The Four Corners - A Land of Many Cultures - Itinerary
Please remember that all trip itineraries are subject to change due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances. We will endeavor to provide the essence of the experiences outlined here, keeping in mind that group safety is always our priority. Included meals shown by B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner.
Click on the button below to watch a short movie capturing the essence of this trip. The soundtrack is from a performance by Santa Clara Pueblo given to the NM State Legislature in their chambers in February 2012.
Day 1 Mon Sept 27 Santa Fe
We meet in the late morning for introductions and orientation talk. Then we walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch, our first meal together. Afterwards we have a walking tour of downtown Santa Fe, founded in 1610, the oldest capital city in North America. At the end of the tour, we’ll have some free time to visit museums or art galleries before getting together again for a lovely dinner at a New Mexican restaurant. Overnight in Santa Fe. L D
Day 2 Tues Sept 28 Taos and Taos Pueblo
We start the day with a drive up to Taos (about 1 ½ hours). This small town is known nationally as an artists’ center and is replete with galleries and studios, many housed in historic adobe buildings. We’ll be free to wander around for an hour or two, and then meet again for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit one of the two pueblos that claim to be the oldest continually inhabited towns of North America. Taos Pueblo is home today to about 1,200 people. We will have a guided tour of the pueblo, and then some time to wander on our own. Some of the houses will be open as many of the residents are artists or craftsmen and will have products on display for sale. Return to Santa Fe for dinner at a Western restaurant. Overnight in Santa Fe. B L D
Day 3 Wed Sept 29 Bandelier National Monument
An hour’s drive this morning brings us to the main section of Bandelier National Monument. Here we can visit the recently revamped museum, and then join a ranger talk and/or take the 2 hour tour of the main site. We have our picnic lunch by the Rio Grande, and then hike in a lesser-known part, Tsankawi, where there are some interesting archaeological remains. On our way back to Santa Fe, we stop for dinner at a New Mexican restaurant famous for their fresh, table-side prepared guacamole. Overnight in Santa Fe. B L D
Day 4 Thurs Sept 30 La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs
Leaving Santa Fe, we head for little known La Cieneguilla, a BLM site with several hundred petroglyphs. We’ll scramble along a short but primitive trail and some boulders to get a close look at the rock art. Then it’s on to Coronado State Monument. The explorer/conqueror Coronado camped with his army of about 1,200 near the village of Kuaua here in 1540. In the 1930’s the earthen village was excavated, and several murals in astonishingly good condition were found. Some are on display in the visitor center. In the afternoon, we drive 2 hours to Acoma Sky City. Here we’ll tour the pueblo, situated on top of a sheer mesa, and learn of it’s tragic history. Overnight in Grants. B L D
Day 5 Fri Oct 1 El Morro National Monument and Zuni Pueblo
Today’s itinerary includes El Morro National Monument and Zuni Pueblo. At El Morro, we’ll walk along the bottom of the towering wall of rock and see inscriptions and rock art left behind by Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish, and American explorers. Then, when we arrive at Zuni, we’ll enjoy a lunch of traditional Pueblo cooking. After lunch, we tour the nearby archaeological site and a couple of artists’ studios. Overnight in Gallup. B L D
Day 6 Sat Oct 2 Toadlena Trading Post, Navajo Weaver’s Home
Today, along our two hour drive up to Farmington, we will focus on the Navajo. We’ll visit Toadlena, one of the few historic trading posts still functioning much the same as in the 19th century. We’ll have an introduction to Navajo weaving and visit with some local artisans. Near the trading post is a delightful, easy trail across the barren, rocky landscape to a little visited archaeological site. Afterward we continue on to dinner at a local brew-pub. Overnight in Farmington. B L D
Day 7 Sun Oct 3 Chaco Culture National Historical Park
We get an early start this morning for the 2-hour drive to Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Here was once the center of a thriving culture that covered a vast territory in what is now Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. A system of roads connected Chaco with communities in all directions. Some of the roads were much wider than needed for transportation and are believed to have been ceremonial or religious constructions. Extensive ruins remain, and we will tour them in part with a park ranger and in part on our own. After a full day here, we drive on to colorful Colorado. Overnight in Durango. B L D
Day 8 Mon Oct 4 Mesa Verde National Park
Probably the most widely known archaeological site in the US, Mesa Verde National Park is a grand collection of communities built by the Ancestral Puebloans. As in Chaco, part of our touring will be ranger-led, and part we will do on our own. We will spend the entire day at this fascinating site, visiting such landmark ruins as Cliff Palace, Spruce Tree House, and Balcony House, as well as the park museum. Overnight in Durango. B L D
Day 9 Tues Oct 5 Chimney Rock, Abiquiu
Heading east out of Durango we go to visit a little-known but most awesome site, Chimney Rock National Monument. Here we learn how much the Ancestral Puebloans knew about astronomy, including how to use architecture to track lesser regressions of the moon. We continue on to Abiquiu (pronounced “a·buh·kyoo”), a small town on the edge of the Jemez Mountains, site of many movies and long-time home of Georgia O'Keefe. Arriving in time to stroll through town, we’ll admire O'Keefe's house and take in the local atmosphere. Overnight in Abiquiu B L D
Day 10 Wed Oct 6 Palza Blanca, Ghost Ranch
Just outside of Abiquiu is Plaza Blanca, white rock formations which we'll explore on foot for an hour or two. Then we go to Ghost Ranch where O'Keefe spent most of her summers painting. She had a small house here (which we might be able to peek into); the main attraction is to enjoy the same views she did, many of which are reflected in her paintings. A short, spectacular hike will take us up Kitchen Mesa. Then we drive back to Santa Fe in time to clean up and rest before experiencing one of the best restaurants Santa Fe has to offer, a blend of traditional Mexican and modern haute cuisine. Overnight in Santa Fe. B L D
Day 11 Wed Oct 7 Santa Fe
Alas, our adventure has come to an end. Breakfast is included and then it’s adios amigos! B
The trip leader will provide 4 trip bulletins prior to departure with more detailed and specific information to help you prepare for your adventure.
Trip Dates September 27 - October 7, 2021 | 11 days NEW! Trip extended by 1 day
Special small group size limited to 8 participants - waitlisted
Trip Price $4,158 per person | Deposit $1,040
Balance due August 28th, 2021. Option to cancel before August 28th with a reduced cancellation fee of $200 and remaining deposit payment refunded.
Price is based on double occupancy of rooms. Same gender roommate will be assigned to participants traveling solo. Single supplements are limited. Your non-refundable deposit will hold your reservation. Either pay on line (credit/ debit cards accepted) using our secure PayPal payment system or write a check, payable to “Big Round World”, and mail it to: PO Box 1337, Lyons, CO 80540.
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