During our stay at Hovenweep National Monument we decide to take the Holly Trail from the campground to the Holly Ruins and back. The hike is 8 miles (12km) round trip leading through Keely Canyon.
The trailhead is at the campground and quickly leads you in to the canyon where soon you have to maneuver through a crevice of 18 inches wide. The trail itself is well marked and has many great views.
The hike is not strenuous but expect to navigate through sandy riverbeds, go up and down steep steps, over some boulders and as said, work your way through narrow crevices. About two thirds on the trail you come to the remnants of an untouched ancestral structure.
Going up the canyon to the Holly Ruins you have to go through another narrow crevice, making this hike all the more fun and spectacular. We even explored a few side crevices as well.
Coming out of the canyon all of a sudden in the near distance you see the Holly Ruins. One of the structures is spectacularly built on an enormous boulder. One can only imagine how it was here back in the day when it was bursting with life.
On a sidenote: Holly Ruins is accessible by car and not far from Hovenweep National Monument. A short trail leads from the ruins to a petroglyph site that was used to mark the equinoxes.
After taking in and enjoying the scenery, wandering around and taking some pictures we decide it’s time to go, and down the canyon we go again, slithering through the crevices and making our way back to our campsite at Hovenweep on that beautiful primitive trail. Click the link to read about Hovenweep National Monument: Campground & Square Tower Trail. Once back home we are getting everything ready to leave in the morning so we can, as always, be Scouting for new Destinations.