Road Scholar : Home
Hiking to Ruins in the Southwest

Program Number: 2164RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/14/2013 - 4/20/2013; 10/26/2014 - 11/1/2014; 4/19/2015 - 4/25/2015; 5/24/2015 - 5/30/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/26/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/31/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Mesa Verde Country, Colorado
Price starting at: $1,064.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    

Hike the sculpted red-rock canyons and high mesas of Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, led by experienced archaeologists. Enjoy the spectacular mountain views and natural beauty as you explore the ruins of the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi). Learn what is known about the ancient ones from their rock art panels and thousand-year-old dwellings. Begin to recognize and identify unexcavated ruins and uncollected pottery sherds as you hike into areas seldom visited by others. Climb into actual cliff-dwellings and an underground ceremonial chamber and imagine what life was like in the Southwest so many years ago.




Highlights

• Hike off-the-beaten path with a knowledgeable archaeologist to Puebloan ruins and rock-art sites.
• Enjoy the beautiful red-rock canyons and high mesas of the Southwest.
• Learn firsthand from Ute and Navajo tribe members about the lives of the Native Americans now living in “cowboy country.”



Activity Particulars

Daily hikes of 3-7 miles; terrain uneven, mixed trails. Site elevations of 5,500-8,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

4-14-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-26-2014

Enjoy the peak of fall color during this week.



4-19-2015, 5-24-2015

When conditions are right, the desert hills come alive in spring with wildflowers & blooming cacti.



9-20-2015

Fall colors begin to paint the southwest during this program.



10-25-2015

Fall colors in the canyon are at their height in late October.



Coordinated by McElmo Canyon Research Institute.




Mesa Verde Country

Mesa Verde Country encompasses rich archeological and natural treasures, from the cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans at Mesa Verde National Park to the spectacular red rock scenery in nearby canyons. The area is just a short drive from the Four Corners region along scenic byways and through quaint western towns, including Cortez.



Accommodations
Adobe-style B&B, courtyard and adjacent cabins on a 40-acre archaeological preserve with orchards in a red-rock canyon.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jim Colleran

Jim Colleran is an educational archaeologist who has been working in the Four Corners area for over 25 years, and has been leading Road Scholar learning adventures for more than 15 years. He wishes to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the Ancient Puebloans and modern day Native Americans with all who wish to learn. Participants have praised his teaching methods, his passion for and understanding of the region, and frequently call him a national treasure.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Kelly Place B&B
  Cortez, CO 6 nights
 Kelly Place B&B
Type: Lodge
  Description: Kelly Place is both an outdoor educational center and unique bed and breakfast located in the heart of the Four Corners. The lodge is an adobe-style building with courtyards, built in the mid-1960s. The atmosphere is relaxed, southwestern style. Situated on 40 acres, nestled between majestic Sleeping Ute Mountain and the red rock canyons--former home of the prehistoric "cliff-dweller' Ancestral Puebloans, bordering Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and featuring over 25 archaeological sites. Descend into a kiva, fully restored by Road Scholar participants, and imagine what it was like a thousand years ago.
  Contact info: 14537 Road G
Cortez, CO 81321 USA
phone: 970-565-3125
web: www.kellyplace.com
  Facility amenities: Kelly Place Bed & Breakfast is on an archaeological preserve with an adobe-style lodge and adjacent cabins among Anasazi ruins, fruit trees, a majestic mountain view and sculpted canyons. Double occupancy only; multiples upon request. Bedrooms have one queen bed and one bunk bed; lower bunks only. Wireless Internet available in the main lodge. Full country-style meals served daily in the main lodge. Documentary DVD & VHS movies and a variety of books and magazines are available in the lounge/library. All bathrooms are in the rooms. Some cabins may be used. Smoking is permitted on porches and courtyards only.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: 10% discount Contact Kelly Place to arrange additional nights. 800-745-4885 www.kellyplace.com
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: 10% discount Contact Kelly Place to arrange additional nights. 800-745-4885 www.kellyplace.com
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in after 3:00 PM. Orientation at 5:15 PM. You will be staying at Kelly Place B&B that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Check-out by 11 AM. You will be staying at Kelly Place B&B the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Liability waiver.
  Parking availability:
Free parking.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cortez, CO
  Nearest city or town:  Cortez is near Durango, CO, Shiprock, NM, Bluff, UT
  Nearest highway: 160/491 (Note Hwy 491 is called 666 on old maps.
  Nearest airport:  Cortez Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Cortez, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Kelly Place B&B, Cortez

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Cortez Cab
phone: 970-565-6911
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.25 

 

Distance:

 

11 miles

   

$2 each additional person www.cortezcab.com email: ride@cortezcab.com

 
Driving Directions
  Albuquerque, NM For couples, it may be cost effective to fly in to Albuquerque and rent a car for the entire stay. The drive between Cortez and Albuquerque is across level, scenic terrain and takes about 4-5 hours.
  All points It is possible to avoid driving on high mountain roads by avoiding the (very scenic) roads west of Denver or Colorado Springs. Try to approach Cortez through Gallup, NM or Farmington, NM, for flatter terrain.
  Cortez, CO Take 491/160 South and about three miles from the merge of these highways (west of downtown Cortez) you will come to 2 traffic lights. Turn right onto Road G at the second traffic light. Sign at this intersection says "To Airport and Hovenweep National Monument". Travel 10.2 miles on Road G to entrance for Kelly Place. There is a sign on the right. Follow narrow driveway about a mile to the main lodge, following signs.
  Denver, CO Great Lakes Aviation is the only airline serving the Cortez airport. It connects with flights in Denver only. Driving time from Denver is about 7 1/2-8 hrs.
  Shiprock, NM Take 491 North approx. 40 miles to traffic light at Road G. This is about 9-10 miles north of the Ute Casino. Turn left (west) onto Road G at the first traffic light. Kelly Place is 10.2 miles from this intersection.
Elevation Note: 7,000 feet is the highest elevation participants will experience. Lodging is at 5,480 ft.

