Storm clouds over the Grand Canyon (photo: Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress)
Arizona & New Mexico through theAges with Neil Mangum
Neil is the former regional historian with the National Park Service's Southwest Regional Office in Santa Fe, NM
Tour Dates: March 28–April 2, 2023 (Phoenix, Arizona)
Beginning and ending in Phoenix, we’ll spend five days and five nights in an eclectic, whirlwind tour of natural and historic sites in the American Southwest. We'll visit many sites associated with the 19th-century Apache Wars, and experience a cultural program on the White Mountain Apache Reservation by members of today's Apache people. Our trip includes visits to present-day Pueblos, as well as to the ancient ruins of Ancestral Puebloan peoples. Natural history highlights include geological wonders like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, and the Sunset Meteor Crater. Our tour will also take in a rare opportunity to visit Ground Zero of the Trinity Test Site, where the world's first nuclear device was detonated on July 16, 1945 (this site is only open to the public on two days per year).
Good food, good company, comfortable lodging, and a tremendous guide will ensure an enjoyable and memorable excursion through some of the most intriguing and beautiful regions of the United States.
$1825 (single), or $1450 ea. (double) Registration includes five (5) nights lodging, opening night Pizza Reception and presentation, a seat on the van, entry fees to all parks and museums, beverages and snacks on the road, and the services of your on-board historian and host. For comfort and mobility (to go where the largest buses dare not travel), we have chartered a 15-passenger Mercedes Sprinter van (with individually reclining seats).
MARCH 28 (Tuesday): Check into our airport hotel (to be announced). At 6:30 p.m., we'll kick things off in the hotel conference room with a Pizza Reception, followed by a presentation by Neil to set the stage for our 5-day excursion. ---------- MARCH 29 (Wednesday): tour the existing structures of Camp Verde, scene of mass Apache surrender to General Crook in 1873. On the way, we'll drive through of what's left of Ft McDowell, and follow portions of the Tonto Basin Campaign, 1872-1873; Lunch stop in beautiful Sedona; Grand Canyon National Park in afternoon. That night, we'll check into one of the motels around rim complex. Dinner on your own. ---------- March 30 (Thursday): the morning will be devoted to additional touring of the Grand Canyon; Lunch stop in Cameron; after lunch, we'll tour Wupatki Ruins; Drive-thru of the Sunset Crater (discussion of volcanism); Overnight in Winslow, Arizona, at the La Fonda Hotel, one of the last remaining Fred Harvey houses so famous along the Santa Fe railroad. Food offerings at the hotel will take care of dinner and morning breakfast. ---------- March 31 (Friday): Petrified Forest National Park, including the Painted Desert and some good Route 66 exhibits; Lunch at the historic El Rancho hotel and restaurant, a great fixture on Route 66. After lunch, we'll either visit the Zuni Pueblo and see the archaeological ruins of Hawikuh, where Coronado battled the Zunis in July 1540, or, we'll journey to El Morro National Monument. Time permitting, we'll take the guided tour to Sky City, which sits on top of a mesa at Acoma. The Spanish destroyed the site around 1599 but the resilient Acomas rebuilt; Overnight in Old Town Albuquerque, where you can visit the historic Plaza, and find many worthwhile restaurants for dinner on your own. ---------- April 1 (Saturday) National museum of nuclear science and History; Trinity Test Site (White Plains Missile Range) to see Ground Zero; Lunch at World Famous Owl Cafe in San Antonio; Overnight lodging and dinner at the Hon Dah hotel and casino on the White Mountain Apache reservation. ---------- April 2 (Sunday): Fort Apache, Cibicue Battlefield. A performance by the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers, a personal program for our benefit (set up personal arts and crafts tables for our purchasing and viewing pleasures); scenic views of Salt River Canyon; return to Phoenix. End of tour.