Rock Art and Archaeology of La Cieneguilla With David Grant Noble
Saturday, April 18 Filled

april2_2015Tapril_2015he Santa Fe River valley was used by all peoples who entered the area and an important concentration of thousands of ancient petroglyphs are found along a volcanic escarpment formed by lava. Our special visit to the southwest Santa Fe petroglyph site of La Cieneguilla features one of our favorite study leaders: David Grant Noble, noted and celebrated editor, photographer and archaeology writer and author. We will learn about the history and theories relating to Ancestral Puebloan rock art, migration of Tewa Pueblo peoples, Colonial Spanish exploration and settlement along El Camino Real (Royal Road). This area is also close to Keres Pueblo settlements in the late pre-contact period. Our hike will include some relatively flat trails on the mesa top, some rough uneven terrain along the boulder slope where the rock art is located, but will also include the short but steep rocky talus access to the mesa top, so please come prepared for this rugged landscape on the outskirts of Santa Fe which overlooks the important riparian stream banks of the beautiful Santa Fe River downstream from the city now featuring beaver dam ponds. Picnic lunch and Study Leader honoraria included. Limited space. $95 pp



San Felipe Feast Day with Alan Osborne
Friday, May 1 Filled


San Felipe is one of the most culturally conservative of all the Keresan speaking tribes and passionately retains their traditional religion and customs despite relentless pressures from the outside world. Although the Pueblo is not more than thirty minutes from Santa Fe, the fact that outsiders are not encouraged to visit has made it possible for them to maintain their individuality and resist the influences of modern life. Individual interests are subordinate to community values and responsibilities so that the strong ceremonial structure and the traditional rituals have kept the people as a vital and distinctive tribal entity with a proud heritage of ancient origin. At certain times of the year, however, they welcome visitors and the Green Corn Dances in May are the main attraction to outsiders and other Pueblo people as well. Hundreds of men, women and children dance throughout the day, accompanied by a male chorus, in the huge sunken bowl of the Plaza worn down by the centuries. (IPCC) $95 pp

Geology of La Bajada & the Santa Fe River Canyon with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday May 9, 2015 FILLED


Have you ever driven up/down La Bajada and wondered what geologic story is told by all of the colorful rocks exposed on either side of I-25? If so, this outing is for you! Join Southwest Seminars and Dr. Kirt Kempter for a geologic exploration of the La Bajada area, a landscape dominated by ancient and young volcanic features. We will hike part of the old La Bajada Road, learning about the human history of the area and appreciating the broad vistas to the south and west. We will also visit the Santa Fe River canyon near La Cienega, including spectacular views of the canyon, and numerous Ancestral Puebloan petroglyphs. An optional hike will descend 400 feet into the canyon to view a remarkable petroglyph panel. The history of the Santa Fe River and its importance will also be discussed and will include the region’s hydrologic system, which accounts for numerous springs in the area. Picnic lunch and Study Leader honorarium included. $95 pp

Archaeology of the Desert Archaic and Fremont Cultures: Rafting the Yampa and Green Rivers with David Grant Noble
May 20-27, 2015 Filled


Join Southwest Seminars and David Grant Noble for an archaeological journey on the scenic Yampa and Green Rivers through Dinosaur National Monument. This 7-day, 7-night trip begins with a reception and a welcome dinner the first evening, followed by day exploring famous Fremont culture rock art panels and the Dinosaur Quarry. The highlight of the day is rafting for five days through 71 miles of vividly colored canyons while exploring prehistoric rock shelter and remote archaeological sites and 4 nights camping under the stars. We return to Vernal for a farewell dinner and one last overnight. The trip includes all lodging, meals, river and rafting arrangements and quality time with David Noble.

may_2015David Grant Noble is the author/editor of numerous books on Southwestern archaeology and history and has been guiding Archaeological Conservancy groups down the Yampa and Green rivers since 2000. The 4th edition of his Ancient Ruins of the Southwest: An Archaeological Guide is due to appear in 2015, as his a new edited volume, Living the Ancient Southwest. David will give talks at archaeological sites and talks in the evenings. We will learn about the archaeology of the Desert Archaic and Fremont cultures through David’s lectures and hikes.

Trip Description: Meeting in Vernal, Utah on May 20, we will visit the Dry Fork Creek Petroglyphs near Vernal, one of the most famous rock art sites in the Southwest. In the afternoon we will explore the Dinosaur National Monument and see fossils of dinosaurs and other creatures that date back nearly 150 million years and visit the Swelter Shelter an archaic/Freemont rock shelter with petroglyphs

The river trip will begin at Deer Lodge Park in Dinosaur National Monument. We float through the beautiful canyons of the Yampa River for three days, reaching the confluence with the Green River in Echo Park, so-named by John Wesley Powell on his famous 1869 expedition. Along the way, we’ll see the remains of a pioneer’s cabin, a series of pictographs in the Barrier Canyon style, and Serviceberry Shelter, where Archaic hunter-gatherers camped millennia ago. We’ll also hike to Mantle’s Cave, a huge rock shelter where Fremont Indians stored an astonishing array of specialized items in storage cysts, now in the collections of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In Echo Park we’ll hike to two Fremont petroglyph panels and along the way cool off in Whispering Cave. After passing by some awesome geologic formations, we’ll enter Whirlpool Canyon, also described in Powell’s account, and camp where he did, at Jones Hole. We’ll hike up the Jones Creek (good trout fishing) to Deluge Shelter, another Archaic camp, and view several Fremont pictograph/petroglyph panels of anthropomorphic figures. A short hike leads up Ely Creek to a waterfall.

may3_2015On our final day, we’ll emerge from the canyons for a leisurely float through Rainbow Park followed by an exciting ride through Split Mountain and its series of rapids. The Yampa is the only remaining free-running, undammed tributary of the Colorado and its flow level depends on the winter snow pack and spring runoff. We’ll experience low and medium-level rapids as we go. Set among towering red cliffs and ancient ponderosa pines, we may see a variety of wildlife, deer, eagles and big horn sheep along the shoreline.


Trip Details: The trip will be in 18-foot oar boats with 4 guests to a boat. Our outfitter will be Dinosaur River Expeditions, family owned and locally operated in Vernal Utah staffed by experienced and knowledgeable river guides that love sharing the beauty, the history and the wildlife of the mighty Yampa River of Colorado and the crystal clear waters of Utah’s Green River of the Flaming Gorge. Our guides double as excellent outdoor chefs for our meals along the river. This is an active trip that involves hiking, rafting and camping.

Includes: This 7-day and 7-night tour includes: Full outfitter services for 5 days of rafting in 18’ rowed boats including 4 nights camping (no charge for the stars). Three nights lodging at Landmark Suites in Vernal, Utah (2 nights before the rafting trip and 1 night after). All meals in Vernal and on the river. Study Leader honorarium, all gratuities, all admissions and fee for our service.

Cost: Double occupancy, $2,345 pp, Single Occupancy $2,500
Optional Sleeping kit (tent, bags, pad) $40 per person Registration Form Required.
$500 per person to reserve.
Balance in full due before or by April 1, 2015


Four Ancestral Sites of the Tewa: The Ojo Caliente Valley with Dr. Sam Duwe
Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 – Filled


Explore three centuries of Tewa Pueblo history (A.D. 1300-1600) by visiting four important Classic Period Ancestral Tewa sites in the Ojo Caliente Valley northwest of Santa Fe. See architecture, agricultural fields, and ritual features in the context of some of the largest and best-preserved ancient Pueblo sites in the region. Learn Tewa history and how we use different techniques, archaeological review and Tewa oral tradition, to better understand their past. The sites include Ponsipa’akeri, (Saturday), a massive village which has been the subject of a newly constructed chronology of the site and allowing us to learn more about the process in which it was first settled and then grew as more people migrated into the valley; Pose’uinge (Saturday), one of the largest sites in the Rio Ojo Caliente Valley which has beautiful views of the valley and the river, situated above the Ojo Caliente hot springs; Howiri’uinge, bi-sected by a major highway in the 1950’s, but with many important cultural features and Hupobi’uinge (Sunday), which features amazing rock art, agricultural grid gardens, and ritual landscape.Our overnight lodging will be hosted by Cliff River Springs, a family-owned ranch on 1,200 acres at the edge of the wilderness in a spring-fed oasis of fruit trees and the organic gardens of Ancient Waters Farm. Experience the soothing comfort of a quiet river valley and nearby pond, a welcome oasis in the heat of the summer. Charming casitas, comfy beds and organic samples from the garden will round out our archaeological day excursions. Time with Dr. Sam Duwe, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma and Director, Tewa Basin Archaeological Research Project will be a highlight of our trip as he shares knowledge of the Tewa and the region. We have reserved the seven casitas on the ranch, which ensures a special and private experience. This private tour includes lodging, all meals, and Study Leader honoraria.
$350 double occupancy or $450 single.


Santa Ana Feast Day with Alan Osborne
Sunday, July 26, 2015 Filled

Santa Ana’s original location is unknown as all the members of the Pueblo either left or were killed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Following the 1692-4 Spanish Reconquest, Old Sana Ana Pueblo (Tamaya), was founded 8 miles NW of Bernalillo. Tribal members usually maintain two places of residence, one in the farming community along the Rio Grande and the other a traditional home on the north bank of the Jemez River several miles away. The annual Feast Day held in honor of St. Ann features Corn Dance, a colorful spectacle which draws the entire Pueblo together as most of its population, nearly 700 people, return to the Old Pueblo (normally not open to outside visitors) for traditional ceremonies and visiting native arts and crafts vendors. (IPCC) $95pp


A Grand Expedition: Rafting the Grand Canyon
with Wayne Ranney and Dr. John Ware

August 21-30, 2015 New !!! Filled

There are many ways to salvation and one of them is to follow a river. David Brower


Join Southwest Seminars for the experience of a lifetime led by Geologist Wayne Ranney, author of “ Carving Grand Canyon” and featuring 7 days rafting the Colorado River through the legendary Grand Canyon and 7 nights camping under the stars. We raft into the Canyon beginning at Lee’s Ferry and exit the canyon via scenic helicopter and charter air. The trip includes hotel lodging and dinner the night before the excursion as Wayne sets the stage for our grand adventure and another night and dinner after the trip wraps up as we celebrate our amazing journey through this vividly colored canyon, a nine day study tour on the most coveted raft trip in the world.

