have grown and a small number of new ones have established near the base of the ruins. The background remains dominated by sage and shrubs but the juniper trees visible in 2007 have grown larger.
Date 2013-08-21
Photographer Webb, R. H.
Photo Source USGS

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