New Mexico/Colorado/Arizona

Ancient Puebloans: Mesas, Monuments, Canyons and More

Delve into the history of the Ancestral Puebloans as you learn about prehistoric villages, explore the region’s National Parks and visit important sites with a local expert.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11010RJ
9 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Chimney Rock, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Aztec, Canyon de Chelly and Chaco Canyon — investigate these large archaeological sites in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico to better understand the early Puebloan lifestyle in the Southwest.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Accompanied by a local expert, address how regional climate, geology and agriculture influenced the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.
  • At each spectacular site, learn how these indigenous people faced the challenges which presented themselves in each region, study their unique connection to the land and learn about the development of Puebloan cultural groups.
  • View the remains of an incredibly complex civilization and gain perspective on how Native Americans retain ancestral traditions while adapting to the present-day.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
by Craig Childs
Naturalist Craig Childs uses the latest research and his personal exploration of the American Southwest to consider what happened to the Anasazi, an illustrious tribe that flourished until mysteriously vanishing in the 13th century.
A Thief of Time
by Tony Hillerman
A mystery of stolen artifacts from an ancient Anasazi burial site set against a detailed depiction of Southwestern culture.
Masked Gods, Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism
by Frank Waters
An excellent overview of Pueblo life and their many ceremonies.
Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey
One of the great works on the value of the desert, eloquent and laugh-out-loud funny. Although Abbey writes specifically about his experiences as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah, his message is universal.
Colorado Plateau, Wild and Beautiful
by John Annerino
A coffee table tribute to the geological wonderland of "Red Rock Country." Award-winning photographer and writer John Annerino takes us through the echoing canyons, towering hoodoos and cliff dwellings of the region’s beautiful parks and reserves.
American Indian Myths and Legends
by Richard Erdoes, Alfonso Ortiz
An illustrated collection of 180 traditoonal stories from all over North America.
Anasazi America
by David Stuart
A thought-provoking, engaging account of the rise and fall of Anasazi society in the desert southwest.
Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History
by Joe Sando
An expansive history of the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico from a Native American perspective. The book explores the origins of the tribe to its current struggles to maintain sovereignty, land and water rights.
Four Corners Regional Map
by G.M. Johnson Maps
This double-sided road map shows national parks, archaeological sites and attractions from the Grand Canyon to Chaco, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Bryce and Zion.
Book of the Hopi
by Oswald White Bear Fredericks, Frank Waters
Thirty Hopi elders share their legends, ceremonies, history and language.
Runner in the Sun
by D'Arcy McNickle
Nickles combined his anthropology background with all the suspense of a mystery to craft this novel about pre-Hispanic Indian life in the American Southwest.
Pueblo People: Ancient Traditions, Modern Lives
by Marcia Keegan
Photographer Keegan, who has studied the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico for 30 years, compiled 417 color photographs alongside personal stories and cultural insights in this stunning tribute.
Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest
by Stephen Plog, Amy Elizabeth Grey (Illustrator)
This illustrated introduction provides an in-depth look at the ancient cultures that first inhabited the pueblos and cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Organized chronologically, it features hundreds of maps, mostly black-and-white photographs and site diagrams.
People of Chaco, A Canyon and Its Culture
by Kendrick Frazier
A nicely written account of Chaco and its people. First published in 1986. Frazier interweaves ethnographic data, oral history and archaeological evidence in his classic portrait of the place.
Moon Handbook Four Corners
by Julian Smith
A slim, comprehensive guide to the sights and history of Navajo and Hopi Country, Moab and Lake Powell.
The Professor's House
by Willa Cather
Cather's accomplished 1925 novel includes a story-within-a-story of explorer Tom Outland, a character modeled after Richard Wetherill, the discoverer of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde.
Ancient Ruins of the Southwest, An Archaeological Guide
by David Grant Noble
The third edition of Noble's indispensable guide to the archaeology of the American Southwest.
In Search of the Old Ones, Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest
by David D. Roberts
An exuberant, engaging account of archaeological adventures in the desert Southwest. Roberts investigates the factors that may have led to the demise of the Anasazi civilization and looks into longstanding controversies.
The Southwest Inside Out, An Illustrated Guide to the Land and its History
by Thomas Wiewandt, Maureen Wilks
An outstanding guide to understanding the geomorphology of the Southwest, featuring the author's color photographs of canyons, dunes and other landforms.

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