Learn the story revealed in the thick sequence and variety of rocks exposed in the walls of the canyon which provide a record of the Paleozoic Era (550-250 million years ago). View scattered remnants of Precambrian rocks at the bottom of the Canyon. Discuss the origin of the canyon and how the complexity of erosional features of the Colorado River and precipitation created and continue to shape the canyon. Learn about the variety of species of mammals, reptiles, fish and birds that make the Grand Canyon home, including many threatened and endangered species and plants that have found a refuge in the Park’s protected lands. Discover more about the 5000 year human history presence and importance of the canyon to ancestral Puebloan, Hopi, Havasupai, Navajo, Hualapai, Paiute and Zuni. Follow the story of the pioneering journey in 1869 of John Wesley Powell. All these features have made Grand Canyon National Park a World Heritage Site, a designation that honors the Grand Canyon’s natural and cultural resources, a shared inheritance for all mankind.

Wayne Ranney is the author of “Carving Grand Canyon” and “Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau”, which he co-authored with Ron Blakey. He holds a master’s degree in geology at Northern Arizona University and leads tours for the Museum of Northern Arizona, The Grand Canyon Field Institute and the Smithsonian, including round the world trips by private charter. Wayne is in great demand as a lecturer and study leader. He has presented to Southwest Seminars to an always-packed house. His tours through the Grand Canyon are always sold out. We are delighted to have Wayne at the helm of our excursion and appreciate his knowledge and sensitivity to environmental exploration and geology education.

august_2015Trip Description: The Colorado River is The Best Known rafting location in the world. Our 190-mile trip between Lee’s Ferry and Whitmore Wash has been selected by Wayne as covering the most scenic and geologically significant sites within the canyon in just the right balance of time on the river and off site exploration. We begin our journey with slow moving rapids, which increase in intensity as we travel further into the Canyon. There is plenty of whitewater excitement, including some of the most famous “drops and falls” in the world: Horn Creek, Hermit, Crystal and Lava Falls. As importantly we’ll hike beautiful side canyons with cascading waterfalls, turquoise pools, and the cooling shade of hidden grottos and enjoy stargazing at night. Visit interesting historical sites only accessible by the river, study unique geological features, and gain a comprehensive educational perspective on the geology and natural history of this majestic canyon. Marvel at ever-changing vistas and panoramas revealed at each twist and turn of the river. Along with the amazing scenery and geo-education we’ll enjoy periods of profound peace as we drift quietly through narrow corridors of polished granite.

Trip Details: The trip will be in 37 foot motored raft as they are the preferred mode of transportation for this kind of river excursion by Wayne, being more comfortable and safer for this kind of expedition. The motors are quiet and able to be turned off as opportunities for drifting allow. Our highly recommended outfitter, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions (CRATE) has been in business since 1971 and features knowledgeable, trained and experienced river guides, who are excellent outdoor chefs, enthusiastic river companions and certified in CPR, Wilderness Medicine and River Rescue. The weather is usually pleasant in late August. When it is hot, it will make those rapids so much more welcoming. Random thunderstorms might result in amazing waterfalls off the rim or cactus blossom along our journey. Our trip begins (1st day) with a welcome dinner and lecture by Wayne Ranney at Cliff Dweller Lodge in Marble Canyon, Arizona.

This is an active trip that involves 7 days of hiking and whitewater boating and 7 nights of camping under the stars (Days #2-8)
Our put-in is Historic Lee’s Ferry, 13 miles below Glen Canyon Dam.
Enter Grand Canyon and within the first few miles begin our descent though the geologic layers, traveling 78 miles by river to the bottom of this great stack of rocks.
Run Badger, Soap Creek and House Rock rapids.
Float deeper into the Marble Canyon section of the river and see lush green spring of Vasey’s Paradise stopping at Redwall Cavern, a vast alcove that J.W. Powell estimated would seat 50,000 people.
Hike to ancestral Puebloan habitation sites, rock art sites or granaries. Hikes are optional (but recommended).
The canyon is truly Grand Canyon as we float downstream to the turquoise blue waters of the Little Colorado River, the spiritual birthplace of the Hopi Fourth World. The canyon begins to open up as we encounter Tanner, Unkar, Nevills and the formidable Hance Rapid.
We reach some of the biggest whitewater in the canyon as we enter the Inner Gorge.
•Make a quick stop at Phantom Ranch, designed by architect Mary E. Jane Coulter in 1922 as a tourist camp, it’s style was later adapted to most National Park Service locations.
On one of the biggest whitewater days in the canyon, a stretch of river known as the “Jewels”, we encounter Crystal, Sapphire, Turquoise and Ruby rapids
Enjoy a hike to the green haven of clear pools, lush moss and ferns at Elves Chasm
View an excellent example of the geological phenomenon, the Great Unconformity at Blacktail Canyon
Enter the Middle Granite Gorge and a series of exciting rapids – 128 mile, Specter, Bedrock and Dubendorff
Enter the Granite Narrows, the canyon’s narrowest point and visit Deer Creek Falls for a refreshing dip in the clear pool beneath the falls.
Hike the limestone terraces and the travertine pools and waterfalls of Havasu Canyon.
Raft the notorious Lava Falls in the depths of the Grand Canyon near the end of our journey.
Arriving at Whitmore Wash, we board a helicopter for a scenic flight out of the canyon, followed by charter flight returning us to Marble Canyon for farewell dinner with Wayne and those often dreamt about beds. (Day #9)
Departure following breakfast the next morning (Day #10)

Includes: 9 day and 9 night tour includes: Full outfitter services for 7 full days of rafting in 37’ motorized rafts and 7 nights deluxe camping including cots, foam pad, sleeping bags, chairs, tents (and stars), 2 nights lodging at Cliff Dwellers Lodge, all meals at the lodge and on the river. Helicopter/airplane flight transfer back to Lee’s Ferry, Insurance for emergency evacuation and river medical care included. Study Leader honorarium, all gratuities and admission and fee for our service.

Cost: Double Occupancy: $3995 per person, Single Occupancy $4,095.
$500 pp. deposit to reserve due October 30, 2014. Balance in full due May 15, 2015. Registration Forms Required


Coronado’s War in the Rio Grande Valley with Dr. Matt Schmader
September 26, 2015


We have learned more about the Coronado Expedition in the past 25 years than has been pieced together in a century of prior work. Explore the relationships between settled Puebloan villages along the Rio Grande and early Spanish-led expeditionaries. Dr. Matt Schmader’s. dedicated and sensitive archaeological work has focused on the contact and conflict between the forces of Coronado, which included over 1,000 Mexican Indian mercenaries, against villagers and warriors of several southern Tigua (Tiwa) Pueblos, resulting in the devastating Tiguex War between the people of stone and the intruding people of steel. We will take a short hike to Piedras Marcadas Canyon, where the first petroglyph of a horse known in the United States is found amid a rich concentration of petroglyphs, most of which were created a century before European contact. Appreciate the context, and underlying meanings of this powerful ritual and sacred cultural landscape. Here we will discuss

aspects of Pueblo worldview and cosmology and review the Tiwa presence in the Rio Grande valley for two centuries before Spaniards arrived. At mid-day a lecture at the Open Space Visitor Center where we can learn about artifacts recovered on-site at Piedras Marcadas Pueblo, the largest of the known native communities along the Rio Grande in the mid 16th century, and the scene of a fierce battle between its Pueblo defenders and the forces of Coronado, whose massive 1540-2 entrada was larger than the initial invasion force of Mexico under Cortez. Afterward we tour this impressive pueblo site and learn about the battle sequence based on careful analysis and using, at native urging, non-invasive techniques employed by archaeologists, Dr. Schmader is an engaging archaeologist and serves as Superintendent of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Program and has consulted closely with native communities to expand the base of knowledge of this important chapter of New Mexico’s past. Includes transportation, lunch, and Study Leader honorarium. $95 pp


Ute Mountain Tribal Park: Ancestral Pueblo Sites Seldom Seen
October 2-3, 2015


Located on Ute Mountain tribal lands, this park was a 1911 compromise: between the United States taking tribal lands and the visionary leadership of Jack House, son of the Ute Chief Acowitz, who in the 1880’s tipped off the legendary Wetherill brothers to the existence of fantastic ancient Pueblo sites in Lion and Johnson Canyons in the Southwest. This led to a race for claimants to the treasures, the search and disappearance of artifacts along with the creation of a brisk trade in antiquities looted from these sites before federal laws were enacted to preserve them. Protecting these lands from Anglo incursion, touristic curiosity and the federal government has created a seldom visited trove of four well-preserved canyon cliff dwellings requiring three miles of hiking and climbing five ladders when accompanied by a Ute tribal guide. While millions visit Mesa Verde National Park, which borders Ute reservation lands, these are seldom seen and striking sites that have not been stripped of their ancient presence and essence. Details TBD

Uncovering the Past Fred Harvey, Harvey Hotels, and Harvey Girls with Meredith Davidson
October 17 and 18


Step back in time to the late 19th century as we ride the train from Lamy, to Las Vegas, NM on the tracks of the old Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad to visit three historic hotels: Castaneda, Plaza, and Montezuma. After a warm welcome by a Harvey Girl we will get a detailed description of what railroad passengers experienced as they will bring back the deep appreciation of those magnificent days when the customer was king and the Harvey Girls, ‘those respectable young women’ and Couriers were ambassadors of impeccable service and local culture. We will learn about Fred Harvey, the Englishman who founded the hotel and restaurant chain. We’ll tour the famed Castaneda, newly purchased and under renovation by its new owner, Allan Affecldt (or resident partner), who also restored La Posada, the Harvey Hotel in Winslow, Az. We’ll enjoy dinner, a lecture, and overnight at the historic Old Plaza Hotel, built in 1889. On the next day, accompanied by our modern Harvey Girl we will tour the legendary Montezuma Hotel, now part of the United World College campus. Las Vegas has over 900 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Meredith Davidson, an enthusiastic young scholar, is Curator of 19th and 20th Century Southwest Collection, for the New Mexico History Museum and curated the current permanent exhibition, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and its Legacy. Return to Santa Fe via van. Includes train and van transportation, lodging, meals and speaker honorarium. $325pp Double Occupancy, $375 pp Single

