JUNE 12 – JUNE 19, 2024

JOIN Southwest Seminars, Dr. Joseph H. Suina and environmentalist Greg Woodall for a cultural and archaeological journey on the scenic Yampa and Green Rivers through Dinosaur National Monument. These rivers have carved significant canyons exposing geologic history of the spectacular Colorado Plateau. a timeless land which included ancient oceans and rivers. Fremont, Numic (Ute/Paiute) and Ancestral Puebloan peoples that have made this region their home and left behind a rich record of imagery, material culture, rocks shelters and other sites of habitation as evidence of their lives.

This 7-day, 7-night trip begins with a welcome dinner the first evening followed by a land-based day exploring Fremont culture rock art panels and the renowned National Monument Dinosaur Quarry and a nearby archaeological rock shelter site. Opportunities to learn will be plentiful during hikes, talks, and camp circle gatherings. Important indigenous connections between modern Native Peoples and these sacred places are brought to life. Our trip highlight is five days rafting through 71 miles of vividly colored canyons while exploring ancestral 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 Joe and Greg.

DR. JOSEPH H. SUINA is a former Governor of Cochiti Pueblo and has served on the Tribal Council, as Professor Emeritus, College of Education, UNM and as former director, Institute for American Indian Education for tribes throughout the Southwest. He is author of ‘The Knowledge Keepers: Protecting Pueblo Culture from the Western World’ and “And Then I Went to School’. A voice for Native people in many areas: health, education, language preservation, sacred sites, sustainable economic development and housing, Dr. Suina is also devoted to farming, family and Cochiti tribal council service. Much of his career has been assessing student learning and developing training programs for educators who teach American Indian students. He is also President and Chief Executive Officer, Cochiti Community Development Corporation and Chair of the Cochiti Language Revival Committee. He has led numerous educational programs for Southwest Seminars, the Amerind Foundation, Colgate University and has served on the Board of Advisors for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

GREG WOODALL will lead us on our journey down the Yampa and past its confluence with the Green River and side hikes to rock shelters and petroglyph panels. Greg draws from his 40+ years of experience in the West as an archaeologist, environmentalist, and river guide. For the last three years he has led The Archaeology Conservancy river trips down the Yampa and San Juan Rivers and spent several years with Grand Canyon Field Institute as archaeologist/boatman through Cataract Canyon and Grand Canyon. While working as a crew member with Grand Canyon Dories in the 1980s, Woodall met famed environmentalist Martin Litton, a close friend of Edward Abbey and David Brower, the Sierra Club President who recruited Litton in 1952 to oppose the construction of dams in Dinosaur National Monument. Through his work crewing dories Woodall has honed his unique approach to storytelling drawing from the broader ethic at the heart of the American environmental movement. He works with National Park Service near Grand Canyon throughout the year and helps with volunteer projects to preserve sites in Southwest Utah.

TRIP DESCRIPTION: We meet in Vernal, Utah on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The following morning we visit the Dry Fork Creek Petroglyphs near Vernal, a renowned rock art site in the northern 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 an archaic/Fremont rock shelter with Fremont petroglyphs nearby.

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 named by John Wesley Powell on his famous 1869 expedition. Along the way we’ll see the remains of a pioneer cabin, a series of pictographs in the Barrier Canyon style. We’ll also hike to Mantle’s Cave, a huge rock shelter where Fremont culture peoples stored an astonishing array of specialized items in storage cysts, now kept at 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 rafting past some massive geologic formations, we’ll enter Whirlpool Canyon, also described in Powell’s account, and camp, as he did, at Jones Hole. We hope to hike up Jones Creek (good trout fishing) to Deluge Shelter, another Archaic camp, and view striking Fremont pictograph/petroglyph panels of anthropomorphic figures. A short hike leads up Ely Creek to a waterfall.

On 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-flowing undammed tributary of the Colorado River and its flow level depends on the winter snowpack 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 perhaps bighorn sheep along the shoreline. As with all rafting trips water flow determines our pace each day and stops we are able to make.

DETAILS: Rafting will be in 18-foot oar boats with 4 guests to a boat. You may try out the provided kayaks for part of the trip. Our outfitter will be Dinosaur River Expeditions, family owned and locally operated in Vernal Utah and staffed by experienced and knowledgeable river guides that love sharing the beauty, history and wildlife of the mighty Yampa River of Colorado and the crystal clear waters of Utah’s Green River below the Flaming Gorge. Our guides double as excellent outdoor chefs for our meals along the river. This 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). 3 nights lodging at conveniently at Microtel in Naples/Vernal, Utah (2 nights before the rafting trip and 1 night after). All meals in Vernal and on the river. Study Leader honorarium, all admissions and fee for our services.

PRICE: Double Occupancy: $3300 per person Single Occupancy: $3450
GEAR: A Sleeping Bag, Pad & Pillow @$45 pp. A Tent @$50. Or bring your own for Nada
TO REGISTER: Contact Southwest Seminars to Reserve your Space and Request a Registration Form.
RETURN: Signed Registration Forms along with $1000 deposit
BALANCE DUE: By or Before April 12, 2024

PHONE: (505) 466-2775

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