New Mexico/Colorado/Arizona

Southwest Icons: New Mexico, Arizona & Colorado

The natural beauty and cultural history of the Southwest are extraordinary. Explore five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with National Parks, National Monuments and State Parks.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22591RJ
15 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Taos Pueblo, Carlsbad Caverns and Chaco Canyon — these are the places of legends. On an epic journey through the best of Arizona and New Mexico, join local experts to explore five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, centuries of Native American and Spanish history and Santa Fe, “The City Different.” From the iconic red-sandstone buttes of Monument Valley to the 1,000-year-old adobe complex of Taos Pueblo, find an astounding concentration of natural phenomena and cultural landmarks.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the winding corridors, monumental chambers and stunning rock formations of Carlsbad Caverns.
  • Learn about Native American history at Chaco Canyon — one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in New Mexico.
  • Bask in the glorious vistas of the Grand Canyon and discover archaeological sites at Mesa Verde.
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.
Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest
by Jon Ortner (Photographer)
This unprecedented collection of photographs explores the diverse canyon country of the Colorado Plateau, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, including: Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches and Canyonlands. The 200 color photographs reflect the stunning beauty of colored stone that makes the area of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico so unique. Photographs are accompanied by quotations by authors and explorers. The coffee-table book measures 9 x 12 inches.
USA Southwest, Southern Rockies Map
by Borch Maps
A map of the American Southwest at a scale of 1:3,000,000 with roads, parks and topography.
The Lost World of the Old Ones, Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest
by David Roberts
A fascinating look at prehistoric civilization in the Four Corners region. Roberts goes deep into the Southwest backcountry to find yet-undiscovered ruins of the Ancestral Puebloans, known by their modern descendants as The Old Ones. A fascinating book, which, at its heart, is a great mystery story.
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.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah
by Peter Alden
A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the American Southwest.
The Great Taos Bank Robbery
by Tony Hillerman
Nine indelible tales of life in New Mexico by the great newspaperman and author of the terrific series of mysteries set on the Navajo Nation.
Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History
by Paul Horgan
First published in 1954, this classic book won both the Bancroft and the Pulitzer Prizes for history.
The Spanish Frontier in North America
by David Weber
Here's the definitive history of the Spanish colonial period in America, from the settlement of St. Augustine in Florida to the missions of New Mexico.
The Laughing Boy
by Oliver La Farge
An ethnographer and archaeologist, La Farge captures the flavor of the landscapes and ways of life in Northern Arizona in the early 20th century in this Pulitzer Prize-winning short novel.
Chaco Canyon, Archaeologists Explore the Lives of an Ancient Society
by Brian Fagan
An excellent overview of the beliefs, traditions and daily lives of the ancient inhabitants of Chaco Canyon, drawn from the latest archaeological evidence.
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.
Unsung Heroes of World War II, The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers
by Deanne Durrett
Weaving Navajo history and culture, battlefield accounts and archival photos, Durrett reveals the remarkable individuals behind the only battlefield code that Japan never deciphered.
Anasazi America
by David Stuart
A thought-provoking, engaging account of the rise and fall of Anasazi society in the desert southwest.
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.
DK Eyewitness Top Ten Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring the best natural and cultural attractions of the region.
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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