Llama Packing in Utah’s Spectacular Grand Gulch Wilderness

Field Trip

Tuesday, May 8–Sunday, May 13, 2012

Llama Packing in Utah’s Spectacular  Grand Gulch WildernessLlama Packing in Utah’s Spectacular Grand Gulch WildernessLlamas in Grand Gulch, photograph courtesy of Buckhorn Llama Company.Llama Packing in Utah’s Spectacular Grand Gulch WildernessLlamas in Grand Gulch, photograph courtesy of Buckhorn Llama Company.

Grand Gulch is a spectacular geologic feature on Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah, and was once home to Basketmaker and Ancestral Puebloan peoples. Found within this deep, winding canyon are numerous archaeological sites—exceptionally well-preserved alcove structures, pictographs, petroglyphs, and artifacts—all of which tell a fascinating story about the people who once lived here. In order to get the most out of our time, llamas from the Buckhorn Llama Company will carry our food, camping, and personal equipment down Government Trail to Polly’s Island, where we will set up camp. A comfortable base camp and knowledgeable guides allow us the freedom to explore the inner canyons of Grand Gulch and its treasure trove of archaeological secrets with just a daypack.

Our guides will be rock art and archaeological interpreter Joe Pachak, and llama wrangler and camp cook Larry Sanford. Joe has a passion for Puebloan history and culture and has documented rock art in the Four Corners area for over twenty years. He co-authored the book Spirit Windows: Native American Rock Art of Southeastern Utah for the Utah Endowment for the Humanities. SAR Vice President John Kantner will be the trip leader on this intimate adventure into the colorful serenity of this canyon wilderness.

Activity Level: Moderately strenuous, participants will be carrying daypacks, covering distances from two to four miles per day on backcountry trails. Participants should have an active lifestyle and be in good physical health. Please call the Membership Office at (505) 954-7203 if you are uncertain about your physical ability to participate.

Cost (per person): $1,400 (double occupancy)/$1,475 (single occupancy), includes all meals in Grand Gulch, tent, equipment duffel, and guide service and meal preparation, as well as overnight accommodation the night before and after the trip at the Recapture Lodge in Bluff, Utah. Transportation to and from home and meals in Bluff before and after the trip are not included.

Limited to nine participants.

Trip Registration—New Policy: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR has adopted a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 590 KB) by mail (postmarked no later than January 2, 2012). A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by January 12, 2012. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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