Four Corners Hiking – Discover the American Southwest
7 days
From $ 3599
Duration7 days

Spend seven days adventuring in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. We’re a winner in the 2018 Sunset Magazine Travel Awards for Hiking Excursions. The Southwest is a region filled with incredible landscapes and captivating culture. High desert light casts a pastel-colored glow across the surrounding mountains, buttes and mesas, and centuries-old ruins stand testament to the ancient peoples who once roamed these lands. Enjoy each location at a relaxed pace, taking in new scenery and enjoying new adventures along the way. Explore mysterious Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde National Park, taking time to learn about the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who once inhabited this arid land. Breathe in fresh mountain air during a hike in beautiful San Juan National Forest. Raft down the San Juan River along the southern edge of Bears Ears National Monument while our guides keep us on the lookout for elusive Desert Bighorn Sheep. Hikes in iconic Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly National Monument showcase the photogenic landscapes, fantastic geology and Native American history of the Colorado Plateau. Enjoy the grandeur of the American Southwest in the company of like-minded adventurers—an experience not soon forgotten.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 7 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Physical Grading: Light
    Ages: 18+
Four Corners Hiking – Discover the American Southwest - Tour Map


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Day 1: Set out from Albuquerque and visit mysterious Chaco Canyon.
Our trip begins today in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Meet your guides and fellow adventurers at 7am in the lobby of our host hotel. After a brief orientation, we set out on a three-hour drive to Chaco Culture National Historic Park, located in a remote canyon and containing the most exceptional concentration of pre-Columbian ruins in the United States. With signs of habitation dating back to 7000 BC, the complex of great houses, great kivas, roads and dwellings was obviously a major settlement, yet it’s 40 miles to the nearest forest where wood could be harvested for construction. During our visit, we explore some of the most impressive ruins, walk along ancient roadways and discuss theories that attempt to explain the purpose of the site. After our exploration, we continue our drive to the historic mountain town of Durango, Colorado, our home for the next two nights. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: up to 4 miles with 300’ of elevation gain/loss; Driving time: 5 hours.
Meals: D
Day 2: Enjoy Rocky Mountain scenery on a hike on the Colorado Trail.
After a delicious breakfast, we head out of Durango and take a short drive to our trailhead in beautiful San Juan National Forest. Today’s hike in the high country takes us up switch-backed trails through dense woodlands of spruce, fir and ponderosa pine to a lookout offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. We are actually walking on the famous Colorado trail that goes 500 miles from Durango to Denver. We only travel a short section but we’ll get a flavor for what makes this trail Colorado’s premier long distance trail. After enjoying lunch at our highpoint we’ll descend back to the trailhead and transfer to Durango. The afternoon will be free for exploration of this vibrant town.
Hiking: 6 miles with 1,000’ of elevation gain/loss.
Day 3: Discover the views and cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park.
No journey into the Four Corners region would be complete without a visit to Mesa Verde National Park. This forested mesa was home to Ancestral Puebloans for 700 years before being completely abandoned around 1300 AD. Lying at 7,000 feet and containing over 600 cliff dwellings including spectacular Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde was established as a national park in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt. During our time here, we visit the park’s archaeological museum and take a scenic drive offering fantastic canyon views and short trails leading to a variety of archaeological sites. A highlight of the day will be a ranger-led hike to one of the park’s iconic cliff dwellings for an up-close, narrated exploration. After our day in the park, we drive through dramatically changing landscapes to Bluff, Utah, a small artist’s community on the banks of the San Juan River. Overnight in Bluff for the next two nights. All meals included.
Hiking: Up to 3 miles with 500’ elevation gain/loss; Driving time: 3.5 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Float down the San Juan River along Bears Ears National Monument.
This morning we prepare for a day of adventure and discovery on the San Juan River. We climb aboard our rafts and set out on a full-day scenic river trip past sandstone cliffs and through mild rapids, along the southern border of Bears Ears National Monument. Adding contrast to the orange and gold sandstone, the riparian zones and cottonwood bosques along the river provide excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife and birdwatching. Traveling downstream, we stop for short hikes to Ancestral Puebloan ruins and amazing rock art panels depicting animals, abstract symbols and humanoid figures. Eventually the river narrows, cutting a deep canyon into 300-million-year-old Pennsylvanian limestone, and the current quickens as small rapids rock our boat. Reaching the end of our journey, we’re picked up and transported back to Bluff, our route offering views of the dramatic red rock of the nearby Valley of the Gods. All meals included.
Rafting: 26 miles (approx. 9 hours).
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Hike among the spectacular buttes and mesas of Monument Valley.
Few landscapes represent the quintessential vision of the American Southwest more than those of Monument Valley. The next stop in our high desert adventure finds us walking among the valley’s towering sandstone buttes and mesas. Viewing the striking formations from a distance can be awe-inspiring, but hiking among them offers a memorable opportunity to immerse oneself in this dramatic geological wonderland and snap some great photos of the experience. Our planned hike leads us out among the iconic East and West Mittens, where the scale of the surrounding landscape is awesomely apparent. After our hike, we have lunch at the View Restaurant, enjoying fantastic panoramas of Monument Valley through the windows as we eat. This afternoon we drive to Chinle, Arizona, the gateway to Canyon de Chelly, stopping along the way for more photos of the imposing sandstone formations of Agathla Peak (El Capitan) and Church Rock. All meals included.
Hiking: 4 miles with 400’ gain/loss; Driving time: 3.5 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Explore Canyon de Chelly National Monument; hike to White House Ruins.
After breakfast in Chinle, we head east into hauntingly beautiful Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation, Canyon de Chelly represents one of the longest continually inhabited landscapes in North America. We spend the first part of our morning on the monument’s South Rim Drive, stopping at overlooks offering excellent views of 750-foot-tall Spider Rock and other picturesque sections of the gorge. After getting a bird’s-eye perspective from the rim, we hike into the canyon to White House Ruins, one of the best-preserved ruins sites in the monument. After hiking back up to the rim, we continue driving south through the Navajo Reservation to Hubbell Trading Post. A National Historic Site, the trading post has been operating since 1878 and still offers native crafts and goods for purchase. Our destination tonight is Gallup, New Mexico, where we spend the last night of our journey. All meals included.
Hiking: 3 miles with 600’ of elevation gain/loss; Driving time 3 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Visit El Morro National Monument and Acoma Pueblo (Sky City).
We head south this morning en route to El Morro National Monument, renowned for its thousands of petroglyphs and rock carvings left by Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, wagon train pioneers and travelers throughout the centuries. A hike up the Mesa Top Trail to Atsinna (“place of writings on rock”) offers a chance to see some of these remarkable carvings up close. After a guide-prepared picnic lunch, we continue on to our final stop at the Acoma Pueblo’s amazing “Sky City,” built in the 12th century atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot-high mesa. We explore the Pueblo with a native guide, visiting some of the historic buildings and learning more about the story of the Acoma people. After our week of discovery in the marvelous Four Corners, we return to Albuquerque at approximately 6pm this evening. Please do not schedule any departing flights prior to 8pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 2 miles with 250’ of elevation gain/loss; Driving time: 4 hours.


Meals: B, L



  • Six nights hotel accommodations
  • professional guide leadership
  • round trip van transportation from/to Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • all meals beginning with lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 7
  • San Juan River scenic rafting trip and related gear
  • Acoma Pueblo tour
  • national park and monument entry fees and local taxes
  • Accommodation

    Hotels, 6 nights

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