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San Ildefonso Feast Day Buffalo Deer Dances with Dora Tse Pe
Thursday, January 2 Sorry , Sold Out
january_2014Join us for a special visit to San Ildefonso Pueblo, one of the best-known New Mexico Pueblos because of the famous black-on-black pottery, which originated there and was revived in the1920s. The San Ildefonso people have lived in the present site for seven centuries. They have a strong sense of identity and retain ancient ceremonies and rituals and dances tenaciously. A particularly important festival is the winter Buffalo and Deer Dance. It is with anticipation that we look forward to spending time with our dear friend, Dora Tse Pe, the legendry potter and San Ildefonso resident as well as her family who have invited us to share a feast meal with them on this important occasion. Includes transportation and sharing food at Dora’s home. Our mission is to arrive before dawn so we witness the entrance into the village of the deer and other animals. $95 pp



Candelaria Day at San Felipe and Santo Domingo Pueblos with Alan Osborne
Sunday, February 2 Filled
Join Alan Osborne and attend Candelaria Day festivities at both San Felipe and Santo Domingo Pueblos, both Eastern Keres villages on the banks of the Rio Grande, where traditional and culture are closely held and tenaciously kept. We will visit friends who have invited us to feast with them as they observe this important saint’s religious day in the Pueblos. Limited pace available. $95

Acoma Governor’s Feast Day with Alan Osborne
Sunday, February 16 Sorry, Sold Out
We have been invited to the Acoma Sky City Governor’s Feast Day where we will feast at the home of the governor and his family and witness celebratory observances of this important event where tribal members renew their culture, language and native religion. $95 pp.


Archaeology & Geology of Arroyo Hondo With Dr. Jason Shapiro and Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, March 1 Sorry, Sold Out
Arroyo Hondo is an important Ancestral Puebloan site on the outskirts of Santa Fe. It was extensively studied and researched by School of Advanced Research (SAR) in the 1970’s and has been the subject of nine monographs and numerous scholarly articles. The site was occupied in two separate and distinct phases more than six centuries ago, and at its height was comprised of approximately 1,000 rooms. The significance of Arroyo Hondo is that it was one of the earliest large, aggregated pueblos built during a period when settlement patterns throughout the northern Rio Grande were evolving in the direction of large towns located near dependable sources of water. We will have an archaeological tour of this important cultural site, owned by the Archaeological Conservancy, with site steward and noted author, and archaeologist, Dr. J. Shapiro.

Our geology scholar, Dr. Kirt Kempter will give us the earth science context of the natural setting. The site overlooks the largest drainage on the south side of Santa Fe which exits the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo and flows southwest to an eventual confluence with Arroyo de los Chamisos southwest of Cerrillos Road. The 100 feet deep lovely canyon carved is near the foothills and exposes several rock units from the Proterozoic to the Quaternary. These units tell several stories of the changing landscape in the Santa Fe area through time. Hike a trail down into the canyon and see rock units exposed in the canyon bottom and sides. One interesting unit is a dense, fluid lava flow that was erupted in the area approximately 30 million years ago, overlying older sediments that also indicate abundant volcanic activity along the southern margin. $75pp


Best of Southern Utah: Zion and Snow Canyon With Dr. Kirt Kempter
Tuesday –Saturday April 1-6 Filled to Perfection


Join geologist/vulcanologist Dr.Kirt Kempter for an intimate exploration of Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park and Zion National Park. These two parks are geologic showcases for the Jurassic Navajo sandstone, the largest petrified dune field in the world. Over 2000 feet of Navajo Sandstone form massive cliffs within Zion Canyon, creating one of earth’s grandest geologic settings. This tour will include 2 nights in St. George, Utah, just a few minutes from Snow Canyon State Park, where geologically young volcanoes poured dark basalt lava through spectacular canyons of red and white Navajo sandstone.

The juxtaposition of young lava and old sandstone makes for a wonderful geologic setting and story. We then travel to Zion National Park where we will stay in the park at the renowned historic National Park Service Lodge cabins, Zion Lodge for 3 nights. Our days at Zion will include visits to more remote corners of the park, such as Kolob Canyon in the northwest, and the more central Kolob Terrace Road, where we will hike the scenic Northgate Peaks Trail. Several easy to moderate hikes will be offered within Zion Canyon, including Echo Canyon, Weeping Rock, and the Riverside Walk. The close proximity of Snow Canyon and Zion will allow us to spend significant quality time in both parks, with less highway travel.

april2_2014The trip begins in St. George Utah, which is accessible via direct flights from Albuquerque. If you prefer, drive to St George using this as an opportunity to visit other nearby scenic sites before or after our tour, such as Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Bryce Canyon, and Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. Coral Hills Best Western will serve as our base for two nights to explore beautiful Snow Canyon. On Day 3 we begin our exploration of Zion, lodging for three nights in individual historic cabins right in the heart of Zion National Park, a very special opportunity indeed. Featuring gas log fireplaces and a private porch at each cabin, we promise a bit of quiet time to enjoy the majesty of one of our favorite U.S. National Parks plus lots of time with everybody’s favorite Study Leader, Dr. Kirt. Includes transportation during the tour, fees and admission, honoraria and all meals. Photos by Dr. Kempter. Very Limited space.
$1900 double occupancy, plus $425 single occupancy. $500 deposit to reserve.


Pueblo Society and Polity: 1500 Years of Culture Change and Continuity Dr. John Ware
May 16-23, 2014 Filled
may_2014When sixteenth-century Spanish explorers first set foot in what is now Arizona and New Mexico, they encountered people who lived in large multistory apartment buildings of stone and adobe enclosing communal plazas. The Spanish referred to these people as Pueblos (Spanish for “towns”), no doubt to distinguish them from the region’s ranchería dwellers and nomads. Classifying people by settlement pattern and architecture, the most visible of cultural expressions, may be a natural thing for explorers to do, but the label “Pueblo” glossed over considerable cultural variability. The people the Spanish called Pueblos spoke at least seven mutually unintelligible languages (six are still spoken today) from four different language families, and their linguistic diversity was mirrored in many of their social, economic, and religious practices and institutions. They were not, in other words, a monolithic culture, but several different peoples who shared cultural practices. The wealth of data on Pueblo culture, from three thousand years ago to the present day, provides an ideal laboratory for the study of culture change. Few places in world provide so much historical information, over so many centuries, on cultures that thrive today.

Join John Ware, Porter Swentzell (Santa Clara), and Connie Eichstaedt for a seven day tour of the Ancestral Pueblo world to visit the sites highlighted in Ware’s new book from the SAR Press, A Pueblo Social History. We’ll visit the contemporary Eastern Pueblos of Cochiti and Jemez, the Western Pueblos of Hopi and Acoma, and Ancestral Pueblo sites in Chaco, Mesa Verde, the San Juan River Gorge, and Canyon de Chelly. Participants will be regaled with stories of the Pueblo past from an archaeologist (Ware) and Native Pueblo scholar (Swentzell), and view the spectacular landscapes of the Southwest 4-Corners from the comfort of a modern coach (with on-board restroom!). An all-day raft trip down the San Juan River with Wild Rivers Inc. of Bluff will highlight the trip, and optional tours will be offered to rock art sites near Bluff and the Hopi Villages of northeastern Arizona. Those who have accompanied Ware and Governor Joseph Suina on past Pueblo World Tours will visit many of the same destinations but see many new sites, and you’ll be able to follow along with Ware’s commentary on Pueblo social history with an advance copy of his new critically acclaimed book. On the Saturday following the tour we’ll visit Cochiti Pueblo for a tour of the community by this year’s Cochiti Governor, Dr. Joseph Suina. Includes 7 full days of activities and 8 nights in favorite lodging in scenic locations, and featuring the interplay and dialogue which accompanies scholarly discussion and debate. We are proud to offer this unique opportunity, a Must-Do for all lovers of the Southwest culture and landscape, especially when accompanied by such exceptional scholars. All expenses covered coach transportation, admissions, all lodging and meals, donation to tax deductable donation to the Amerind Foundation. $2,500 pp


Tewa Ethnogenesis With Dr. Scott Ortman
Tuesday, June 17: Sorry, Sold Out
Dr. Scott Ortman will lead us on a very special tour of the Santa Clara Tribal Park at Puye Cliff Dwellings. These ancestral Puebloan sites figure prominently in his ethno genesis research on Tewa Pueblo origins, migrations, settlement patterns, and history. He is able, using linguistics, metaphors, architecture, and material culture, to follow ancestors on their long journey south from Mesa Verde and the San Juan River Basin. On this day trip, we will see remains of Tewa houses dating from the 14th century, much evidence of pottery as well as other artifacts in situ. The site contains lots of petroglyph panels, spectacular views and a large important ancient Santa Clara village that includes a reconstructed kiva. We begin to learn how Tewa people understand their own unique history and become witness to the kind of collaborative work Scott and tribal members have been doing to link the native understandings to Southwestern archaeological research. We will have a picnic lunch on site and finish with a visit to a Santa Clara pottery-making family for a demonstration of their famous deep-carved black and red ware, which often features the water serpent, or Avanyu, as well as other symbols and imagery significant to the Tewa villages of the northern Rio Grande. Price 110 pp


Beyond Downtown Chaco: Teh So, Tsin Kletsin , Pueblo Alto and Pueblo Pintado
with David Grant Noble
October 8-10, 2014, Filled, Wait List Accepted

october_2014Explore beyond ‘Downtown Chaco’ to some less visited sites and appreciate the larger Chaco region, including Tseh So and sites where the University of New Mexico conducted field schools. We will hike the 3.6 miles South Mesa Trail Loop to Tsin Kletsin, (3 hours) on the South Rim with a visit to the important great kiva at Casa Rinconada. The next day we’ll hike the (5 mile/4 hour) North Mesa Trail Loop to Pueblo Alto, adjacent to the Great North Road, and the famed Jackson Staircase with magnificent canyon overviews of the Pueblo Bonito and Kin Kletso . We’ll also visit the largely unexcavated Hungo Pavi site near the Visitor Center, tour the museum file and its important exhibits, as well as the magnificent Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito. On the way home we’ll tour the Great House outlier Pueblo Pintado.

