2164
Mesa Verde Country
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.
Program No. 2164RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,099
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Orientation, Introductions, Welcome Dinner
Cortez, CO
D
Kelly Place B&B

Dinner: Family-style, home-cooked meal served at the lodge.

Evening: Introductions

DAY
2
Ancestral Puebloan Cultures, Canyons of the Ancients
Cortez, CO
B,L,D
Kelly Place B&B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: Introduction to the Ancestral Puebloan cultures. Enjoy a lecture and discussion about the cultures whose remnants you will be exploring all week, including how the local prehistoric inhabitants evolved their lifestyles through the centuries from Archaic, through Basketmaker, Pueblo, to modern times. Artifacts found on-site serve as examples demonstrating the details that can reveal clues to prehistoric lifestyles. Concurrently, you will learn about the process of archaeology and how it is used to understand what has occurred in the past. This will serve as a valuable background for the sites you will encounter on your hikes.

Lunch: A buffet style homemade lunch is provided in the lodge dining room, featuring seasonally appropriate foods, beverages and dessert.

Afternoon: Hike from Kelly Place into the red rocks to local "cliff-dweller" ruin sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.

Evening: Learn about how primitive peoples from around the world and locally created tools from stone: Flintknapping demonstration by a local archaeologist.

DAY
3
Hovenweep National Monument, Chaco Phenomenon
Cortez, CO
B,L,D
Kelly Place B&B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: Hovenweep National Monument is the site of multiple dwellings, incredible towers, solstice markers and more. Hike the two-mile canyon lip around the main site and then explore several less-visited, outlying sites.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at Hovenweep.

Afternoon: Led by an archaeologist, continue the exploration as your imagination is stimulated over this beautiful set of ancient ruins set in the pinon/juniper landscape.

Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.

Evening: The Chaco Phenomenon: Enjoy a lecture and discussion, with optional video, about the mystery of an advanced culture centered around Chaco Canyon.

DAY
4
Yucca House National Monument, Ancient Sites
Cortez, CO
B,L,D
Kelly Place B&B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: By this time, you will know what a ruin site looks like when it has been excavated by archaeologists or is naturally preserved in rock alcoves. Yucca House National Monument will demonstrate how a massive site can be easily overlooked by the casual observer who has not been educated about tell-tale mounds, depressions and surface “litter.”

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch outdoors in the comfortable surroundings of the Cortez Cultural Center.

Afternoon: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument contains the highest-known density of ancient Native American sites. You will hike a canyon at a higher elevation and use your trained eye to spot surface indications of ruin sites around you. You will learn about a great kiva, its significance and why it has not been excavated.

Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.

Evening: A Ute man and a Navajo woman share the stories of their cultures and their personal struggles of bridging the modern-day Native American and Euro-American cultures. They discuss and demonstrate their traditional dance, dress and music. This is an unforgettable experience.

DAY
5
Mesa Verde, Petroglyph Trail
Cortez, CO
B,L,D
Kelly Place B&B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: Mesa Verde National Park is the only national park focused on human culture. You will see why on an exploration of these breathtaking ruins with an archaeologist. Learn about pit-dwellings,a Chacoan site, the spectacular Cliff Palace, the rock-art panel found along the Petroglyph trail and much more.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at Mesa Verde.

Afternoon: This exhilarationg day will be filled with insights into the early explorers of Mesa Verde’s canyons, as well as what archaeologists are still finding in this beautiful but rugged landscape.

Dinner: A hearty homecooked meal prepared especially for you is served buffet-style in the lodge dining room, including soft beverages, and dessert. Beer or wine may be purchased.

Evening: Enjoy a free evening or discuss the fascinating discoveries of the week.

DAY
6
Sand Canyon Trail in Canyons of the Ancients
Cortez, CO
B,L,D
Kelly Place B&B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: Begin an all-day hike in Sand Canyon in Canyons of the Ancients, an exceptional geological array of cliff-dwellings, and home to a very large population of Ancestral Puebloans. Led by an archaeologist, learn that some boulders are not just naturally occurring, but may have been placed for a purpose.

Lunch: A cozy spot along the trail will serve as your lunch destination today. You will carry a self-packed lunch with you to enjoy. A variety of sack lunch food will be provided for you to choose and pack prior to departure.

Afternoon: This hike will take you above, and into, the red-rock canyon for fantastic views of majestic Sleeping Ute Mountain and away from evidence of the modern world. This is the culmination of your week of hiking and it may be as long as eight miles, or as short as six miles.

Dinner: Savor a relaxed meal cooked and served outdoors for you on the Kelly Place courtyard. Unburden your mind as you watch the southwestern sunset on your final evening viewing the beautiful Sleeping Ute Mountain.

Evening: Final wrap-up of program

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Cortez, CO
B

Breakfast: Our full, country-style buffet breakfast features a hot entrée and delicious homemade granola.

Morning: Program ends after breakfast. Check-out by 11 AM.