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September 26, 2023 @ 8:30 am – September 28, 2023 @ 6:00 pm
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Chinle, AZ
Moira Garcia

Due to high demand, we are offering this trip again in September 2023:

Intimate Journey to Navajo Nation’s Canyon de Chelly: Past and Present

DATES: September 26-28, 2023

Cost per person:
Double Occupancy: $1,000 (Includes a $100 non-refundable tax-deductible donation to SAR)
Single Occupancy: $1,125 (Includes a $100 non-refundable tax-deductible donation to SAR)

Field trip limited to 20 participants.
Priority is given to Galisteo members and up.


Join Study Guides Jeanne Simonelli, PhD, and Lupita McClanahan (Diné) on an intimate journey to the Navajo Nation’s Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona. Canyon de Chelly is one of the largest canyons in North America and has been continuously populated for over 5,000 years. It has been home to the Diné (Navajo) since the 1700s and its people played a historic role in defense of their sovereignty during the Navajo Long Walk and imprisonment at Fort Sumner in the 1860s.

We will explore the Canyon’s breathtaking beauty, landscapes, and ancient and contemporary histories with our Study Guides, Lupita and Jeanne, both former rangers for the National Park Service at Canyon de Chelly, and co-authors of Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajo of Canyon De Chelly (2008). The trip will feature a guided hike in the canyon with Lupita and a sunset jeep tour to many of the prehistoric sites including visits to ruins and petroglyphs, some which are over 1,500 years old.

Lodging and meals will be at the Thunderbird Lodge, the only lodging located within Canyon de Chelly. We will also enjoy lunch in Gallup, NM, and a visit to Window Rock, AZ and tour of the Navajo Nation Museum, as well as the historic Hubbell Trading Post.


Courtesy of Jeanne Simonelli.

Jeanne Simonelli is an applied cultural anthropologist, writer and weaver. Since 1978, she has worked and learned in Sonora and Chiapas, Mexico; upstate New York and the Southwest. She has published four books with good titles, Uprising of Hope: Sharing the Zapatista Journey to Autonomous Development (2005); Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly (2008; 1997); Too Wet To Plow: The Family Farm in Transition (1992) and Two Boys, A Girl, and Enough! (1986) and co-edited Artisans and Advocacy in the Global Market: Walking the Heart Path (with Katherine O’Donnell and June Nash). Since retiring from teaching in 2013, she has spent summers as an interpretive Park Ranger at Bandelier, Pipe Spring and Pecos National Monuments and doing development projects with a rebel organization in southern Mexico. She winters in Bisbee, Arizona, weaving at the Bisbee Fiber Arts Guild. Her goal in life is to have a novel featured in the Albuquerque Airport bookstore.

Jeanne was a SAR Seminar participant in 2012 and co-editor of Artisans and Advocacy in the Global Market: Walking the Heart Path (SAR Press, 2015). SAR Press also published the first edition of Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly (1997). A complimentary copy will be provided to all participants.

Courtesy of Lupita McClanahan.

Lupita McClanahan, member of the Diné (Navajo) Tribe. She is of Kinyaa’anii/Tower House people clan; her 2nd clan is Totshoni/Big Water clan; 3rd, Ma’deeshgishni/Coyote Pass; and 4th clan is Ta’neeszaahni/Tangle-Web clan. Her husband’s name is Jon. They have one daughter and raised two grandboys. Lupita has lived in Canyon De Chelly all her life. She has 13 years of experience working with junior high and grade school students. She taught Diné Culture, Language, and Arts and Crafts. She worked as a Park Ranger for eight years at Canyon De Chelly. She also worked with a nonprofit program called, “Trees for Mother Earth” for four years. Lupita and her husband created a tour business called, “Footpath Journeys.” She is now the owner and provides guiding and touring services at her home, Canyon De Chelly. She is a Storyteller. This gave her a chance to travel to do cultural presentations and cultural demonstrations to many schools, organizations, and universities. She believes in living in harmony and in beauty. This is what she enjoys sharing.

Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous. Lots of walking, standing for long periods, and hiking with steep inclines/declines.

Includes: Transportation in an air-conditioned coach; water and snacks; lodging for two nights; meals, tours, entry fees, gratuities, and a complimentary copy of Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly (1997).

COVID-19: In order to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff and study leaders, we ask you to abide by the protocols in place at the time of the trip. SAR guidelines can change based on the CDC and state guidelines. Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unusual times.