Informative and interesting. Well presented!
Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table located in the hotel meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions in the hotel conference room. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation throughout the program will be provided primarily by 10 passenger vans. If you plan to drive to Gallup from Flagstaff in your own vehicle due to future travel plans, inform the leader at registration so that he/she can make group travel arrangements. In this case, you will follow the program vans just while we transfer from hotels on Day Three and Day Five, but otherwise will be in the vans during all field trips. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: After walking to a nearby restaurant, we’ll enjoy hot plated meals along with access to a large salad bar that includes over 50 fresh items such as seasonal and specialty salads, just picked vegetables, fresh fruits, soups, hot appetizers and cool desserts. Coffee, tea, soft drinks or water included. Alcoholic beverages are not available at this restaurant.
Evening: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Walking about 1 mile on Island Trail at Walnut Canyon; approximately 1 hour with stops; paved trail; descend and ascend 185 ft. via 240 steps. Walking about 1 mile on Rim Trail; approx. 1 hour; paved and level. Elevation at 6,700 ft. Drive is approximately 15 miles; ½ an hour.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet including choices such as waffles, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: To facilitate a better understanding of the pre-historic cultural development of the Southwest - we will enjoy an insightful and informative docent-led field trip at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) after arriving by van. The MNA has evolved into a regional center of learning with collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and research projects. Museum of Northern Arizona is the premier museum dedicated to the cultural and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. Take some time for independent exploration in the museum afterwards.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a nice selection of plated entrees including soup, salads, pasta, burgers and more, plus coffee, tea and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We’ll then travel to Walnut Canyon where we will go on our next field trip to the Sinagua Ruins, the visitor center, and museum at Walnut Canyon National Monument. A hike led by our Program Coordinator down into Walnut Canyon will bring us face to face with ancient cliff dwellings. Walnut Canyon is a spectacular scenic attraction in its own right and contains diverse plant and animal communities to be enjoyed from all vantage points with interpretive signs to supplement viewing. For those that choose not to go into the canyon, a lovely rim walk led by one of the Group Leaders, offers excellent views and access to Sinagua Ruins.
Dinner: At a festive local Greek restaurant, we’ll enjoy a variety of plated entree choices for all palates, plus a choice of coffee, tea and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At the hotel conference room, our NAU Road Scholar coordinator will conduct a meeting to discuss the logistics of tomorrow's travel day and provide an introduction to the Hopi Reservation and Canyon de Chelly.
Activity note: Limited walking with periods of standing up to approximately ½ an hour during visit to Oraibi. Drive to Hopi is about 100 miles; approx. 2 hours. Hopi to Canyon de Chelly is about 90 miles; approx. 2 hours. Add one hour due to time zone change in the afternoon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board our vans and begin our transfer from Flagstaff to the Hopi mesas and the Hopi Cultural Center. The Hopi trace their history in the Southwest to long before the Spanish arrived in 1540 and many villages have been occupied since the 1100s A.D. Upon arrival at the Cultural Center, we’ll enjoy a fascinating native arts demonstration (pottery making, kachina carving, or other) presented by a Hopi tribal member and artisan. We’ll then enjoy some time to explore the exhibits and photographs in the Hopi Tribal Museum independently, as well as check out the native arts and jewelry.
Lunch: At the Hopi Cultural Center, enjoy a traditional Hopi stew and choose from a selection of freshly made sandwiches, plus a choice of soft drinks, coffee, tea, or water.
Afternoon: After lunch we will drive (10 miles) to the village of Old Oraibi for a tour led by a native Hopi tribal member. Our Hopi leader will provide us with insights into the rich cultural history and practices that connect the modern-day Hopi people to their ancient Puebloan ancestors. After departing Old Oraibi, and a short rest break back at the Hopi Cultural Center we will drive through the Hopi and Navajo Nations to Chinle—the gateway to Canyon de Chelly National Monument. We will arrive at the hotel and check-in with time to freshen up before dinner.
Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a plated dinner including a nightly selection of entrees (some with a southwestern flare), a trip through the salad bar, and dessert, plus soft drinks, coffee, tea or water.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Option 1: South Rim in the Van will include driving about 40 miles; approx. 1 hour; paved road. Option 2: Hiking approx. 3 miles roundtrip over a 1.5 hour time period on a well-established trail with some uneven and sandy sections; total elevation gain/loss of 600 ft. 4-Wheel Drive: Driving about 20 miles over approx. 3 hours on dirt roads with sections of bumpy travel through sandy washes; many short stops for exploration and/or bathroom needs.
Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy an alternating breakfast buffet including an egg dish, pancakes or biscuits and gravy, breakfast meats, cream of wheat, a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: We’ll transfer to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument where we will embark on our explorations for the day. Choices will include (1) a field trip in the vans along Canyon de Chelly's South Rim to White House Ruin Overlook and Spider Rock Overlook led by our Group Leader, or (2) a beautiful 3 mile hike on the White House Ruin Trail led by one of our group leaders. The White House Ruin Trail hike follows a well established, manageable trail that is generally wide with some exposure and some uneven terrain. The upper part of the trail is built on a sandstone surface so caution must be taken but footing is good overall. The lower part of the trail becomes sandier as the grade decreases. The trail ends at the White House Ruin canyon viewpoint. Note that the entire group will return to the White House Ruin in the afternoon on the 4 - wheel drive field trip. Before returning to the hotel for lunch, time will be alloted at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument Visitor Center where we will explore independently.
Lunch: At the hotel, experience a traditional buffet lunch including multiple stews, entrees, sides and salads, plus a choice of soft drinks, coffee, tea, or water.
Afternoon: Once boarding 4-wheel drive vehicles at the hotel, we’ll embark on a scenic field trip into Canyon de Chelly with certified Navajo leaders. The afternoon will include exploring 2 canyons: Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto. En route, we will stop at cliff dwellings, homesteads and petroglyph sites for pictures and shared stories of the "Ancient Ones" as given by our knowledgeable Navajo leaders. At least 2 rest stops will offer opportunities to peruse Native American crafts and jewelry.
Dinner: Hotel plated meal.
Evening: At the hotel conference room led by a local tribal member, we will learn more about Navajo people during a cultural presentation. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile total over the course of the day. Driving about 93 miles; approx. 2 hours.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel we’ll load the vans and begin traveling to Gallup, New Mexico. Our first stop en route will be at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. We will step back in time to recount the important and influential trading post era on the Navajo reservation. Enjoy an informative expert-led field trip of the Lorenzo Hubbell house and, afterwards, take some time to explore the still active historic trading post independently. Continuing our transfer, we’ll arrive at Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation and the Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park. Highlights of the morning will include visits to the Window Rock geologic formation and the touching memorial tribute to the World War II Navajo Code Talkers where program staff will provide commentary. For fans of Tony Hillerman mystery novels, Window Rock is the heart of "Hillerman Country."
Lunch: At a favorite meeting place of the local population, we’ll enjoy a buffet lunch featuring an ample salad bar, a rotating hot entree theme of the day and standard beverages.
Afternoon: Then, we’ll walk to the Navajo Nation Museum for a self-led visit through its excellent exhibits on Navajo arts, culture and history. We’ll then continue to Gallup and check into the hotel in the mid-afternoon. Enjoy some time to relax before dinner.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a wide selection of Chinese and traditional items at one of Gallup's newest restaurants plus standard beverages.
Evening: At the hotel conference room, a local expert will join us and supply us with useful information during an evening presentation in preparation for our field trip to Chaco Canyon tomorrow.
Activity note: Walking 1-2 miles total throughout the day; on our feet for 1-2 hours at a time. Access to the Great House ruins is by gravel paths with minor elevation changes; be sure to bring sun protection and wear comfortable shoes as we will be outside all day. Vehicular access to Chaco Canyon is via a 21 mile dirt road and weather permitting; in the event of heavy rains the road will become completely impassable. In this rare instance, we will substitute Chaco Canyon with another interesting destination.
Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes an egg dish, breakfast meats, green chili, assorted breads, cereals, fruit, pastries, juices, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: After an early breakfast, we’ll embark on a full day field trip to Chaco Canyon. Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves one of America's most significant and fascinating cultural and historic areas as it was a major center of ancestral Puebloan culture between AD 850 and 1150. As such, it functioned as a central hub for ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area - unlike anything before or since. While here, our knowledgeable local expert will lead us on a walking field trip to Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl, 2 of the park’s “Great Houses.” First, we’ll see Pueblo Bonito which represents the zenith of Anasazi culture as it is the largest and most famous ruin in Chaco Canyon. At 5 stories in height and with as many as 700 rooms in its back wall, Pueblo Bonito was the largest standing structure in North America until the 1800s. Important Program Note: In the event of significant rainy or snowy weather, the 22 mile dirt road to Chaco Canyon may become impassable to travel and our plans for going to Chaco Canyon will need to be altered. If this occurs your Group Leader's number one concern will be for the safety of the group. Your Group Leader will decide on an alternative, accessible destination for the day. Destinations may include Aztec National Monument or Sky City Acoma Pueblo or El Morro National Monument to name a few alternatives. These alternative sites are all historically significant, scenic and include cultural value to the themes of this program.
