American Southwest

Landscapes of The American Southwest

April 2011



On this tour we journeyed through New Mexico and Arizona.  This region boasts a long and colorful history; a rich heritage of Indian, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures; and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Southwest.  We walked the Plaza of old Santa Fe; visited Acoma Pueblo, perched high atop a mesa; toured frontier forts; and a Navajo trading post.  At Valverde Crossing and Glorieta Pass, we learned how Confederate forces boldly invaded New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War.  In Arizona, we spent a day in beautiful Canyon de Chelly, where we heard about the tragic Long Walk of the Navajo in 1864.  We boarded four-wheel drive vehicles and explored the spectacular landscapes of Monument Valley.  The trip concluded in remote Chaco Canyon, where we discovered the haunting remains of sophisticated stone buildings and towers built a thousand years ago by the Anasazi. 

Two expert leaders accompanied us on this new tour.  Historian Ed Bearss covered the historic sites and events. Writer/Anthropologist Scott Thybony discussed the Navajo and Anasazi cultures, geology, and tales of the West.  


Friday, April 15               Albuquerque     

Individual arrivals in Albuquerque.  Join staff for a welcome drink followed by dinner.

                                                      Overnight at the Sheraton Albuquerque, NM  (R, D)


Saturday,  April 16         Fort Stanton – Lincoln Historic District  

Today we’ll tour Fort Stanton, established in 1855 to protect settlements during the Apache Wars. Occupants included Kit Carson, John "Black Jack" Pershing, Billy the Kid, and Buffalo Soldiers of the 8th and 9th Cavalry. Confederate forces occupied Fort Stanton at the outbreak of the Civil War.


Continue to Lincoln, NM to discuss the Lincoln County War, a 19th-century range war between rival cattle barons.  The conflict was notable for it’s cast of characters that included Billy the Kid, Sheriffs William J. Brady and Pate Garrett, cattle rancher John Chisum, and then Governor, Lew Wallace.               O/N Holiday Inn Express, Socorro, NM   (B, L, D)


Sunday, April 17        Fort Craig - Battle of Valverde – Battle of Peralta 

Begin a two-day examination of the New Mexico Campaign.  We’ll learn how Confederate forces invaded New Mexico Territory in 1862 in an attempt to gain control of the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California.


In February 1862, Confederate troops engaged Union forces just upstream from Fort Craig at Valverde Crossing.  Though considered a Confederate victory, Federal forces were successful in holding the fort and destroying half of the Confederates’ supply wagons.   O/N Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, NM  (B, L)


Monday,  April 18      Fort Union – Battle of Glorieta Pass     

We’ll tour Fort Union, which was constructed in 1851 to guard the Santa Fe Trail.  Proceed to Pecos National Monument where we’ll learn about the Battle of Glorieta Pass, the turning point of the New Mexico Campaign. The Federal victory here on March 28, 1862, forced the Confederates to retreat to Texas and ended Southern aspirations for military conquest in the West.   O/N Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, NM  (B, L)


 Tuesday, April 19       Santa Fe – Acoma Pueblo  

Join Ed and Scott on a walking tour of Santa Fe’s historic Plaza.  We’ll take a guided tour of the Palace of the Governors and the History Museum.  Depart Santa Fe for Acoma Pueblo.  Known as “Sky City,” this adobe village is perched high atop a spectacular, sheer mesa.  Its inhabitants still live without electricity and running water. 

O/N Holiday Inn Express, Grants, NM   (B, L, D)


Wednesday, April 20         Hubbell Trading Post – Canyon de Chelly    

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, established in 1876, is the oldest continuously operated trading post on the Navajo Nation.  We’ll tour the Hubbell’s home, the general store, and the trading post that still sells Navajo rugs and silver jewelry.  We’ll continue to beautiful Canyon de Chelly where scores of Anasazi cliff dwellings are hidden in alcoves and caves in the sheer sandstone cliffs.  We’ve invited Navajo Code Talker Teddy Draper, Sr., to join us for dinner. 

O/N Best Western, Chinle, AZ  (B, L, D)


Thursday, April 21      Canyon de Chelly      

Explore the floor of Canyon de Chelly on a half-day tour by 4-wheel-drive truck.  We’ll see remnants of Antelope House and White House Ruins.  We’ll learn about Kit Carson’s role in a scorched earth campaign that coerced the Navajo to surrender and led to the Long Walk in the spring of 1864, when 8,000 Navajo men, women and children were forced to march 300 miles to a reservation in New Mexico.  After lunch, we’ll drive to Monument Valley.   Tonight we’ll enjoy a private cook out in a red rock canyon.  

O/N Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley, UT (B, L, D)


Friday, April 22         Monument Valley – Four Corners Monument  

Explore Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, one of the Southwest’s most stunning and distinctive landscapes. A four-wheel-drive tour with Navajo guides will take us into the heart of the park where we will see a traditional hogan, Anasazi cliff dwellings, and ancient petroglyphs.  En route to Farmington, we’ll stop at the Four Corners Monument.  

  O/N Marriott Courtyard, Farmington, NM  (B, L)


Saturday, April 23      Chaco Culture National Historic Park  

Today is devoted to exploring Chaco Canyon.  A thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon was the center of a thriving culture.  We’ll see remains of the monumental architecture, evidence of elaborate road and irrigation systems, and ceremonial chambers. 

O/N Marriott Courtyard, Albuquerque Airport   (B, L, D)


Sunday, April 24  

Depart at your leisure.   (B)


Expert Guides: 

Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, Edwin C. Bearss is an author, lecturer and America's foremost battlefield guide.  Ed's encyclopedic knowledge and unflagging energy is legendary; Ed brings history alive like no other. 


Writer, archaeologist and wilderness guide, Scott Thybony has led dozens of trips to the American Southwest for National Geographic Expeditions.  Scott has written widely about the Southwest, including the book Canyon Country Parklands: Treasures of the Great Plateau for National Geographic.

Tour Cost (10 days/9 nights)

Double:  $3,395 per person

Single: $ 3,895 

What’s Included:  

* Two Expert Guides: Historian Ed Bearss and Writer/Archaeologist Scott Thybony;

* Tour Manager Marty Gane,

* 9 nights accommodations;

* most meals (9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners, 1 wine/beer reception);

* all excursions and gratuities.


For our 2011 brochure call us at (301) 988-1852, toll free at 1 (866) 914-1862 or email us at