Our 3-day 2-night visit will be centered at the Chaco National Park campground, where our outfitters will provide a luxury and restful camping experience, including catered delicious food and shelter on-site under the stars and the night sky’s pantheon of other heavenly bodies. With less driving back to town for overnight lodging in a town, we will see more…nature, birds, plants, landscape, the sky…basically the full day and night Chaco experience. This study tour is designed to experience 2 backcountry trails while still visiting Great Houses within the central ‘downtown’ area of Chaco Canyon Culture National Historic Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Includes transportation, luxury lodging with tents, sleeping bags and mattresses. All meals, admission and study leader honorariums provided. $700 per person.

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April and May

Rock Art, Archaeology and Geology of La Cieneguilla With David Grant Noble and Dr. Kirt Kempter
May 16 Sold Out
The Santa Fe River valley was used by all peoples who entered the area and an important concentration of thousands of ancient petroglyphs are found along a volcanic escarpment formed by lava. Our special visit to the southwest Santa Fe petroglyph site of La Cieneguilla features two of our favorite study leaders: David Grant Noble, noted editor, photographer and archaeology writer; and Dr. Kirt Kempter, geologist/vulcanologist, photographer, whose research interests take him around the world as an expedition leader for Smithsonian Travel and Nat Geo study tours. Between them, we’ll learn about the history and theories relating to ancestral rock art, migration of Tewa Pueblo peoples, Colonial Spanish exploration and settlement along El Camino Real (Royal Road), plus fascinating concepts of earth science, significant geographic landscape and visible volcanic features young and old we see in this region, as well as the causes of the rise of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We will also review the local hydrology and understand the presence of many natural springs nearby. Our short hike will include some relatively flat trails, some rough uneven terrain and will include a short but steep rocky talus access to the ridge top, so come prepared. Lunch and Study Leader honoraria included. Limited space. $75 pp



Tewa Grid Gardens: Pueblo Agriculture on the Rio del Oso & Posi-ouinge with Dr. Richard I. Ford
Saturday, June 8 Sold Out
Explore the archaeological remains of pre-Hispanic Pueblo water-control and farming practices in two locations with Dr Richard Ford, retired University of Michigan and Research Associate, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Lab of Anthropology, MNM. We’ll visit the Rio del Oso north of Espanola where we will examine hand dug reservoirs, irrigation ditches, diversion dams, lithic mulch fields, agricultural shrines, and petroglyphs. The second stop will be at the Ojo Caliente mineral springs. We will tour the very important Tewa Pueblo site of Posi-ouinge, examine a very large dam, hillside farming with stone water control features, terraces, extensive pebble mulch fields, field petroglyphs, and a large world quarter shrine. Dr. Ford will lecture at both locations about ancient Tewa farming practices and Tewa history and stories related to these sites. Includes transportation, relaxing lunch at Artesian Restaurant at Ojo Caliente Resort and honoraria for Study Leaders. $95 pp


july1_2013Natural and Geological History of the Valles Caldera Interior With Dr. Kirt Kempter
Wednesday, July 17
Our journey this day will take us inside the Valles Caldera National Preserve, exploring the fascinating geologic story told by rock exposures inside the caldera. Since the massive eruption that produced the caldera 1.2 million years ago, the caldera has experienced profound changes, involving resurgent uplift, numerous volcanic eruptions, lakes, and erosion of the rim. We will traverse across numerous scenic valleys inside the caldera, including Valle Grande, Valle San Antonio, and Valle Toledo, including if road conditions allow, a stop at Obsidian Valley, one of the major obsidian quarries utilized by Native Americans for centuries. Tour Conditions: Easy. Includes transportation, admissions, gourmet picnic lunch and honorarium for Study Leaders. $95 pp

Supervolcanoes of the San Juans: Majestic Mountains, Mineral Springs, & Mining Towns of Southern Colorado With Dr. Kirt Kempter, Vulcanologist
July 24-27, 2013 SOLD OUT

july2_2013Eighteen giant calderas, or “supervolcanoes”, erupted in southwestern Colorado between 30-25 million years ago, forming much of the modern San Juan Mountains. These eruptions left craters several miles in diameter, including the largest known eruption in Earth’s known history, the La Garita Caldera, erupting 5,000 cubic kilometers of magma about 28 million years ago.

Join Southwest Seminars and Dr. Kirt Kempter for a 4-day geologic exploration of the Creede and Lake City and Pagosa Springs, region of Southern Colorado, where four of the massive supervolcanoes eruptions occurred. Enroute from Santa Fe we will discuss the geologic history of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, traveling north through Taos and west across the majestic San Luis Basin. Appreciate the area’s fascinating human history, including early hunter/gatherers, later Ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Spanish explorers, legendary Mountain men, intrepid pioneers, tenacious miners, American soldiers and hardy settlers, all of whom managed to leave an indelible presence in the lands through which we travel.

• Exploration of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado site of at least 18 supervolcanic eruptions between 25 – 30 million years ago.
• Half day raft trip on the Rio Grande traversing the Creede Caldera, followed by a geologic tour through the Creede mining district.
• Half day 4×4 excursion of the American Basin during wildflower season
• Travel across the La Garita Caldera, the largest known volcanic eruption in Earth history. Visit the scenic North Clear Creek Falls and the spectacular Slumgullion landslide en route to Lake City. Enjoy the western charm of historic mining camp towns of Creede and Lake City.
• Visit the renowned geothermal waters of Pagosa Springs, a river walk and a memorable soak in the mineral waters, returning via the scenic Piedra Lumbre Valley.


Comanche Camp Sites With Dr. Severine Fowles and Jimmy Arterberry, Comanche Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Saturday, August 3
Visit an early 18th Century Comanche camp, a site which encompasses where lodges were erected as well as ritual sacred areas beyond the dwellings. We’ll be led by Jimmie Arterberry, Comanche cultural liaison, and archaeologist Dr. Severin Fowles, Barnard College/Columbia University, whose field school has been working at these sites on the upper Rio Grande in an important cultural area also significant to northern Tiwa Pueblos and Jicarilla Apache peoples through time. This early location is significant as the Comanche, whose aboriginal homelands lie farther north in Wyoming, is an indication of early and aggressive migratory movement as the horse culture spreads throughout the Great Basin and Northern Plains through the Southern Plains and Llano Estacado where the Comanche will eventually build an empire. This day trip will include Transportation, Study Leader honoraria, and Lunches. $95 per person

Zia Pueblo Feast Day Corn Dances with Alan C. Osborne and Dora Tse Pe
Thursday, August 15
Join us for a special visit to Zia Pueblo feast day dances. Zia achievements in pottery and other arts and crafts, their storied history as well as spiritual tenacity are legendary. Their mission church and plaza and the village and surrounding hills and mountains are powerful spiritual forces. We’ll be like trees: silent observers, important witnesses, participants in the continuing strength of Keres Pueblo culture here today. It is with anticipation that we look forward to spending time with legendary potter and Zia native, Dora Tse Pe and her family who have invited us to visit and share a feast meal with them on this important occasion. Includes transportation, nice lunch, and honorarium for Study Leader. 95 pp.


Sacred Sites, Sacred Places With Alan Osborne
Friday, September 6
Journey to sacred sites in northern New Mexico, which are spiritually significant to different traditions, which have made a mark on New Mexico’s cultural and religious landscape. Our purpose will be to enhance our appreciation and understanding of these special sacred places and the spiritual traditions which hold them dear. Visits include (subject to change): Upaya Buddhist Zen Center, Sikh Dharma in Sombrillo, Plaza Blanca and Dar al Islam in Abiquiu, and Christ in the Desert Monastery overlooking the Chama River, the Sikh Dharma in Somlbrillo, Our day will be filled with opportunities for reflection and awareness on the different paths for restoring balance and harmony in our world. Includes transportation, lunch, and Study Leader honoraria. $95 per person

Tsiping’uinge With Dr. Samuel Duwe
Sunday, September 29
This excursion will visit the remote site of Tsiping’uinge, an ancestral Tewa village on the northwest edge of the Tewa world. Located in the shadow of Pedernal Peak, Tsiping’uinge was occupied from A.D. 1312-1350 and is possibly one of the places where immigrants from the Four Corners region entered and settled the northern Rio Grande region. We’ll explore the site’s well-preserved architecture, cliff dwellings, artifacts, rock art and trails, and the world-quarter shrine all while overlooking the stunning Piedra Lumbre made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe. Travel to this rarely visited site with Dr. Sam Duwe, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology and Director of the Tewa Basin Archaeological Research Project at Eastern New Mexico University. Hikers wanted for this rare opportunity. Includes lunch, Forest Service admission and study leader fees. $110 per person.


Jemez Feast Day Dances with Alan C. Osborne
November 12
Attend the Jemez Pueblo feast day dances and witness an age-old religious ceremony, one of the only occasions outsiders may visit the Jemez Pueblo village of Wallatowa. We will also visit the Jemez State Monument, a 17th century Spanish Mission church, and the ancient village it was built near, now operated by the New Mexico State Monuments Division, as well as a delightful lunch at Deb’s Deli in Jemez Springs, a resort community in the beautiful valley of the Jemez River. Bring folding chair, no cameras, sketching, or recording permitted. Study Leader, transportation in a van, Jemez Monument admission and delightful lunch included.
$95 per person

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Pueblo Native Ceremonialism (Eastern Keres) And Santo Domingo Feast Day With Dr. Joesph Suina, (Cochiti) Study Leader and Alan Osborne, Cultural Historian
Saturday, August 4, 8:30 am -6:00 pm
Join Southwest Seminars and Dr. Joe Suina, former Governor of Cochiti Pueblo and Professor of Education (ret.), for the renowned Santo Domingo Feast Day, an annual ceremonial held in one of New Mexico’s most colorful Pueblos on the Rio Grande.

We will gather at Dr. Suina’s home in Cochiti Pueblo for an informative cultural education presentation on the ceremonialism of Pueblo dances and Saint’s day feast celebrations in theEastern Keres villages of Cochiti and Santo Domingo. Dr. Suina will share with us aspects of culture, history, spiritual underpinnings, and ritual observances which are tied to the rhythms of nature in the native world of the Eastern Keres Pueblos. He will also share information on the important Keres language preservation project for which this study tour is organized to support.


