October 28, 2014

Southwest Colorado: Canyons of the Ancients

We continued our exploration of the Four Corners region in Southwest Colorado's Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Can you see the tower in the middle of the photo?  That's the Painted Hand pueblo, dating from about 1200 AD.
Here is the tower in a closer view.
Several dwellings existed in this area, as well as the tower, which may have served as an advanced lookout for the nearby Hovenweap village.
A room whose walls have mostly fallen is located under the castle.
My intrepid explorers found a pattery shard with a basket weave motif.
Faint painted hands still exist there.  The pictographs are faded, but you may see the faint outline.

We also hiked the Sand Canyon trail.  The sandstone formations above are along the trail.
The ruins along the trail blend in with the sandstone walls.
Up close, we had a better view.
Perhaps the most interesting sighting was a cave that we spotted from the trail.  The cave was across a deep canyon, too far for us to reach in our limited time, and probably not accessible by any trail.
With binoculars, we were able to see a pueblo inside.


  1. What a wonderful place to explore.

  2. Thanks for sharing this amazing place. Is such a wonderful treasure.

  3. Totally fascinating. As always I wonder what happened to the people?

  4. Amazing structures that have, mostly, stood the test of time.

  5. What a wonderful place to hike and so many things to see. I love the Pictographs...The handprints are amazing.

    My sons were in Four Corners many years ago when they were teens. Their church group went there and led a Vacation Bible School at one of the churches there... They had a great time.


  6. I have always been fascinated with cliff dwellings and the pictographs, I find them amazing. This is a place I would love to explore and thank you for all these super photographs.

  7. What great finds! Doesn't it give you chills to come upon these ancient ruins?

  8. amazing!
    The ruins are beautiful as is the 'in the distance' cave; what a great area to explore.

  9. We visited Mesa Verde a few years ago and came upon Hovenweep on the way back. It was absolutely haunting. Love it!

  10. How amazing that the Painted Hand pueblo is over 800 years old! Beautiful sights along Sand Canyon Trail.


  11. I'm amazed that something on our continent is that old!



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