Hiking to Ruins in the Southwest
Alongside an archeologist, discover ancient ruins of Puebloan cultures as you learn about rock art, explore red rock canyons and enter thousand year old cliff dwellings.
Rating (4.78)
Program No. 2164RJ
7 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 3-7 miles daily over varied terrain. Elevations of 5,400-8,000 feet.
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 ...

  • 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.”
Featured Expert
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Lanny Wagner
Lanny Wagner claims that he “never tires” of exploring nature with his camera, and credits his grandmother with teaching him that “true treasures are found on foot.” Lanny recently completed a photo inventory for the Bureau of Land Management of all the Wilderness Study Areas on public land in the region. With fellow photographer Steven Martin, Lanny completed a night photography session at Hovenweep National Monument to take educational photos of the night sky. His work has been published in Landscape Photography Magazine.
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Lanny Wagner
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