Following our cultural orientation we will drive to the village of Santo Domingo for the occasion and spend the balance of the day watching the dances and ceremonial activities. Tuition of $90 includes Study Leader honorarium, transportation, meal, and donation to the Keres Language Project in which Dr. Suina is involved.


Supervolcanoes of the San Juan: Majestic Mountains, Mineral Springs, & Mining Towns of Southern Colorado With Dr. Kirt Kempter, Geologist and Volcano Specialist
September 5-8, 2012 SOLD OUT
Eighteen giant calderas, or “supervolcanoes”, erupted in southwestern Colorado between 30-25 million years ago, forming much of the modern San Juan Mountains. These eruptions left craters several miles in diameter, including the largest known eruption in Earth’s known history, the La Garita Caldera, erupting 5,000 cubic kilometers of magma about 28 million years ago.

Join Southwest Seminars and Dr. Kirt Kempter for a 4-day geologic exploration of the Creede and Lake City and Pagosa Springs, region of Southern Colorado, where four of the massive supervolcanoes eruptions occurred. Enroute from Santa Fe we will discuss the geologic history of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, traveling north through Taos and west across the majestic San Luis Basin.

Appreciate the area’s fascinating human history, including early hunter/gatherers, later Ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Spanish explorers, legendary Mountain men, intrepid pioneers, tenacious miners, American soldiers and hardy settlers, all of whom managed to leave an indelible presence in the lands through which we travel.

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Puebloan Archaeology & Apache History of Canada Alamosa
with Dr. Steve Lekson, University of Colorado and Karl Laumbach, Director, Canada Alamosa Project
Thursday-Saturday April 21-23, 2011
Join Southwest Seminars, Dr. Steve Lekson and Karl Laumbach for an archaeology and history field study trip to visit important sites of the Canada Alamosa, located in southwestern New Mexico. In the centuries before the Apache (Athapascan) migration in to this area, it was the setting for two large-plaza Pueblos, a migrant Mesa Verde village, a huge 500-room Tularosa town, the northernmost Mimbres village, the southernmost Socorro site, and a sizeable earlier Ancestral Puebloan pithouse community, all located on the Monticello Box Ranch. The area has been extensively studied by scholars for several years in recognition and interpretation of frontiers and migrations of peoples in the archaeological record.


Frontiers “the leading edges of contact and change between cultures” and boundaries are important because they recognize that social systems are open and provide perspective on the more intensely studied central places, such as Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and the Mimbres River. Studies suggest that the Pueblo populations of the Cañada Alamosa were at times strongly linked to a central place(s) and at other times were reorganizing in an independent effort to adapt and survive. Dr. Lekson and others have made a strong case that the Canada Alamosa was the destination for a migrant community from the Mesa Verde culture area.

This important cultural area embraces the entirety of the Rio Alamosa drainage, from its headwaters at the Plains of San Agustin to its mouth on the Rio Grande including its tributary drainages and was the home of Ancestral Puebloans for more than 800 years. Rio Alamosa is fed by a perennially flowing warm spring (Ojo Caliente), home of the Warm Springs Apache, the hot springs are located three miles northwest of the ranch headquarters.


Pueblo Archaeology & Rock Art of the San Juan River with David Grant Noble
Wednesday-Sunday, May 18-22, 2011
What could be better than a spring float down the mighty San Juan River, legendary cultural resource in the heart of the Four Corners region? Enjoy an educational and relaxing 3-day trip down the scenic San Juan River between Montezuma Creek, Utah and Mexican Hat. We’ll camp for 2 nights, learning about the cultural history and archaeology of the region with David Grant Noble. He has guided educational and archaeological groups down the San Juan River for more than twenty years. In addition to providing commentary on each site visited, he will offer us interesting facets of Puebloan and Dine (Navajo) history. David is the author and editor of many books relating to Southwest archaeology and culture, including Ancient Ruins of the Southwest: An Archaeological Guide and most recently, In the Places of the Spirits.

Our expedition outfitter is Wild Rivers Expeditions with its staff of expert and well-informed river guides, who tell the local stories, row the rafts and prepare all our river meals, and also furnish our camping equipment and supplies. On-your-own transportation to Bluff, where our adventure begins. Comfortable overnight motel lodging the night before and after our 3-days and 2-nights on the river at Desert Rose Inn, a log lodge recently built on the edge of the town of Bluff, Utah. Check-in by late afternoon on May 18. Evening diner together with river orientation and talk by David.

After a hearty breakfast on Thursday, we will board our rafts for a 3-day float down the San Juan River. Our put-in at Montezuma Creek is upstream from Bluff, Utah. This scenic stretch of the river is especially noted for its Puebloan ruins and Basketmaker rock art panels and many are only accessible from the river. Highlights include the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel, one of the largest ancient petroglyph panels in the Southwest; Desert Creek Rock Art Site, which feature Basketmaker pictographs and petroglyphs; the Citadel, a fortress -like pueblo with a commanding view over the river; Sixteen-Room House, a long cliff dwelling perched on a ledge in a huge alcove; Butler Wash and Desecration rock art panels; River House, pueblo from c. 900-1100 CE; possible hike up Chinle Wash to Floating House and pictographs.

Float through the fabulous Upper Canyon of the San Juan with its stunning geologic formations and fascinating stop to see fossils. Shortly before our river trip ends, we will pass the amazing balancing rock known as the Mexican Hat, which is near our river put-out. Farewell dinner in Bluff and comfortable overnight lodging on May 21 at Desert Rose Inn. Sunday morning we’ll tour Bluff Great House site with David, an important far-outlying Chacoan site researched by Dr. Catherine Cameron.

Includes 3 full days of floating and 2 nights of camping on the river, 2 nights lodging at Desert Rose Inn, (the evenings before and after the raft trip), with tents, and sleeping bags for the camping nights. All meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners…2 at ‘Bluff’s best’ and 2 ‘round the campfire. Honorarium for our exceptional Study Leader and river guides, all fees for permits and services. Price per person: $1,350 for double occupancy. If you bring your own tent, sleeping bag and pad it will be $35 less. For single occupancy on the two nights in Bluff, add an additional $125.

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St. Joseph’s Feast day Dances at Laguna pueblo with Alan Osborne
Friday, March 19, 2010 (8-6)
march_2010Laguna Pueblo is seen by literally thousands of travelers who pass along Interstate 25 heading west of Albuquerque, but few are aware of its history, legacy, or traditions. Visit one of the traditional western Keres villages of the Lagunas, Paraje, with Southwest cultural historian Alan Osborne where we will attend the annual Feast Day honoring Saint Joseph, patron saint of the Pueblo. You will have the opportunity to be part of this important ceremonial day and by your silent observation both give and receive the blessings of the Lagunas. Learn the history of the Keres world and its influence from both the ancestral Puebloan and European traditions. We’ll also visit the beautiful Laguna Mission church, operated by the Franciscan order, built in 1699 and containing beautiful native paintings, colonial reredo (altar screen), and traditional adobe architecture. A day not to miss, nor to forget! Includes transportation, very nice lunch, study leader. $85 pp




Bisti Badlands and De-Na-Zin National Wilderness Area with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25, 2010
Located in Northwestern New Mexico in the San Juan River Basin, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness badlands are ‘one of the most austere and other-planetary places on earth…walking among its weirdly weathered rocks is to know what it would feel like to stroll through a garden on Mars’. For one noted photographer of the Bisti Badlands, Eduardo Fuss,’ it was the site of a wilderness epiphany that compelled him to return again and again, keeping a visual photographic diary of the haunting and elegiac moments that revealed themselves.’ And yet, as a landscape ‘set in stone…the Bisti is very much alive.’ Historically mined for its coal deposits, the Bisti was set-aside as a federally protected wilderness area in 1985. (From Wonderland: A Photographer’s Journey Into the Bisti, Eduardo Fuss)

In the Navajo language, Bisti refers to shale hills and De-Na-Zin means cranes. Containing some of the most spectacular and b bizarre geologic formations in New Mexico, including gravity-defying hoodoos and multi-hued shales, the stacked layers, or formations within this 45,000 acre wilderness area show a continuous record of ancient environments, formed between 160 million and 40 million years ago, with episodes of uplift and erosion, inland seas, shorelines, estuaries, large forested river deltas, meandering steams, bogs, and numerous fresh-water lakes leaving evidence of early mammal fossils, dinosaurs, petrified wood caches, and periodic volcanic ash showers. The area is filled with multi-colored ash created by iron, manganese and crystal-forming silicates, and has been described as a paleontological treasure trove!

We will take a scenic drive from Santa Fe to the De-Na-Zin area. There, after a gourmet picnic lunch, we will offer a 2.5 mile hike/walk in the afternoon led by Dr. Kirt, offering plenty of time for on-site educational lectures, photographic moments, and awe-inspiring sacred landscape. At the day’s end, we will drive to Aztec or Farmington (TBD) for our overnight. We will dine together after arrival and check-in, followed by a good night’s rest.

The next morning, we drive to Bisti Badlands area, where we will marvel at the hauntingly beautiful scenery and enjoy a (requiring good walkers) 4-mile round-trip hike on relatively flat ground…a gourmet picnic lunch…followed by more spectacular scenery and outdoor geology classes as Dr. Kirt explains what the earth science story tell us about the landscape. Drive back to Santa Fe that afternoon for evening arrival with a stop at our favorite Cuba, NM dinner spot, Bruno’s for some home-style cooking before our Santa Fe evening return. Don’t forget your camera! Includes lodging, 5 meals, transportation, honorarium for Study leaders. $350 pp double occupancy, $395 pp for Single occupancy.


