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New Mexico/Colorado/Arizona

Ancient Puebloans: Mesas, Monuments, Canyons and More

Program No. 11010RJ
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.

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At a Glance

Chimney Rock, Mesa Verde, Canyon of the Ancients, 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.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Hiking up to four miles daily over varied terrain. Some hikes involve elevation gains and steep dropoffs. Elevations up to 8,000 feet. Standing up to an hour at a time at various sites.

What You'll Learn

  • Address how regional climate, geology and agriculture influenced the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.
  • Learn how 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 at each spectacular site.
  • View the remains of an incredibly complex civilization and gain perspective on how Native Americans retain ancestral traditions while adapting to the present-day.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Richard Friedman
Richard Friedman is an archaeologist with decades of experience researching Chacoan culture, who has done extensive work using state-of-the-art technology for cultural and archeological resource documentation, management, and research. He has participated in projects with the National Park Service, the Navajo Nation, the Bureau of Land Management, NASA, the Solstice Project and the University of Colorado, and has co-authored several papers on Chacoan archaeology and the use of remote sensing technology.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Richard Friedman
Richard Friedman View biography
Richard Friedman is an archaeologist with decades of experience researching Chacoan culture, who has done extensive work using state-of-the-art technology for cultural and archeological resource documentation, management, and research. He has participated in projects with the National Park Service, the Navajo Nation, the Bureau of Land Management, NASA, the Solstice Project and the University of Colorado, and has co-authored several papers on Chacoan archaeology and the use of remote sensing technology.
Profile Image of Vannetta Perry
Vannetta Perry View biography
Dr. Vannetta Perry is a retired educator and lifelong resident of New Mexico who is deeply rooted in the southwest. Her family homesteaded and ranched in Southwestern New Mexico and farmed in West Texas. As an educator, Dr. Perry worked in the university setting, teaching biology and directing science outreach programs. Her love for travel was sparked when she led research studies in developing countries. Since retiring, Dr. Perry has continued to share her love of travel and education as a travel director and leader.
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Colleen Patrick View biography
A native of Colorado and a relative newcomer to New Mexico, Colleen Patrick has spent a lifetime visiting and learning about Pueblo culture, pottery and the movement of Native Americans and Spaniards throughout New Mexico. Colleen has been in the travel business since 2006, but has been a traveler since her childhood. She learned to appreciate new cultures and new places as a child and has loved sharing new places and cultures with guests for many years.
Profile Image of Sheryl Russell
Sheryl Russell View biography
Sheryl Russell was born to a farming family in Kansas. At the University of Kansas, she studied education in theatre and English literature, followed by decades of work in retail and communications systems in Dallas, New York City, and the California Bay area. Sheryl felt that she had “come home" when she moved to Santa Fe. Here she found a cultural diversity, architectural style, and historic richness that supported the next 30 years of leading explorations and study of native Southwest cultures and their history.
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