Lowry Pueblo

Round Trip Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6714 - 6736 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Lowry Pueblo
Fee: none
Attractions: Pueblo, great kiva, wheelchair accessible, picnic area

The Lowry Pueblo is a 1000 year old village located in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwestern Colorado. There are 2 turnoffs on Highway 491 that lead to the Lowry Pueblo. Montezuma County Road CC is the marked route, beginning in the town of Pleasant View, and provides a straight shot to the site. An alternative route, which has a little less gravel road, is to turn on Montezuma County Road BB, just east of Pleasant View, and follow the signs for Hovenweep. If you take this route you will follow it for almost 8 miles to County Road 10, turn right onto the gravel road and drive for 1 mile to CC Road and turn left and drive the remaining 3 miles to the site.

The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument comprises over 6,000 excavated sites, with over 20,000 sites estimated, on over 164,000 acres of land managed by the BLM. The best location to begin exploring the monument is at the Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores, Colorado. There you will find information about sites you may want to visit as well as maps, brochures and a top notch museum.

The Lowry Pueblo is a National Historic Landmark. The site consists of a pueblo with 40 rooms, 8 kivas and 1 great kiva. Besides a nice brochure there are trail signs that explain details about the site including an artists drawing of how it appeared when it was last inhabited.

There is 1 handicap parking space at the trailhead. The trails leading around the pueblo, to the great kiva, and the restrooms and picnic area are made of hard packed fine gravel making them wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.

Parts of the pueblo once stood 3 stories high. The walls that are currently exposed are the upper most levels of the buildings. The lower levels have been filled with dirt, both inside and out, to stabilize the walls and help preserve the structures integrity.

Visitors can descend a short set of steps and enter the structure through one of the original doorways and pass through the narrow passages on the inside.

A large kiva dominates the central area of the inside of the structure with what appear to be shelves recessed in the walls made with juniper branches. It gives the space the appearance of a museum or storeroom. The tendency might be to try and imagine items that are in places like the Anasazi Heritage Center museum sitting on the shelves that may have been covered with woven mats or sections of rug.

Some of the original logs can be seen in the walls. The small 'chinking' stones in the mortar appear to be purely decorative and reflect a similar style at Chaco Canyon.

This opening that is barely visible looks like a good place for a snake to hangout but the grass around the opening doesn't appear to have been much disturbed by anything.

The walls are of different thicknesses ranging from 2-5 stones in width.

A short path leads down the hillside to the great kiva. Imagine large logs standing as pillars with more logs forming a roof. The walls would have been plastered and decorated. The feature of the stones in the floor have been interpreted by one Hopi visitor to represent the summer people and the winter people. Great kivas are believed to have been used for community events.

Shards of pottery are still laying on the ground and can be seen in the weeds along the trail and around the parking area. Several signs warn visitors not to remove any items they may encounter.

There are a few nicely situated tables in the picnic area.

The Lowry Pueblo has had more work done to preserve it than many sites in the area. The location is a bit remote but it is one of only a few in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument that you can drive the family car to. Most of the sites require something with medium to high clearance due to rough sections of road. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.