Geological tour of the Galisteo Basin with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, May 15, 2010, 9-530
Nestled between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Sandia Mountains, While much attention has been given to the important archaeology of the Galisteo Basin, much less has of the public interest has been devoted to the geology of this rich resource area, until oil and gas exploration was proposed recently before our Governor imposed an important moratorium on extraction industries in this beautiful area just south and east of Santa Fe located along the Rio Galisteo. Its subtle natural beauty, with wooded hillsides, dramatic volcanic dikes, and wide, open grasslands has drawn many noted contemporary artists to settle there and has attracted attention from those seeking easily accessible but less traveled areas containing important sites of natural history, including those who specialize in flora and fauna, as well as geology and vulcanology. Our former Fulbright scholar and favorite volcano scientist, Dr. Kirt Kempter, will use this outdoor classroom as an educational opportunity to explain and discuss the earth history of this beautiful basin in our own backyard. We will travel through the historic ghost town of Waldo and along the railroad tracks laid through the area in the late 19th century to the picturesque village of Cerrillos, then travel across the Galisteo Basin heading east on the backloads through this scenic area. A short but interesting hike (one mile round-trip) will illustrate the fascinating earth history of the Cerrillos Hills, Ortiz Mountains and the beginning of rifts in the Santa Fe area. Our afternoon will conclude with a relaxed social Happy Hour, including a glass of wine and appetizers at Connie’s Casa, the owner-built, passive solar traditional home to Southwest Seminars Director, Connie Eichstaedt. Join us for this special day! Includes Transportation, scholar honorarium, lunch, followed by wine with apps at Connie’s Casa (and hoped-for lilacs) before return to Hotel Santa Fe, our pick-up and departure point. $120 pp

El Malpais National Monument: Volcanoes, Mythology and Archaeology and El Morro National Monument: Inscriptions in Time With Dr. Kirt Kempter, Dr. Jim Kenderick, And Alan Osborne
Saturday and -Sunday, May 29-30, 2010
Our rewarding and memorable trip features vulcanologist, Dr. Kirt Kempter, and special guest archaeologist, Dr. Jim Kendrick, of El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments. From them, you will learn about the magnificent natural and cultural history of this scenic area, called ‘the evil country’, or the badlands, by chroniclers on the Coronado Expedition of 1540, as a result of their extreme difficulty in crossing through lava flows by the expeditionaries and their horses along the legendary Zuni-Acoma Trail.

El Malpais National Monument offers many learning opportunities for us, including a presentation by Dr. Kendrick on the many archaeological sites found El Malpais and recent discoveries, as well as current preservation projects in which Dr. Kendrick and the National Monument are involved. Dr. Kirt will take us on an educational walk/hike following trails which lead through an unforgettable geologic landscape. In El Malpais are found ancient jagged lava flows, volcanic cinder cones and rims, pressure ridges, lava tubes, ice caves, and other landscape features, as well as prehistoric ruins and cairns, rock structures, and homesteads, plus important cultural sites where ancient pottery and other material artifacts have been discovered.

Existing beneath towering Mt. Taylor, an 11,301-foot volcano, which figures prominently into native cosmology, life here has been longstanding, adaptive, and enriched by the landscape. Many myths and legends abound about this remarkable area, including oral tradition never written down. The mythology of El Malpais will be discussed as well as the many different native cultures in the area, including Acoma, Zuni, Dine (Navajo), and others, which have made their home in the region for centuries and in some cases, millennia. This field study tour will offer you an exceptional opportunity to weave together Dr. Kempter’s knowledge of the earth sciences with Dr. Kendrick’s archaeological research of the El Malpais and El Morro region.

may_2010We will drive over the continental divide through a lovely, ponderosa forest setting amid volcanic flows, cinder cones, and scenic sandstone bluffs landscape to El Morro National Monument. This prominent high rocky promontory sheltered a large fresh-water pool, which attracted wildlife, as well as ancestral Pueblo, Spanish and Anglo-American travelers seeking water at the base of the bluff. We will a chance to see some of the most exciting and interesting ancient and historic petroglyphs (more than 2,000) in North America, including the Onate inscription of April 1605, (15 years before Plymouth colony in Massachusetts) most of which are accessible by a scenic paved walking trail. For an optional energetic uphill hike, those interested may visit the ancestral Zuni village of Atsinnaon top of El Morro. All will have access to the modern Visitor Center, featuring rangers, interpretive exhibits, and books and literature. There you will learn that the U.S. Camel Corps even visited El Morro on a Texas to California expedition in 1857. Includes transportation, 4 meals, overnight accommodations, entrance fees and Study Leaders’ honoraria.
$360 pp double occupancy, $ 410 Single occupancy:


North Rim of the Valles Caldera With Dr. Kempter
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Experience the magnificent vistas of the northern Jemez Mts. with vulcanologist Dr. Kirt Kempter. Departing Santa Fe, we will travel through Española, turn west over the Rio Grande, and on the north side of town turn west again onto a dirt road which we will travel for several miles on a scenic forest road, where we wind our way up through the Pajarito Plateau and into the scenic Jemez Mountains. As we ascend the backside of majestic and Chicoma Peak, a sacred mountain located in the Tewa world, there will be spectacular views, including down into the Rio Grande Rift, Pajarito Plateau, and other geologicfeatures seen from the northern Jemez Mountains. This scenic dirt road also cuts through the core of an old volcano, active more than 10 million years ago. On our last Southwet Seminars field trip to the North Rim we had a very special porcupine sighting! Our destination will be a high altitude alpine meadow overlooking the spectacular north rim of the Valles Caldera where we will be served a gourmet fajita picnic lunch with a breathtaking view down into the caldera valley below. A relaxed and informative lecture at this stop will provide a geologic history of the caldera since the massive eruption occurred 1.2 million years ago, a dynamic story including multiple lakes and volcanic eruptions within the caldera since its collapse. Other geologic highlights include overviews of Cerro Pedernal, the Rio Grande Rift, and the Chama River valley. No serious hiking, but some short walking involved. Includes special fajita lunch by chef Kirt and headwaiter Alan, transportation, Study Leader honoraria. $95 pp


Georgia O’Keefe’s Beloved White Place: A Geo-Walk Through the Rocks at Plaza blanca with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Located in the Sierra Negra Badlands, Our special day trip to Plaza Blanca (White Place) with our wonderful and favorite vulcanologist and Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Kirt Kempter, who will feature his ‘wise and well-considered’ thoughts and research on the geology between Santa Fe and Abiquiu, including a few roadside stops to look at important landscape features, rocks, scenic overlooks, and geologic field maps. Along the way, we will Santa Rosa de Lima, the historic site overlooking the Chama River and original site of the Abiquiu Valley settlement. (We could also stop and take (short but relatively steep unpaved rocky footpath) hike up to Poseouingue to see a 14th century Tewa Pueblo village.) At Plaza Blanca, we will take a one-mile hike into this spectacular region, the area Georgia O’Keefe called her legendary “White Place”, where the canyons are spectacular white sandstone and tuff formations, which have eroded into strange shapes. The path is rocky in places, but relatively easy, with less than 150 feet gain/loss in elevation over the length of the hike. Please note: Weather conditions may leave path slippery when wet, bring sturdy comfortable hiking shoes and layered clothing for variable weather. Includes transportation, casual picnic lunch and Study Leader honoraria. $95 pp.


Friday September 10- Saturday September 11, 2010
Join Dr. Paul Zolbrod, Research Associate, Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, Professor of Literature, Dine College, Crownpoint, Professor Emeritus, Allegheny College, Pennsylvania, and Author, Dine Behane. Dr. Zolbrod will escort us to an important ancient Chacoan outlier, Kin Yaía (Tall House), where he will help us understand the importance of Chaco Canyon culture. We will visit the hogan-shaped St. Paul Catholic Church in Crownpoint, where Navajo spirituality coexists with Roman Catholic Christianity. The church interior features significant examples of Navajo religious symbolism. Dr. Zolbrod will also introduce us to two Catholic nuns who were part of the effort to create the Crownpoint Rug Auction, now a major cultural tradition and artistic event which you will have the privilege of attending. You will have an opportunity to learn from the nuns about their work with Navajo people. Their lives represent an intersection of cultures that they have chosen for their life’s work. You will also visit Dine College at Crownpoint where Dr. Zolbrod teaches literature to Dine students. In these humble surroundings, you will come to respect and understand the Dine and their important connections between people, language, and land. His discussions and commentary featuring his perspectives on Dine culture will be valuable tools for our own education. Participants are requested by Dr. Zolbrod to bring books for donation to Dine College library.

You will also have the extraordinary blessing of spending a day with Sunny Dooley, a traditional Dine storyteller from the Chil Chi Tah area south of Gallup, who will guide us through her rural homeland. Sunny is a scholar for the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities and travels widely sharing her culture through stories. We visit her local Chapter House and to the Chil Chi Tah School, where you will meet Navajo teachers and students. You will have an opportunity to interact and learn about Dine culture in education from the teachers and students and tour the school. Visit a small rural family-owned Trading Post, rarely seen by outsiders, which helps bridge cultures and maintain community.

Make a memorable visit to the Crownpoint Navajo Rug auction, a significant monthly cultural event held in the Crownpoint Elementary School auditorium, where you will see many traditional weavers, as well as appreciate the opportunity to view a stunning collection of 200 or more weavings of all sizes, regional styles, and prices. Included is transportation, lodging at legendary El Rancho in Gallup on Route 66, most meals, special presenters and Study Leaders honoraria, and donation to Chil Chi Tah Elementary School, and celebration dinner. Includes transportation, Lodging, 5 Meals, Honorarium for Study Leaders.
$385 Double Occupancy, $435 Single


Sacred Places with Alan Osborne
Saturday ,October 2, 2010
Join us for an uplifting and intriguing day with cultural historian Alan Osborne. We will take you to seldom visited sites in northern New Mexico That are spiritually sacred and significant to different traditions which have made a mark on New Mexico’s cultural and religious landscape. Our purpose will be to enhance our appreciation and understanding of these various sacred places and the spiritual and religious traditions which hold them in esteem. Our Study Leader is a specialist on sacred spaces and places, and this will be a unique opportunity to share in his wisdom and insights. Special visits and tours of Dar al Islam Mosque in Abiquiu, Christ in the Desert Monastery, the Sikh Dharma and community in Somlbrillo near Espanola, the Buddhist stupa in Santa Fe, plus special presentations by representatives at these very special locations. We’ll enjoy a special lunch together. Our day will be filled with opportunities for reflection and awareness of spiritually different paths for restoring balance and harmony in our world set amidst stunning landscapes and meditative locations. $95 pp

