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A 5-night, 6-day guided tour of the cities of the Ancient Trails with tour highlights of Native American ruins, cliff dwellings, and rock art in Arizona, Colorado and Utah. The Ancient Trails Tour is based on availability.
The four corners region of the American Southwest was the home of thousands of Native American inhabitants between 800 and 1300 A.D. Although their disappearance was mysterious, their architecture and craftsmanship is clearly visible in the sprawling mazes of room blocks and towers that exist today. Take this opportunity to follow in the silent footprints along the pathways of these secluded ancient cities and experience the legacy of the ancestral peoples of the Southwest.
This tour is also offered as a private charter. Contact a reservations specialist for details.
With an early morning departure from Scottsdale, we quickly gain 6,000 feet of elevation and observe a startling change of scenery that moves from the giant Saguaro Cactus to massive Ponderosa Pine forests. We will tour along Route 66 from Flagstaff to Winslow, Arizona, where we will then enter the Navajo Nation.
Later today we will visit the Hubbell Trading Post, the oldest trading post on the 25,000 square mile Navajo Nation. In the early days, families would come for supplies, hear the latest territorial news and gossip, and visit with neighbors at the Trading Post. This trading post is still a key part of the local population's daily lifestyle. We will end the day in the heart of the Navajo Nation in Chinle.
Overnight in Chinle, AZ
Today we join our local Navajo guide for a spectacular off road tour into the heart of Canyon de Chelly, which offers an up close look at the well preserved cliff dwellings. The Navajo continue to occupy their ancestral lands and maintain herds of sheep and fields of corn deep in the heart of the labyrinth that make up Canyon de Chelly.
This afternoon we will head into southwest Colorado, through the Ute Mountain Tribal Lands, and arrive on the high plateau of the Mesa Verde National Park. The view from our lodge in the park overlooks thousands of square miles of virtual wilderness. Sunset from our balconies and dinner is the lodge’s memorable restaurant.
Overnight in Mesa Verde National Park, CO
During the morning, the group will tour two of the most significant cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde's World Heritage Site. A guided tour will help the group understand the fine balance between preservation and recreation in this fragile landscape. The Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde’s crown jewel, is one of the largest Anasazi settlements in the Southwest and is the iconic archaeological site in the Desert Southwest.
A spectacular afternoon drive through southern Utah will take us past Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients National Monuments with short walks to various isolated ruins, to the San Juan River Valley, and Bluff, Utah.
Overnight in Bluff, UT
At last an easy morning to relax or view the incredible petroglyphs at Recapture Pocket on the San Juan River. A beautiful drive to Goosenecks State Park for a memorable picnic lunch is followed by an amazing descent of the Moki Dugway into the Valley of the Gods, and into the Navajo Reservation at Monument Valley. Our expert local Navajo guide will join us for a memorable and magical late afternoon tour into the valley. Sunset here guarantees a dramatic end to an incredible day.
Overnight in Monument Valley, Navajo Nation
This morning will be a very early start so we may witness sunrise over Monument Valley from the Rim Overlook. From the Overlook, we will then tour to the Navajo National Monument for a short walk on the Sandal Trail overlooking the well preserved Betatakin Ruins. A beautiful drive to Moenkopi on the Navajo-Hopi border will follow where we will experience the Navajo Tribe's new interactive Cultural Center in Tuba City.
Overnight at Moenkopi Legacy Lodge, Hopi Nation
The Hopi have always been a private people and access to their lands has been limited. With their new resort, however, they are opening up some new areas to the visiting public for the first time in many years. A local Hopi guide will lead our morning tour, and will provide an enlightening experience into Hopi Culture and Traditions. We will access some of the amazing ‘hidden corners’ of this mystical land. The Hopi have lived here since the mid 12th Century!
Our journey back to Phoenix will take us through areas of extensive volcanic activity that occurred in the region, and then back into the Phoenix/Scottsdale by approximately 7:00pm.
Pre Tour Lodging package included at The Saguaro Hotel Old Town Scottsdale.
Post Tour Lodging packages are available upon request.
Choose an overnight stay at a 3-4 star hotel near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with free airport transfer, or choose our 5 star two night post tour package at the Hotel Mission Palms in Tempe.
DETOURS offers small group touring in our custom vehicles featuring leather captain’s chairs for maximum comfort.
Because DETOURS travels with a maximum of 13 passengers, this allows us to take a flexible approach and take full advantage of touring opportunities not available to large Coach Tours or Fly Drive Holidays.
Due to the developing tourism industry in the area changes can and do occur in this type of program. Weather conditions, sometimes severe enough to limit where we can drive or walk, can also alter the program. As visitors, we will respect this, and remain flexible and open to local conditions, safety concerns and unforeseen opportunities. Our guides will do their best to keep things on track and in the event that our schedule changes, they will try to keep disruption to a minimum, consider your wishes and organize other options as far as it is reasonable and practical to do so.
Our vehicles are designed to carry up to 13 passengers on individual leather captains’ seats, and groups range from 8-13 passengers. This tour can also be operated as a private charter for groups from 2-13 passengers.
Our guides have many years of experience in leading tours throughout the American West. Their knowledge and enthusiasm will ensure that everyone gets the most from each destination.
All hotels and lodges on tour are 3-4 stars. The accommodations have been chosen to give passengers the best access to the destinations we visit. For those traveling alone there is a per night supplement charge.
This tour offers a wide range of walking and hiking opportunities, which require a reasonable level of fitness mostly due to elevation changes. The level of activity can be suited to and catered for almost all levels of fitness. It is not an activity holiday, just an active holiday.
Health and Vaccinations
It is imperative that you have both a dental and medical check-up and we recommend that you ensure your Tetanus inoculations are up to date. Our drivers and guides are first aid qualified and a medical kit is carried at all times.
Individual luggage must be kept to a maximum of one main piece of luggage less than 50 pounds and one daypack less than or equal to 30 litres. It is recommended to travel with a backpack or soft overnight bag with a small day pack for easy access to camera, sun block, outer-layer clothing and food for lunch while hiking or walking etc. We recommend planning ahead and arranging to store bulky items pre-tour. This daypack should be suitable for carrying additional. We advise our guests to pack as lightly as possible.
It is a good idea to bring broken in hiking/walking shoes. It is wise to have a light but waterproof rain jacket and a fleece or good sweater for nights and mornings. A hat and a good daypack are important. Overall the tour is very casual but there will be the opportunity for smart, casual dress at dinner on a few nights.
Spring offers all four seasons depending on elevation. Temperatures during the tour may range from a high of 85°F in the day to a low of 40°F at night. October temperatures for this area. The temperature during the day ranges from a high of 73°F but then may drop to 34°F at night.
Post Tour Accommodation Packages
Post tours packages are available through your travel agent.
Travel insurance is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that properly covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking.