1053
Canyon de Chelly
Canyon De Chelly: Enduring Traditions and Modern Challenges
Speak with members of the Navajo Nation in Canyon de Chelly, where you’ll learn about the Long Walk of 1864, what it’s like to live on the Reservation and enduring traditions of crafts.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1053RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
925
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
D
Canyon de Chelly / Chinle Holiday Inn

Activity note: Hotel-check in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table located in the hotel conference room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant. Each night, we will pre-order from a select menu of plated entrees, some with a southwestern flair, and enjoy the salad bar, plus dessert, coffee, tea and water.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions in our private hotel meeting room. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation will be provided primarily by school bus, requiring going up/down a few steps when boarding and getting off, unless otherwise specified. All classroom sessions will take place in the hotel meeting room, unless otherwise specified. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Canyon de Chelly South Rim to Spider Rock, Navajo Ceremonies
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
B,L,D
Canyon de Chelly / Chinle Holiday Inn

Activity note: Total walking distance today approximately 1.5 miles on uneven and rocky terrain. Driving approximately 35 miles throughout the day with multiple stops for short walks of ½ hour duration each.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a breakfast buffet with alternating choices each day including an egg dish, pancakes or biscuits & gravy, breakfast meats and potatoes, a variety of hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, juice and water.

Morning: Welcome to Chinle and the Navajo Nation. Leaving from the hotel via bus, we’ll make our way to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument Visitor Center for a field trip through its excellent exhibits led by our Group Leader. Then, we’ll accompany our Group Leader, a member of the Navajo Nation and a certified attendant for Canyon de Chelly National Monument, via bus to view the Canyon's South Rim. Along the way, we’ll make stops at overlooks including Spider Rock, a formation which has great symbolism in Navajo cosmology, and hear about the pre-history and life ways of the people who inhabited the Four Corners and Canyon de Chelly region. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a lighter lunch of salads and sandwiches with coffee, tea, soft drinks and water.

Afternoon: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll hear from National Park Service archaeologists about recent archaeological discoveries and current excavation techniques that are being used in Canyon de Chelly.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We’ll attend presentation given by a member of the Navajo Nation and a former law enforcement ranger for Canyon de Chelly National Monument which will focus on Navajo clanship and ceremonies. The clanship system provides the fabric for life on the reservation giving cultural instruction from birth to death on matters of significance. We’ll discuss a few of the ceremonies of most importance and how transformational periods of one's life are addressed within the family and clan.

DAY
3
Canyon de Chelley North Rim, Long Walk, Code Talkers
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
B,L,D
Canyon de Chelly / Chinle Holiday Inn

Activity note: Total walking distance today approximately 1.5 miles on uneven and rocky terrain. Driving approximately 30 miles throughout the day with multiple stops for short walks of ½ hour duration each.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll begin by boarding the bus for a morning field trip to Canyon de Chelly's starkly beautiful and less-visited North Rim. The viewpoints afford many views into Canyon del Muerto. As we climb up in elevation the landscape and vegetation changes and the views spread out before us in all directions. A certified Navajo leader will be with us throughout the day on this drive to interpret this amazing landscape while sharing stories of Canyon de Chelly. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: In 1864, in an attempted deportation and ethnic cleansing of the Navajo people by the U.S. Government, Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their reservation in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. We’ll listen to a presentation on this "Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo, the role of Kit Carson, the US government’s scorched earth policy, and finally the subsequent reestablishment of the Navajo on their traditional lands. This presentation will be made by a National Park Service ranger from Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Our second presentation of the afternoon, led by our Group Leader, will focus on the Navajo Code talkers. We’ll enjoy a video and engage in a discussion afterwards about their pivotal role to the war efforts during WWII in the Pacific Theatre.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: Our Group Leader will explain some of the modern challenges people face living on the Navajo reservation and we will learn about some of the common and not so common issues facing the Navajo as well as current efforts to confront them.

DAY
4
Navajo Craft Demonstrations, Quality Assessment
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
B,L,D
Canyon de Chelly / Chinle Holiday Inn

Activity note: N/A

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll enjoy 2 craft demonstrations by Navajo artisans at the hotel this morning. First, a Navajo weaver will give a presentation on traditional weaving techniques as she explains the process that goes into creating a Navajo rug. Learn how family "patterns" are passed from generation to generation and the meaning of the intricate designs. Our second demonstration will showcase Navajo pottery making with another local artisan. Historical uses of pottery crafts range from every day essentials to today's artistic masterpieces. Our guest artisan will explain the steps of the process as we observe.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to explore Chinle and the surrounding area including Ganado/Hubbell Trading Post, Monument Valley or the Hopi Reservation. Other options include taking a hike on your own into Canyon de Chelly down through the beautifully sculpted de Chelly sandstone to the White House Ruin in the Canyon bottom.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: Jewelry making is the principal source of income for many people on the reservation and a great outlet to express their tribal pride. We’ll have a presentation by a Navajo artisan on native crafted jewelry and what to look for in terms of quality and value as well as a silversmithing demonstration.

DAY
5
Canyon Archaeology, Explore Canyon de Chelly, Entertainment
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
B,L,D
Canyon de Chelly / Chinle Holiday Inn

Activity note: Walking less than 1 mile throughout the day. Driving approx. 24 miles over about 3.5 hours in 4x4 vehicles with stops; dirt and sand terrain; can be bumpy at times; maybe some small creeks to cross.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: An archaeologist with the National Park Service at Canyon de Chelly National Monument will join us at the hotel and teach us about another aspect of Canyon de Chelly's archaeology. Topics may include current research projects, comparisons with other Four Corners archaeological sites, or an lesson about the Canyon's rock art.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: Then, we’ll be picked up at the hotel by certified Navajo escorts for a 4x4 field trip into Canyon de Chelly's depths. On this exploration of Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto's ruins, we’ll see streaked sandstone cliffs and sinuous canyons, petroglyphs and stunning scenery. A rest stop will be provided half way through our journey. We’ll return to the hotel after our 4x4 adventure.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a delicious plated farewell dinner together with standard beverages. Share your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: A talented guest performer will join us at the hotel for a lovely evening of entertainment and farewells. He has been delighting Road Scholar participants for many, many years and loves to share his passion for Navajo music, culture, and dance. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our final session of the program will be a presentation given by our Navajo Group Leader as an opportunity to hear a Navajo perspective on the future, followed by a chance to ask any final questions. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!