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Jicarilla Apache Petroglyphs with Dr. Richard I. Ford
Saturday, April 18, 2009, (9am-6pm)
Tour participants will visit three recently discovered (2008) Apache petroglyph sites along the upper Rio Grande, near Pilar, with noted Ethnobotanist and archaeologist Dr. Richard I. Ford who serves as Arthur Thurnow Professor of Anthropology and former director, Ethnobotanical Laboratory, University of Michigan. After scenic drive up the northern Rio Grande valley to Pilar, we will access the petroglyphs by hiking to view some of the most exciting images on stone. In addition to petroglyphs, there will be spectacular views of the Rio Grande gorge, birds, possibly early wild flowers, important Apache cultural shrines and their campsites. Bring your camera! You will also need long pants and hiking boots, hat, water, and hiking sticks (poles) if you use them. You will encounter extensive hiking, culminating in strenuous climbs up steep slopes. Tour Conditions: Hikers Wanted. Includes transportation, honorarium for study leader and hearty picnic lunch. $85 pp
Register by March 18



may_2009Western Archaic Petroglyphs on Glorieta Mesa With Brent Abel
Saturday, May 9, 2009 (7:30-3)
Visit some of the most important Archaic era petroglyphs in the U.S, estimated at 4,000-6,000 years old or more. Located on Glorieta Mesa southeast of Santa Fe. First recorded by members and volunteers of the U.S. Forest Service and members of the American Rock Art Research Association, as well as Arizona State University scholars, these areas (Sites #006 and #147) are filled with over 600 known rock art carvings, which are astronomically aligned to Summer solstice and equinox sunrise and sunsets. These types of carvings from this era are often associated with nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. The glyphs follow the contours of the rock and incorporate natural features, such as nodules, bumps, and cracks, into the carving. They are typically deeply incised and may represent the only remnants of conscious communication left by these early peoples. These incredible rock carvings include curvilinear, rectilinear, non-representational, irregular, geometric, spirals, starbursts, animal tracks, hunting images, and vision & Dream scenes. Following an exciting interpretive tour from our host, Brent Able, Supervisor, U.S. Forest Service Heritage Resources and Archaeologist. Lunch included at Connie’s Casa in Canoncito at Apache Canyon for debriefing and sharing our adventure stories. Tour Conditions: Easy. Includes transportation, fees, lunch and honorarium for scholars. $75 pp
Register by April 9.

Geology of EL Rito and the North Rim of the Copper Canyon with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, May 23, 2009 (9am-5pm)

The charming town of El Rito, north of Santa Fe on El Rito Creek, is situated along the margin of both the Colorado Plateau and the Rio Grande rift. The landscape history of the El Rito area reveals remarkable topographic changes through time. A 2-mile roundtrip hike (easy, he promises!) will take us to the spectacular north rim of Copper Canyon, one of the best, yet least known, vistas in northern New Mexico. We will also visit rock exposures north of El Rito, telling the story of the Rocky Mountain uplift in northern New Mexico. There is spectacular scenery throughout the day, so be sure to bring your cameras. An added bonus for this tour: a chicken fajita lunch prepared by Dr. Kirt himself (‘chef de cuisine’). This tour is also ‘required’ attendance for all ‘Southwest Seminars survivors’ of the memorable South Rim Copper Canyon tour! Modest hiking. Includes transportation, gourmet Fajita lunch by Kirt, and honorarium for Study Leaders. $85 pp. Register by April 23.


Exploring the West Rim of the Jemez Valles Caldera and San Diego Canyon
With, Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, June 13, 2009 (9am-5pm)
For those of you that have explored the eastern half (the part you see from State Highway 4 out of Los Alamos), of the Valles Caldera, this tour will provide new insight and understanding to the amazing geologic and natural history of the Valles Caldera. Highlights on this day include views of the caldera from the stunning western rim of the caldera, a visit to the youngest eruptive deposits inside the caldera, bizarre formations of Bandelier Tuff, and a geologic overview of San Diego Canyon, the only canyon that has breached the rim of the Valles Caldera. If time and weather allow, a short hike will be included on the itinerary. Tour Conditions: Easy. Includes transportation, lunch and honorarium for Study Leaders. $85 pp Register by May 13.


july_2009Natural History, Vulcanology and Geologic Tour of the Valles Caldera Interior
with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 (9am-5pm)
Our journey this day will take us inside the Valles Caldera National Preserve, exploring the fascinating geologic
story told by rock exposures inside the caldera. Since the massive eruption that produced the caldera 1.2 million years ago, the caldera has experienced profound changes, involving resurgent uplift, numerous volcanic eruptions, lakes, and erosion of the rim. We will traverse across numerous scenic valleys inside the caldera, including Valle Grande, Valle San Antonio, and Valle Toledo, including a stop at Obsidian Valley, one of the major obsidian quarries utilized by Native Americans for centuries. Tour Conditions: Easy. Includes transportation, admissions, gourmet picnic lunch and honorarium for Study Leaders. $90 pp. Register by June 15



Zia Pueblo Feast Day Corn Dances with Alan C. Osborne
Saturday, August 15, 2009 (8:00am-:530 pm)
Join Alan Osborne, Southwest Cultural historian for a day trip to Zia Pueblo for feast day dances. These western-Keres speaking and traditonal people have occupied the scenic hilltop village and this rugged region NW of Albuquerque for centuries. Zia, located beside the Jemez River, is near the Nacamiento Mountains and red rock foothills of the Pajarito and Jemez Plateaus. These lands were the site of hunting gathering and farming communities for many millennia, as this region was populated by different peoples over long periods of time who came together to become those who were encountered by Spanish conquerors, missionaries and settlers. While conquest is an important chapter of Pueblolan history, ‘survivance’ is its modern reality. Some have said the Zia people have retained most of their traditional beliefs and thus absorbed very little influence of our dominant society. The Zia achievements in pottery and other arts and crafts, as well as spiritual tenacity is legendary. Their mission church and plaza are all part of the accommodation and compartmentalization of different but powerful spiritual forces. We will be like trees: silent observers and important witnesses of the continuing strength of culture here today at Zia Pueblo. Tour Conditions: Easy. Includes transportation, nice picnic lunch, and honorarium for Study Leader. $75 pp. Register by July 15.


Tijeras Pueblo, Paa-ko Pueblo, Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and San Antonio with Dr. Linda Cordell
Saturday, October 17, 2009 ( 8:30 am – 6:00 pm)
Spend an enlightening day with noted archaeologist, scholar, author and professor emeritus Dr. Linda Cordell, with whom we will be visiting four archaeological sites on the edge of the Galisteo Basin: Tijeras Pueblo, Paa-ko Pueblo, Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, and San Antonio. Each of these is representative of different ways Ancestral Puebloans built 14th century communities. All four pueblos were constructed of adobe and noted scholars excavated each to different degrees during the 20th century and today visitors see low mounds of earth. With maps, photographs, and Dr. Cordell’s interpretation, we will walk each of the sites to understand their similarities and differences.

Arroyo Hondo was composed of 1,000 rooms arranged in 1 and 2-story room blocks and was originally investigated and partially excavated by Nels Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History. Intensively studied by Douglas Schwartz for the SAR, it sits at the margins of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains just outside Santa Fe. It sits above a spring and encloses 13 plazas. Pottery traditions of the village were shared with other puebloans of the Tewa Basin and Pajarito Plateau but Arroyo Hondo appears not to have participated in much broader networks of exchange.

Tijeras Pueblo is on the east side of the Sandia Mountains and was occupied, like Arroyo Hondo, from about 1300 to 1425 AD. It is located above a seep, it is bisected by 2 arroyos, and was excavated by UNM field schools in the late 1940’s, and again in the 1970’s, directed by W. James Judge and later Linda Cordell. While much smaller than Arroyo Hondo, with about 250 rooms, it experienced 2 different construction episodes during which the community completely reorganized its space. These Ancestral Puebloans were among the first to produce glaze-paint decorated pottery. Their kivas were of 2 different shapes and construction techniques, and the village maintained 2 different traditions of painted pottery, while participating in extensive trade networks. A new interpretive visitor center there will enhance our experience.

While neither Arroyo Hondo nor Tijeras Pueblos remained occupied into the mid-1400’s, settlement did continue at a pueblo in the modern village of San Antonio. Finally, in 1763 AD, a frontier buffer community of Hispano/Genizaro (hispanicized captives) was established there, named San Miguel de Laredo. In the 1970’s, portions of the ancestral pueblo village and the historic San Miguel de Laredo were excavated by the Museum of New Mexico and scholars conducted important ethno historic research.

Paa-ko Pueblo also began in the 1300’s AD as a plaza-oriented adobe-walled compound of several hundred rooms. But after more than a century of occupation, Paa-ko ceased year-round occupation. By the 1500’s, a smaller, mostly stone-masonry pueblo was built on-site and occupied into the 1600’s AD. Early Spanish colonial documents mention Paa-ko as an existing village and Adolph Bandelier noted it as a ruin when he arrived in the late 19th century. Major excavation at Paa-ko in the late 1930’s was undertaken by SAR/Museum of New Mexico in hopes it would become a unit of the New Mexico State Monument network that complements Coronado Monument (Kuaua). Recent work there by the U. of Chicago is focused on the historic site. Paa-ko produced glaze painted pottery traded with Tewa Basin and Galisteo Basin pueblos. Historic period occupation seems to have resulted when Galisteo Basin pueblos were under attack, and Paa-ko served as a place of refuge.
Includes transportation, lunch, and Study Leader honorarium. $95pp.


november_2009Red Rock Magic: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
with Dr. Kirt Kempter and Alan Osborne
November 1- 5, 2009, Sunday through Thursday
Journey into the magical Canyonlands and Arches National Parks of southeast Utah and the spectacular Red Rock Country of the Colorado Plateau for an unforgettable five-day experience with Dr. Kirt Kempter, vulcanologist, geologist, former Fulbright scholar, and Alan Osborne, Southwest cultural historian. We’ll spend all four nights at the new and beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge, featuring a popular restaurant and on-site winery and vineyard, as well as beautifully appointed riverside timber lodges with private patios overlooking the Colorado River. It has been said of this area, upriver from Moab and facing Arches National Park across the river: ‘The magic of the river, red cliffs, and pastoral green fields (replete with grazing horses) are three ingredients, that when viewed together, overwhelm the senses.’ Vast panoramas, dizzyingly deep canyons, dramatically steep cliffs, broad mesas and towering spires, sliced into districts by the Colorado and Green rivers, this is a world-famous photographers’ paradise and land of extremes, described in expressive literary terms by some of America’s most eloquent writers, including Terry Tempest Williams and Edward Abbey.november3_2009

november2_2009Includes morning 4×4 excursion along the Schafer Trail into the Canyonlands with local guides and a half-day guided river trip by motorboat through a spectacular section accessed by the river, with picnic lunch and visits to ancient Indian petroglyphs and cultural sites along the way. Not only spectacular vistas, but also wildlife, including bighorn sheep, are always a possibility for sighting and photographing on this memorable day.

