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Trail of the Ancients

Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, Navajo National Monument, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges. A one week national parks adventure offered May. Features camping, hiking, Native Ruins, Cliff Dwellings, Petroglyphs. This trip is good for all physical levels/abilities.

 

 

View Itinerary →

Day 1

Depart Salt Lake City 2:30 PM…

We start this fantastic trip by picking up you and your fellow Adventurers in Salt Lake City.
We’ll prep you for your adventure and then enjoy a comfortable journey to our first national park…

Day 2

Edge of the Cedars State Park, Hovenweep National Monument

We’ll begin our journey into the world of the Ancestral Puebloans at the Edge of the Cedars Museum, which houses one of the finest native pottery collections. Climb into your first Kiva, and begin to understand this ancient world. In the afternoon, we’ll hike around Little Ruin Canyon, at Hovenweep, NM a great example of mesa top architecture.

Day 3

Mesa Verde

Designated a World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde is home to more than 4000 ruins and some of the best preserved in the world. Ranger led tours through Balcony House and Cliff Palace will answer many of your questions, “How did they build it?”, Why did they leave?” “What did the eat?”. Tour Spruce House and The Chapin Museum on your own, or hike the Petroglyph Trail for beautiful views of the canyon and distant ruins. We’ll head to the Western town of Durango for dinner out before settling into our campground.

Day 4

Aztec National Monument, Salmon Ruins

Today we explore the Chacoan styles of Aztec and Salmon Ruins. Once a center for trade and ceremonies, Aztec Ruins is home to a great kiva and incredible examples of Chacoan Masonry. A similar site, Salmon Ruins also has examples of a 19th century homestead, sweat lodge, and hogan. We’ll continue through the beautiful red rock desert past Shiprock formation and camp at Canyon de Chelly.

Day 5

Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley

Start the morning with a hike down into the red sandstone cliffs of Canyon de Chelly to a lush green valley for great views of White House Ruins. Explore the ancient and recent history of the peoples that have occupied this canyon through legend like that of Spider Woman Rock, and historical events at Massacre Overlook. We’ll end our day at Monument Valley with a sunset tour of the beautiful mesas and buttes.

Day 6

Navajo National Monument, Sand Island

The Betatakin Ruins of Navajo National Monument are among our favorites. These ruins were rumored to be haunted, keeping thieves and bandits away for decades. A Navajo Ranger will lead us on a spectacular scenic hike to a beautiful alcove which protects these incredible dwellings. Which will impress you more, the scenery or the ruins?

Day 7

Natural Bridges National Monument

Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo, Natural Bridges are majestic examples of the power of Mother Nature. Bridges are like arches, but have been formed by water. You’ll find petroglyphs among these stunning formations named to honor of the Native Americans that once inhabited the area. We’ll make a stop in Moab for dinner as we make our way back to Salt Lake City.

Day 8

We’ll roll back into Salt Lake City by noon, and say our goodbyes.


Trip Details

Arrival & Departure

Departs and returns to Salt Lake City.

Transportation

This tour features our unique Adventure Bus sleeper coach.

Accommodations

This tour features tent camping and bus bunking. We’ll provide the tents and sleeping pads. You’ll need to rent or bring a sleeping bag. Contact us for helpful hints on accommodations and flights before and after your tour.

Weather

Warm to hot days and cool to chilly nights are typical in the on this tour. Nights at the higher elevations of Cortez might be somewhat chilly.

Food

Our meals are geared to provide you with the fuel you need to get through your active days, and yet still extremely tasty. We can accommodate all dietary needs.

Hikes & Difficulty

The hikes featured on this tour vary in length, technicality, and difficulty. 1-7+ miles. Each location has various hiking options, so there is always something for everyone!

What to Expect

After you make a reservation, a confirmation packet will be sent to you with more detailed information. Check our FAQs.



