Hovenweep National Monument - Little Ruin Canyon

Little Ruin Canyon is a 1.5 mile trail in Hovenweep National Monument. The edges of the canyon as well as the small valley below house a number of impressive ruins constructed by ancestral Puebloans, mostly constructed between A.D. 1230-1275. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description The remnants of four structures visible in this shot of Tower Point from inside Little Ruin Canyon, two on the top of the hill and one midway down the slope. There is a small remnant of a fifth structure visible just to the left of the ruin highest up the hill. Sagebrush dominate the visible vegitation, growing up the slope and around rocky outcrops. Juniper trees are slightly visible over the top of the ridge to the right and left of the ruins.
Date 1910
Photographer Colter
Photo Source NPS - MEVE

Description The ruins on the left and middle of the photo remain mostly unchanged, but the ruin in the top right of the image has partially collapsed since 1910. The front wall with a doorway has almost entirely fallen down, and the remains of the structure to its left appear to mostly have deteriorated. A large cottonwood tree is now visible in the foreground of the image, and a stand of juniper trees can be seen on the left side of the slope above it. The rest of the slope is still mostly shrubs.
Date 1972
Photographer Cramer, M.
Photo Source NPS - SEUG

Desert Lab Collection
Description The ruins are primarily unchanged, with only a small amount of degredation from the last photo. Some small juniper trees are also mixed in with the sage and other shrubs on the right half of the slope now as well. In the lower right, a dead branch of the cottonwood tree in the last image is visible, possibly a sign of dieback during the regional droughts in the early 2000s.
Date 2007-03-17
Photographer Tharnstrom
Photo Source Desert Lab Collection

Description Most shrubs and trees have persisted since the last photo, and the young juniper trees in particular display visible growth. While the ruins themselves do not display visible changes, shrubs can be seen growing inside the structure at the top of the hill. The cottonwood tree in the lower left is still alive and has retained the dead branch from the previous photo.
Date 2013-08-21
Photographer Lemke, W.
Photo Source USGS

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