We’ll spend another full day to marvel at several Canyonlands scenic overlooks from the rim above the river, including Mesa Arch and Dead Horse Point, featuring walks/hikes to unforgettable views of a vast panorama of rugged red rock landscapes, appreciating the beauty of the region we passed the day before deep in the canyon below on our excursion along the river.

Another full day will be spent enjoying Arches National Park, including a view of Delicate Arch, Utah’s
signature icon, a picnic lunch at North or South Window, and visits to other natural arches, such as Sand Dune Arch, Skyline Arch, Broken Arch (which isn’t really broken), and Landscape Arch, all formed by the hand of Mother Nature with water, wind, and time. Hikes/walks optional and will feature activities for all mobility levels/ages. Something for all to experience and enjoy! Register by September 1st. Double Occupancy: $1,250 pp. Single Occupancy: $1,450. Deposit to res

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Mesa Verde to Chaco: Ancestral Pueblo World
With Dr. Joe Suina, Dr. Wolky Toll and Dr. John Ware
May 11-16, 2008
Something extraordinary happened a thousand years ago in a shallow canyon in the heart the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. Puebloan peoples constructed over a dozen elaborate Great Houses of stone reaching three to four stories above the desert floor. Within just a few generations, masonry Great Houses were built by Pueblo communities throughout the San Juan Basin and beyond to eventually encompass portions of four adjacent states. The Chaco Phenomenon remains one of the great mysteries of North American archaeology. Why did ancient Puebloans build monuments whose construction required the quarrying and shaping of thousands of tons of sandstone from canyon walls and the hauling of over 200,000 pine logs from mountain slopes 60 miles away, all to build a dozen 300-600 room edifices that housed only a handful of people? Why did ancestral Puebloan communities over a geographic region the size of New England build community centers that emulated these monumental structures? Was it political hegemony, economic imperialism, or religious fervor that inspired the architects of Chaco and their emulators?

Amerind’s spring tour to the northern Southwest will spend two days in “Downtown Chaco” in search of answers to these questions. We’ll begin our tour 150 miles to the north in the central Mesa Verde region where Chaco probably had its roots. We’ll visit Chacoan “outlier communities” in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico that form important pieces of the Chaco puzzle. We’ll hear what archaeologists have to say about the Chaco phenomenon and how Pueblo descendants reconcile Chaco in their oral traditions. Our six-day tour of the Chaco world will be led, once again, by Drs. Joe Suina and John Ware, who will be joined this year by Chaco scholar Dr. Wolcott Toll who has helped fit the pieces of Chaco back together. We guarantee many intriguing questions along the way, and perhaps a few answers to the mysteries of the ancestral Pueblo.

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april_2007Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument with Dr Kirt Kempter
Saturday, April 7, 2007

The many layers of geologic history unfold as we spend a fascinating day hiking among the sacred landscape and spectacular formations of the new Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. You will experience scenic vistas and learn about Apache tears as we hike. Kirt’s classroom is a mesa top with 360-degree views. This is one of America’s recent national monuments and is an important area sacred to Keres and other Pueblo peoples. The trail is well marked and follows along a small arroyo and enters an elegantly carved slot canyon, then climbing to a scenic overview of the spectacular Rio Grande valley where we will enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch. Learn the fascinating geologic story of how these dramatic columns have eroded as you appreciate the power of Mother Nature’s forces: wind, water, and time. 3-mile roundtrip hike, 400 feet elevation gain Includes: Study leader honorarium, transportation and a lovely picnic lunch included. $85 pp

Hike the Hidden Passage into Abiquiu’s Copper Canyon with Dr. Kirt Kempter
Sunday, April 22, 2007 (9 am-5 pm)
This one-day hiking adventure will explore the geologic story of the Abiquiu area, including rock formations and vistas that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe. A 3-mile round trip hike will take us through a small canyon that exposes brilliantly colored rock layers at the boundary between the Rio Grande Rift and the Colorado Plateau. We then ascend 400 feet to an overlook of Copper Canyon, a broad, majestic canyon well off the tourist trail. Wonderful opportunities for photography. Field discussions will focus on the shape of the landscape in this region of northern New Mexico, as persistent geologic and erosional forces have sculpted the land over geologic time. Includes: Transportation, honorarium for study leaders and a nice picnic lunch. $85 pp



may_2007Ancestral Pueblo World: Chaco Canyon with Wolky Toll and Alan Osborne
With Deputy Director of the OAS and Chaco scholar, Wolky Toll and cultural historian Alan Osborne, we’ll leave Santa Fe early in the morning and drive along a scenic route through lands of the Santa Ana and Zia Pueblos and the Jicarilla Apache Reservation on our way to Chaco Culture National Historic Park. We’ll first arrive at the Chaco Visitor’s Center on the north side of the canyon, which features exhibits and interpretations of recent archaeological research as well as historic excavations, and artifacts revealing ancient life at Chaco. Following lunch we will take the short hike to the nearby-unexcavated Una Vida site, as well as an optional scramble up to the petroglyphs overlooking Una Vida. Heading down the Chaco Wash, we’ll pass another largely unexcavated great house site, Hungo Pavi, and Chetro Ketl, as we head to Pueblo Bonito, where we will discuss these magnificent great house communities and the important issues that went on through time and space. A short walk down the canyon will lead us to Kin Kletso, an important part of the developmental history of the area. We’ll visit smaller habitation sites, small farming settlements surrounding Casa Rinconada, Chaco’s massive great kiva. Our last stop will be to see an ancient staircase, hand hewn into the rocky cliff, which connects to the Great South Road. Whether you have been to Chaco Canyon before or not, this is a stunning place full of mystery, and one never tires of the experience of being here amid one of the greatest centers of the ancient Pueblo world. There will be places to discuss throughout the journey on the bus, as the Chaco story extends in all directions, including as far as Santa Fe, Leaving in the late afternoon, we’ll enjoy our picnic dinner on board our coach as we journey homeward for a late evening return to Santa Fe. Moderate walking involved, plenty of options available for folks with mobility issues. Includes transportation on a motor coach, picnic lunch and dinner, all admissions, honorarium for Study Leaders and $10 pp donation to the Office of Archaeological Studies. $165 pp

Eastern Pueblo World with Dr. Joe Suina (Cochiti Pueblo) and Dr. John Ware
May 20-May 26, 2007
This six day tour of the Rio Grande Pueblos will include visits to Taos, Picuris, San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Cochiti, and Zia Pueblos, as well as tours of important and seldom visited Eastern Pueblo archaeological sites, including Tsankawi, Hanat Kotyiti, Guisewa, Kuaua, Pecos, and the world famous rock art panels of the Galisteo Basin. This year’s tour will be based at the Hotel Santa Fe with day trips to important historical and cultural sites in the northern Rio Grande Valley.

Two experts in Pueblo archaeology, history, and culture will lead the tour. Dr. Joseph Suina is professor emeritus of education at the University of New Mexico and former governor of Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. An author, educator, and Pueblo leader, Dr. Suina will provide an inside perspective on Rio Grande Pueblo history and culture. Dr. John Ware, executive director of the Amerind Foundation, has conducted archaeological and ethno-historical research in the Four Corners for over 35 years. He is currently writing a book on Pueblo social history. They will be joined by additional Pueblo scholars and cultural ambassadors along the way, including Dr. Rina Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo), Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo), Dora Tse Pe (San Ildefonso Pueblo), Peter Pino (Zia Pueblo) and Chief Judge Verna Teller (Isleta Pueblo) among others. Includes five lunches, three dinners, honorarium for study leaders and presenters, all admissions, transportation in motor coach or van as appropriate, and a $350 tax deduction to the Amerind Foundation and Southwest Seminars. $1,000 commuter rate for Santa Fe residents or $1600 with six nights lodging and all breakfasts at Hotel Santa Fe.


Valles Caldera North Rim Drive With Dr. Kirt Kempter
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Departing Santa Fe, we will travel to Española, then turn west onto Forest Road 144 (also known as 39-mile road), winding our way up into the northern Jemez Mountains. As we ascend the backside of Chicoma Peak there will be spectacular views of the Rio Grande Rift, Pajarito Plateau, and other geologic features of the northern Jemez Mountains. The road also cuts through the core of an old volcano, active 10 million years ago. Our destination will be a picnic lunch stop on the north rim of the Valles Caldera, providing a spectacular view of the northern portion of the caldera. A lecture at this stop will provide a geologic history of the caldera since the massive eruption occurred 1.2 million years ago, a dynamic story including multiple lakes and volcanic eruptions within the caldera since its collapse. Other geologic highlights include overviews of Cerro Pedernal, the Rio Grande Rift, and the Chama River valley. No hiking involved. Includes: Transportation, honorarium for study leaders and a nice picnic lunch. $85 pp


Las Cruces de la Mesa: Genizaro-Hispano Rock with Dr. Richard I. Ford
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Join Dr. Richard I. Ford, noted University of Michigan ethonobotanist and archaeologist, for a special opportunity to see three separate mesa locations of major petroglyphs/rock art of the Genizaro peoples on the northern Rio Grande Valley between Oke Oweenge Pueblo (formerly known as San Juan Pueblo) and Velarde. Dr. Richard I. Ford wasrecently honored in an important recent book published by University of Michigan Press: Engaged Anthropology: Research Essays on North American Archaeology, Ethnobotany, and Museology. Papers in Honor of Richard I. Ford (2005). Gain an archeological appreciation for their dual lives in Spanish Colonial New Mexico, and learn about their sheepherding tradition in New Mexico and about folk Catholicism as it is expressed in these examples of Genizaro rock art. The majority of these images have been recorded only in the past three years and have never been published. Learn about the peoples who made these images, their method of production and discuss possible interpretations. Expect challenging hiking conditions in varied terrain at the three separate locations. Lunch and transportation included, as well as Study Leader services. $85 per person.

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