If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.Dinner: At the hotel in our reserved section of the dining room, enjoy an extensive buffet with complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. We cannot guarantee that low fat / low salt and gluten-free options will be available for every meal on this program.Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.Lodging: MCM Elegante HotelMeals Included: Dinner
On arrival in Nageezi, we will transfer to a school bus; the road into Chaco is rough and unpaved, and motorcoaches are advised not to travel the road. A school bus company does most group transport into the Canyon. A bit bumpy, but it's the only way to get there.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves one of North America's most significant and fascinating cultural and historic areas. Chaco was a major center of Ancestral Puebloan culture between 850 and 1150 CE. It was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area. It is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings.
To construct the buildings, along with the associated Chacoan roads, ramps, dams and mounds required a great deal of well-organized and skillful planning, designing, resource gathering and construction. The Chacoan people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture, one that amazes us a thousand years later.Lunch: Boxed lunchesAfternoon: Our exploration of Chaco Canyon continues for most of the afternoon, followed by departure for Farmington, New Mexico.Dinner: At a selected restaurantEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Hampton InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves structures and artifacts of Ancestral Pueblo people from the 1100s through the 1200s.
Although it used to be considered a Chacoan outlier, recent research indicates it may have been the second Chacoan "capitol," established and occupied after the abandonment of Chaco Canyon in the 1150s. Aztec itself was abandoned about 1275 CE, probably as a result of a prolonged drought. Some Southwestern archeologists believe the Chacoan "elites" then moved south and established Paquime, another immense site in northern Mexico.
The Aztec monument was established in 1923 with the excavation and reconstruction of Aztec West by Earl Morris and designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.After leaving Aztec, we'll continue on to the Chimney Rock archaeological area.Lunch: Boxed lunches at Chimney RockAfternoon: After a hike at the Chimney Rock archaeological area, we'll go on to Mesa Verde National Park, where we'll check into the Far View Lodge.Dinner: At the LodgeEvening: At leisureLodging: Far View LodgeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately 600 through 1300 CE people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls.
Today, most people call these sheltered villages “cliff dwellings.” The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde.
In the late 1200s, within the span of one or two generations, they left their homes and moved away.
The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States, offering visitors a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Twenty-four Native American tribes in the southwest have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde.Lunch: Lunch at the Spruce Tree CaféAfternoon: Continue exploring Mesa VerdeDinner: At the LodgeEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Far View LodgeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Multi-storied towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders lead visitors to marvel at the skill and motivation of their builders.
Hovenweep is noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character. The Square Tower Group is the primary contact facility with a visitor center and interpretive trail.
Human habitation at Hovenweep dates to over 10,000 years ago when nomadic Paleoindians visited the Cajon Mesa to gather food and hunt game. These people used the area for centuries, following the seasonal weather patterns.Lunch: Boxed lunchesAfternoon: Bus departs for Cortez and hotel-check-in.Dinner: Nero's Restaurant in CortezEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Baymont Inn and SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Canyon de Chelly, we'll drive along the north rim, stopping at overlooks along the way.
At the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves are ruins of Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 CE.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the chance to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest basketmakers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here.Lunch: At a selected restaurant in ChinleAfternoon: Excursion along the south rim of Canyon de Chelly, followed by hotel check-inDinner: Garcia's at the Holiday InnEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: Holiday Inn Canyon de ChellyMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This moderate hike of 2 1/2 miles is the only trail into the canyon, and will take approximately 2-3 hours.Lunch: At the Sacred Canyon Lodge cafeteriaAfternoon: Depart at 1:30 PM for return to Albuquerque, arriving at the hotel at about 6:00 PM.Dinner: At the hotelEvening: Program closing in our hotel meeting room. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.Lodging: MCM Elegante HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner