Exploring the lost civilizations of Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly
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|Trip Length||7 days/6 nights|
|Arrive/Depart||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Price||From $2,595 to $2,995|
|If you have questions about this journey or would like to receive a detailed trip brochure, call 800-445-2995 or click here.|
Day 1 (Chaco Culture National Historical Park) A 2-hour drive this morning takes you to the Chaco Culture National Historical Park to enjoy a day of hiking among the vast ruins. Through your guide’s deep knowledge and lively stories, you will learn about the architectural designs, astronomical building alignments, landscaping, and innovative engineering that created a settlement of spectacular proportion, design, and function. Tonight’s accommodations are about an hour away in Farmington, NM, the nearest town in this remote area.
Day 2 (Chaco Culture National Historic Park) Return to Chaco for a second day of immersion among the ruins. The vast park reveals layer-upon-layer of ancient cultural intrigue, which your guide will help you envision and understand. Stay deep in the park all day, taking a break for a picnic lunch, and returning to Farmington in the late afternoon.
Day 3 (Canyon de Chelly National Monument) A 2.5-hour drive takes you to Canyon de Chelly, passing through Shiprock deeper into Navajo tribal lands. One of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, Canyon de Chelly (which is on Navajo Tribal Trust Land) holds remarkably well-preserved architecture, artifacts, and rock art. Your accommodations are within the national monument, and after some time to settle in and relax, the guide will lead the group on a short, rim-side hike before dinner.
Day 4 (Canyon de Chelly National Monument) Today the group sets out on an all-day, 4-wheel-drive tour. Navajo guides facilitate the excursion, which runs the entire length of Canyon del Muerto, sharing local and traditional knowledge gained through their historical and geographical connections with the ancient peoples who settled these canyons.
Day 5 (Hubbell Trading Post, Window Rock, and Acoma) The day begins with a 45-minute ride to Hubbell Trading Post National Park, where people have been trading—in the same building—since 1878. The trading post is not some souvenir stand, but a piece of fascinating living history where traders negotiate with Native artists for their works. It’s a genuinely cool experience. Another short drive leads to the Navajo Tribal Headquarters at Window Rock, AZ, for a visit to the Navajo Nation Museum. Then it’s on to Acoma Pueblo. Built on top of a 367-foot sandstone mesa, the pueblo is one of the oldest communities in the U.S.
Day 6 (El Morro and Albuquerque) A short hike this morning at El Morro National Monument leads us to some petroglyphs and Spanish inscriptions carved in the rocks. We have lunch back in Grants before making our way to Albuquerque by early afternoon. Time permitting, you can relax or explore Old Town Albuquerque on your own, or the guide may take those who wish to the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center. We celebrate this great, off the beaten path journey with a lovely farewell dinner tonight.
Day 7 (Departures home) After breakfast, you transfer a short distance to the Albuquerque airport for flights home.