Itinerary

Cliff Palace Mesa Verde

Day 1

Depart Salt Lake City 2:30 PM…

We start this fantastic trip by picking up you and your fellow Adventurers in Salt Lake City.
We’ll prep you for your adventure and then enjoy a comfortable journey to our first national park…

Testimonials

Adventure Bus has been a Godsend to me.  I was pining away for a means to go camping and hiking and see the country’s... Read more →

From the road

Herons, wood storks, anhingas, pelicans, gullinules and spoonbills are just a few of the birds you can see in… fb.me/yrU8HDM8 Read more →

Itinerary

Petroglyphs on Adventure Bus

Day 2

Edge of the Cedars State Park, Hovenweep National Monument

We’ll begin our journey into the world of the Ancestral Puebloans at the Edge of the Cedars Museum, which houses one of the finest native pottery collections. Climb into your first Kiva, and begin to understand this ancient world. In the afternoon, we’ll hike around Little Ruin Canyon, at Hovenweep, NM a great example of mesa top architecture.

From the road

Highlight from 2016: Lunch on Valdez Glacier in Alaska! fb.me/8xi1GpSRy Read more →

Itinerary

Claret Cup Bloom

Day 3

Mesa Verde

Designated a World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde is home to more than 4000 ruins and some of the best preserved in the world. Ranger led tours through Balcony House and Cliff Palace will answer many of your questions, “How did they build it?”, Why did they leave?” “What did the eat?”. Tour Spruce House and The Chapin Museum on your own, or hike the Petroglyph Trail for beautiful views of the canyon and distant ruins. We’ll head to the Western town of Durango for dinner out before settling into our campground.

From the road

This unique bird is a Black Skimmer. You can find it and many other birds in Dry Tortugas National Park. fb.me/5Kio3PPFt Read more →

Testimonials

“Thanks Steph and Ardell for another great trip. I look forward to coming back for a third trip in the future!” And in fact... Read more →

Itinerary

Hovenweep Monument

Day 4

Aztec National Monument, Salmon Ruins

Today we explore the Chacoan styles of Aztec and Salmon Ruins. Once a center for trade and ceremonies, Aztec Ruins is home to a great kiva and incredible examples of Chacoan Masonry. A similar site, Salmon Ruins also has examples of a 19th century homestead, sweat lodge, and hogan. We’ll continue through the beautiful red rock desert past Shiprock formation and camp at Canyon de Chelly.

Testimonials

“Thanks for everything! We had a fantastic time start to finish. See you next year.”   Graham and Ellen have been on our Grand... Read more →

Testimonials

I had a great time once again on the Adventurebus!  I’m beginning to think that half the adventure is meeting all the personalities that come on the... Read more →

Itinerary

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Day 5

Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley

Start the morning with a hike down into the red sandstone cliffs of Canyon de Chelly to a lush green valley for great views of White House Ruins. Explore the ancient and recent history of the peoples that have occupied this canyon through legend like that of Spider Woman Rock, and historical events at Massacre Overlook. We’ll end our day at Monument Valley with a sunset tour of the beautiful mesas and buttes.

From the road

“It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.” Dale Evans Read more →

Itinerary

Monument Valley Sunrise

Day 6

Navajo National Monument, Sand Island

The Betatakin Ruins of Navajo National Monument are among our favorites. These ruins were rumored to be haunted, keeping thieves and bandits away for decades. A Navajo Ranger will lead us on a spectacular scenic hike to a beautiful alcove which protects these incredible dwellings. Which will impress you more, the scenery or the ruins?

Itinerary

Navajo National Monument

Day 7

Natural Bridges National Monument

Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo, Natural Bridges are majestic examples of the power of Mother Nature. Bridges are like arches, but have been formed by water. You’ll find petroglyphs among these stunning formations named to honor of the Native Americans that once inhabited the area. We’ll make a stop in Moab for dinner as we make our way back to Salt Lake City.

Itinerary

Adventure Bus in Utah

Day 8

We’ll roll back into Salt Lake City by noon, and say our goodbyes.