Equipment Requirements: Hat, waterbottle, sunscreen, small backpack for daily needs.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Sunday, April 14)
   
 Arrive To: Check in after 3 p.m. Orientation at 5:15 p.m.
 Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.
 Evening: Introductions
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2:
(Monday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: Introduction to the Ancestral Puebloan cultures. Enjoy a lecture and discussion about the cultures whose remnants you will be exploring all week, including how the local prehistoric inhabitants evolved their lifestyles through the centuries from Archaic, through Basketmaker, Pueblo, to modern times. Artifacts found on-site serve as examples demonstrating the details that can reveal clues to prehistoric lifestyles. Concurrently, you will learn about the process of archaeology and how it is used to understand what has occurred in the past. This will serve as a valuable background for the sites you will encounter on your hikes.
 Lunch: A buffet style homemade lunch is provided in the lodge dining room, featuring seasonally appropriate foods, beverages and dessert.
 Afternoon: Hike from Kelly Place into the red rocks to local "cliff-dweller" ruin sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
 Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.
 Evening: Flintknapping demonstration or video: Watch and learn how beautifully crafted projectile points are extracted from stone by the same methods used by prehistoric peoples. Learn what can be understood about primitive cultures by analysis of their projectile points and flakes.
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
(Tuesday, April 16)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: Hovenweep National Monument is the site of multiple dwellings, incredible towers, solstice markers and more. Hike the two-mile canyon lip around the main site and then explore several less-visited, outlying sites.
 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at Hovenweep.
 Afternoon: Led by an archaeologist, continue the exploration as your imagination is stimulated over this beautiful set of ancient ruins set in the pinon/juniper landscape.
 Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.
 Evening: The Chaco Phenomenon: Enjoy a lecture and discussion, with optional video, about the mystery of an advanced culture centered around Chaco Canyon.
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Wednesday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: By this time, you will know what a ruin site looks like when it has been excavated by archaeologists or is naturally preserved in rock alcoves. Yucca House National Monument will demonstrate how a massive site can be easily overlooked by the casual observer who has not been educated about tell-tale mounds, depressions and surface “litter.”
 Lunch: A buffet style homemade lunch is provided in the lodge dining room, featuring seasonally appropriate foods, beverages and dessert.
 Afternoon: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument contains the highest-known density of ancient Native American sites. You will hike a canyon at a higher elevation and use your trained eye to spot surface indications of ruin sites around you. You will learn about a great kiva, its significance and why it has not been excavated.
 Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.
 Evening: A Ute man and a Navajo woman share the stories of their cultures and their personal struggles of bridging the modern-day Native American and Euro-American cultures. They discuss and demonstrate their traditional dance, dress and music. This is an unforgettable experience.
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:
(Thursday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: Mesa Verde National Park is the only national park focused on human culture. You will see why on an exploration of these breathtaking ruins with an archaeologist. Learn about pit-dwellings,a Chacoan site, the spectacular Cliff Palace, the rock-art panel found along the Petroglyph trail and much more.
 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at Mesa Verde.
 Afternoon: This exhilarating day will be filled with insights into the early explorers of Mesa Verde’s canyons, as well as what archaeologists are still finding in this beautiful but rugged landscape.
 Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening or discuss the fascinating discoveries of the week.
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Friday, April 19)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: Begin an all-day hike in Sand Canyon in Canyons of the Ancients, an exceptional geological array of cliff-dwellings, and home to a very large population of Ancestral Puebloans. Led by an archaeologist, learn that some boulders are not just naturally occurring, but may have been placed for a purpose.
 Lunch: A cozy spot along the trail will serve as your lunch destination today. You will carry a self-packed lunch with you to enjoy. A variety of sack lunch food will be provided for you to choose and pack prior to departure.
 Afternoon: This hike will take you above, and into, the red-rock canyon for fantastic views of majestic Sleeping Ute Mountain and away from evidence of the modern world. This is the culmination of your week of hiking and it may be as long as eight miles, or as short as six miles.
 Dinner: Savor a relaxed meal cooked and served outdoors for you on the Kelly Place courtyard. Unburden your mind as you watch the southwestern sunset on your final evening viewing the beautiful Sleeping Ute Mountain.
 Evening: Evaluations and final wrap-up of program
   
Accommodations: Kelly Place B&B
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7:
(Saturday, April 20)
   
 Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.
 Morning: Program ends after breakfast.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Cortez, CO Cortez Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 970-565-3414 For additional information, visit www.cortezchamber.org
  Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau
Phone: 800-253-1616 For additional information, visit www.mesaverdecountry.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Finders Keepers


Author: Craig Childs


House of Rain


Author: Craig Childs


In Search of the Old Ones


Author: David Roberts


Those Who Came Before


Author: Robert & Florence Lister




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