Hopi Mesas & Navajo Lands of Canyon de Chelly & Monument Valley

Gain a deeper understanding of Hopi and Navajo cultures as you visit their reservations to experience the landscapes, artifacts and traditions that have shaped their ancient story.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 18591RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Stay on both the Navajo and Hopi reservations and immerse yourself in these cultures with exposure to native speakers and artisans who share insights into their life ways. Visit one of the oldest Hopi villages atop a windswept mesa. At Canyon de Chelly, field trips visit both North and South rims and the inner Canyon. Experience Monument Valley’s iconic formations and sweeping vistas.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy two Navajo/Diné-led 4x4 adventures to see ruins, petroglyphs and natural beauty.
  • Enjoy a docent-led field trip to Phoenix’s famed Heard Museum, telling the stories of the Native American peoples of the Southwest.
  • Visit Hubble Trading Post and hear from Navajo/Diné and Hopi speakers about their cultures and challenges.
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.
Hisat’sinom: Ancient Peoples in a Land Without Water
by Downum, Christian E. (Editor)
The national monuments of Wupatki, Walnut Canyon, and Montezumas Castle showcase the treasures of the first people who settled and developed farms, towns, and trade routes throughout northern Arizona and beyond. The Hopis call these ancient peoples Hisatsinom, and Spanish explorers named their hard, arid homeland the sierra sin agua, mountains without water. Indeed, much of the region receives less annual precipitation than the quintessential desert city of Tucson. In Hisatsinom: Ancient Peoples in a Land without Water, archaeologists explain how the people of this region flourished despite living in a place with very little water and extremes of heat and cold. Exploiting the mulching properties of volcanic cinders blasted out of Sunset Crater, the Hisatsinom grew corn and cotton, made and traded fine cotton cloth and decorated ceramics, and imported exotic goods like turquoise and macaws from hundreds even thousands of miles away. From clues as small as the tiny fingerprints left on childrens toys, postholes in the floors of old houses, and widely scattered corn fields, archaeologists have pieced together an intriguing portrait of what childhood was like, the importance of weaving cotton cloth, and how farmers managed risk in a harsh environment. At its peak in the late 1100s, Wupatki stood as the region s largest and tallest town, a cultural center for people throughout the surrounding region. It was a gathering place, a trading center, a treasury of exotic goods, a landmark, and a place of sacred ritual and ceremony. Then, after 1200, people moved away and the pueblo sank into ruin.
The Fourth World of the Hopis: The Epic Story of the Hopi Indians As Preserved in Their Legends and Traditions
by Courlander, Harold
Folklorist Courlander traces Hopi legends from the tribe’s search through the wilderness for its home location to its settling on the Hopi Mesas and development thereafter. 239pp
Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa
by Udall, Louise
An energetic Hopi woman emerges from a traditional family background to embrace the more conventional way of life in American today. Enchanting and enlightening—a rare piece of primary source anthropology. 262 pp
Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West
by Sides, Hampton
In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness. In Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides gives us a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.
Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers
by Kawano, Kenji
The American offensive in the Pacific during World War II [was] hampered by the Japanese ability to crack the most secret U.S. Codes. Navajo was virtually unknown outside the reservations, ... and [their] code proved uncrackable. Kenji Kawano's striking photographs capture the quiet dignity of the surviving veterans as they recall their actions --Los Angeles Times 128 pp
Roadside Geology of Arizona
by Chronic, Halka
The 18th printing of this book in the Roadside Geology Series offers a mini-course in geology, focusing on what can be seen from Arizona highways. Although written especially for those with little or no geologic training, there's plenty here for the professional geologist as well--a great introduction to Arizona and its past. Geologic terms are defined where first used and again in the glossary. Inside the front cover is a legend to geological symbols and abbreviations commonly used by geologists. 321pp
Diné: A History of the Navajos
by Iverson, Peter; Roessel, Monty
This comprehensive narrative traces the history of the Navajos from their origins to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Based on extensive archival research, traditional accounts, interviews, historic and contemporary photographs, and firsthand observation, it provides a detailed, up-to-date portrait of the Diné past and present that will be essential for scholars, students, and interested general readers, both Navajo and non-Navajo.
Native Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations
by Kosik, Frank
Using the mile markers of the US, Arizona, and Navajo highways and routes running through the Navajo and Hopi nations as her organizing principle, the author offers a travel guide to the sites found in the area. Natural, historical, and cultural points of interest are covered, along with some information on lodging and services. 280 pp
Following the Sun and Moon: Hopi Kachina Tradition
by Secakuku, Alph
A guide to Kachinas written by a Hopi author

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