Lunch: On the grounds of the Visitor Center, we’ll enjoy a sack lunch. Bathrooms and drinking water are available.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll continue on foot and visit the ruins of Chetro Ketl – one of the largest pueblos in Chaco Canyon. At one point, this pueblo contained over 500 rooms and 12 kivas including a Great Kiva within the central plaza. The walls of Chetro Ketl are embedded with ancient wooden vigas, or beams, which had to be carried from distant forests by hand and prepared with stone tools. It is estimated that over 5,000 trees were cut for Chetro Ketl alone. Chacoan banded masonry, the Mesoamerican influenced colonnade, painted room plaster and "keyhole" kivas are just a few of the architectural gems contained in Chetro Ketl. Our local expert will provide commentary pointing out these impressive features. Then, with a stop at Casa Rinconada, we will see the largest “Great Kiva” that stands in the southwest! Casa Rinconada is believed to be the impressive venue for ceremonial activities of old. Once having a look at Casa Rinconada, we’ll independently check out the park’s visitor center museum, bookstore and various exhibits. We’ll then return to the hotel in the late afternoon with some time to freshen up before dinner.
Dinner: At a local Mexican restaurant, a favorite among locals, we’ll enjoy delicious plated meals for our farewell dinner together, plus coffee, tea and water; other beverages available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: We’ll then gather at the hotel for a program wrap-up, impressions from the week and final reflections. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 7:45 a.m. The drive to Flagstaff is about 185 miles; approx. 3.5 hours; arrival time by about 10:15 a.m. We will gain an hour as we cross the border into Arizona and its time zone.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll load the vans and depart for Flagstaff. Drop off locations in Flagstaff include the starting hotel, the Flagstaff Amtrak Station/Visitor Center, and the Flagstaff Airport at Pulliam Field. Vans will arrive in time to connect the Arizona Shuttle at the Flagstaff Visitor Center for transport to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Informative and interesting. Well presented!
This program was so much more than I had hoped! Very knowledgeable leaders. If anything could be improved on, in my opinion... it would be to increase the length of the program.
This trip is an excellent one to learn about the Pueblo heritage and culture and history of the Hopi and Navajo Native Americans. The trip to Canyon de Chelly was the highlight of the tour for me with views from the top in the morning and a wonderful trip into the base of the canyon in 4X4's in the afternoon led by Navajos.
The program was everything I had hoped it would be. I have wanted to visit Chaco for years but the dirt road was intimidating. It included a bit of hiking for those us who wanted it, but the alternate activities were equally appealing. If I did it again I would arrive early or stay on after the program for an extra day in Flagstaff and a leisurely independent visit to Museum of Northern Arizona. It is a treasure.
If you have ever wanted to know about the early Native Americans, this program is for you. So very informative and interesting, not to mention the beauty of the canyons you visit. I loved the total package.
Deep and thought provoking. I am still processing all that I learned, experienced and saw ! Great staff! It was a winner!
This was our first Road Scholar trip and it turned out to be a wonderful educational experience that really did exceed our expectations. The scholar who led our Pueblo & Anasazi program was extremely knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, was very passionate about Pueblo history, culture and modern life and was very generous in sharing his knowledge. The trip was beautifully organized, accommodations comfortable, and our fellow travelers on this journey very pleasant. Julie & Tony Broom, Stony Creek, CT
Spectacular landscapes, fascinating cultural sites and great leadership make this trip a winner. If you are interested in learning more about Navajo and Hopi culture as well as the Ancestral Puebloans you should go.
