Day 1: Depart Salt Lake City (2:30 PM).
We start this fantastic trip by picking up you and your fellow Adventurers in Salt Lake City. We’ll prep you for your adventure and then enjoy a comfortable journey to our first national park.
Day 2: Edge of the Cedars State Park, Hovenweep National Monument.
We’ll begin our journey into the world of the Ancestral Puebloans at the Edge of the Cedars Museum, which houses one of the finest native pottery collections. Climb into your first Kiva, and begin to understand this ancient world. In the afternoon, we’ll hike around Little Ruin Canyon, at Hovenweep, NM a great example of mesa top architecture.
Day 3: Mesa Verde.
Designated a World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde is home to more than 4000 ruins and some of the best preserved in the world. Ranger led tours through Balcony House and Cliff Palace will answer many of your questions, “How did they build it?”, Why did they leave?” “What did the eat?”. Tour Spruce House and The Chapin Museum on your own, or hike the Petroglyph Trail for beautiful views of the canyon and distant ruins. We’ll head to the Western town of Durango for dinner out before settling into our campground.
Day 4: Aztec National Monument, Salmon Ruins.
Today we explore the Chacoan styles of Aztec and Salmon Ruins. Once a center for trade and ceremonies, Aztec Ruins is home to a great kiva and incredible examples of Chacoan Masonry. A similar site, Salmon Ruins also has examples of a 19th century homestead, sweat lodge, and hogan. We’ll continue through the beautiful red rock desert past Shiprock formation and camp at Canyon de Chelly.
Day 5: Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley.
Start the morning with a hike down the red sandstone cliff canyon to a lush green valley for great views of White House Ruins. Explore the ancient and recent history of the peoples that have occupied this canyon through legend like that of Spider Woman Rock, and historical events at Massacre Overlook. We’ll end our day at Monument Valley with a sunset tour of the beautiful mesas and buttes.
Day 6: Navajo National Monument, Sand Island, Moab.
The Betatakin Ruins of Navajo National Monument are among our favorites. These ruins were rumored to be haunted, keeping thieves and bandits away for decades. A Navajo Ranger will lead us on a spectacular scenic hike to a beautiful alcove which protects these incredible dwellings.
Day 7: Natural Bridges National Monument.
Hike to the 3 great bridges (arches formed by water) that give this beautiful park its name. See colorful petroglyphs, ruins and more. As our journey back to Salt Lake begins, we’ll make a stop in Moab and dine at the Moab Brewery!
Day 8: We’ll roll back into Salt Lake City by noon, and say our goodbyes.
Price includes: all camping, park entrance fees and 70% of meals.
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USA Utah Arizona New Mexico Local Culture Native Americans National Parks