2 Stars: Though the guides were very knowledgeable and friendly, and the sights such as Canyon de Chelly, Chaco Canyon, Hubbell Trading Post etc. really amazing to see, the overall experience was not very good for a number of reasons: first, the small vans used for transportation were VERY uncomfortable and difficult to get in and out of, considering we were mostly folks over 60. We would recommend larger/taller vans with actual steps to climb in and out of the van and the ability to stand up and negotiate our way in and out. The ones used were totally inappropriate. Second, this was at best a budget minus tour, with barely a step above Motel 6 accommodations. Knowing that the first hotel in Flagstaff was in the midst of an extensive, noisy and dusty renovation, the tour planners should have found alternative accommodations for our group (there were plenty of vacancies around); the hotel was completely unacceptable, and our stay was very uncomfortable! Third, nearly all the meals were atrocious! Really? in all of Flagstaff, Sizzler's and some disgusting "Chinese" buffet is the best you could do??? If you're putting us all in vans and transporting us to a meal anyway, why not find places that actually have edible healthy food, instead of the indigestible junk at those locations? Very disappointed in Road Scholar - so far it's been 0 for 2 as far as our two trips go. I think we are done with Road Scholar....too bad.
This was my first tour and it did not disappoint. Tour went into Arizona/New Mexico Native American Pueblo people's culture, country, ruins, food, song. Tour guides were excellent, knowledgable. I came away wanting trip to be longer! Mike, South San Francisco, CA
This was a fascinating look into the Indian culture. I enjoyed this trip very much.
This was an easy to access website. There was no evaluation for one of the guides- Norm. I would like to recommend him but didn't see a space or I missed it. The directions said not to back up.
We greatly enjoyed this program which educated and inspired us to learn more about Pueblo heritage sites and the Native Americans who still inhabit some of these areas. We also learned about the fragility of the land and ruins and the impact that our modern society has had on them as well as potential dangers that we can work towards trying to minimize.
This high desert region of the Southwest is remote. Roadscholar trips take you to the best of the sights in the comfort of a van. The leaders share the best history and insights. Way to go!
An opportunity to gain an insider view of Hopi and Navajo culture and history and to see the beauty of America's Southwest.
Outstanding program that I would highly recommend. The leader was well informed and I learned new information. I have purchased books he recommended.
This is another of Road Scholar's outstanding programs! Excellent leaders, great locations, significant experiences.
This was a wonderful program
This program takes place in an absolutely gorgeous landscape with the bonus of exploring the cultures both ancient and modern of its inhabitants. While our group leaders were great, and there were really good lectures, entertainments, and demos; for me, the Southwest itself was the star of the program. Getting out into the canyons on foot and four wheeled vehicles was wonderful. Even the longer van travels (and I usually really dislike being cooped up in a vehicle for hours) was a treat, given the beauty that surrounded us. If you have never come to the Southwest, sign up for this tour. It is a truly great experience. You do need to be mobile and be able to get around off pavement, but our group leaders provided options which really accomodated differing levels. So, don't be too intimidated by the "Active" rating.
This is a very well organized program that provides an excellent overview of the Anasazi people and their towns.
Excellent program. Bruce was very organized and helpful. Led me to a new appreciation of both Navajo and Hopi cultures. Of Course, the scenery was spectacular
This is a great trip...amazing beauty, cultural insights, fun activities.
This trip was great fun. Really nice people and the hike down the canyon and the ride up the canyon was out of sight.
We picked this program because it's date/location coordinated with a family event in the area. I never had a yearning to study ruins, but was semi-interested in Indian civilizations. My enjoyment of the program was a surprise. It was very well designed, competently run and had a lot of chances to be totally engaged in the SW Indian cultures. Well done NAU!
This program was educational and the sites were thrilling to see. The content combined an understanding of the geology, the ancient peoples, and the current Indian tribes that helped me understand better how it all fits together.
While I was concerned that the "Active" level might be too much for me, the leaders of our program made it so it was not too challenging while incorporating a more challenging route for those who wished to take advantage of it. Our leadership group was exceptional -- both in their passion and knowledge of the subject areas! Thank you Stewart, Joanna and Vic for a wonderful experience!
I thought the program was the perfect blend of physical activity, social interaction with native peoples of the SW and fellow Road Scholars -- a great opportunity for cultural and historical learning.
This program exceeded all my expectations. I read the recommended books prior to the trip but even so I was not prepared for this glimpse into Native American history and culture of the Southwest. Jerry Snow is a terrific guide and story teller.
Thank you for creating such an informative and stimulating program as "Pueblo Heritage: Canyon de Chelly & Chaco Canyon." This was a dream come true in every sense of the word. From the knowledgeable and friendly staff to the educational and adventure-filled field-trips, the thought-provoking lectures, the fascinating demonstrations, and the delightful entertainment, this truly was the trip of a lifetime!
This class is very interesting and the staff very capable. I recommend the class to anybody interested in the native Americans, especially the Ancient Puebloans.
The Educational and hands on experience along with the visual and physical sights and sounds of this program made this a completely enriching week