Navajo Mt. Culture & Archaeology

Camping with truck support, vehicle tours and short hikes with Navajo guides Eric and Charlene Atene

  • Where: Navajo Mountain, Arizona/Utah Border
  • When: April 15, 2014 through April 19, 2014
  • Number of Days/Nights: 5 days, 4 nights with 1st night lodge stay and orientation
  • Time: Evening day 1 through afternoon last day
  • Group Size: Minimum 4, maximum 9
  • Age Group: Adults and youth 16+
  • Deadline for Signup: 1 week prior
  • Cost per Person: $1250
  • Deposit: $300 nonrefundable, applies to total fee; full balance due 30 days prior
  • Notes:
    • Trip meets and ends in Bluff, UT
    • Call to arrange a custom private trip for different dates for 2014.
    • Click here to read our cancellation policy.

Rare Opportunity to Explore Navajo Mountain and Dinė Culture

navmtnhoganJoin Navajo guides Eric and Charlene Atene and CFI Naturalist Guides on this hiking trip at Navajo Mountain with a focus on the traditional Dinė way of life. Navajo Mountain lies near the Arizona and Utah border and rises to a height over 10,000 feet. Navajo Mountain is considered sacred to the Dinė or Navajo people and they call this place Naatsis’aan, which means “Head of the Earth Woman.”

.Our trip meets the first evening at Recapture Lodge in Bluff, Utah for orientation. We travel the next day to Navajo Mountain, highlighting geography, geology and historical features along the way including a short hike late afternoon to a major ruin site.  We will spend the first night the guest hogan of Rose Atene, traditional Navajo, basket maker and Eric’s mom. The next few days we hike in the area south of Navajo Mountain, and hike with day packs only. We will see prehistoric sites dating from Archaic to Pueblo III Ancestral Puebloan in age as well as old picturesque hogans, springs, plants and grazing areas still used by the Dine today.   We will get up on the mountain for one of the most fantastic views on the Colorado Plateau and explore the maze-like wonderland that lies between the Mountain and the San Juan River.  We have a rare opportunity to hike where few Anglos do.

This trip’s itinerary remains somewhat exploratory in nature, varying with time of year and interests. From Rose’s hogan, a truck takes our personal duffel, and all we need for a comfortable two nights base camp in the canyons. We spend two nights in this spectacular location.  We have options for half day hikes to cultural sites the next day.  The first days hike is about six miles steadily downhill with shorter optional hikes out from base camp The difficulty level of the hiking is  “moderate” both on sandy trails, old roads and cross country.  The last morning we hike about two miles out visiting another archaeological site and meeting the CFI van after lunch. We return to Bluff by 5pm the last day.

“I had long wanted to explore the Navajo Mountain area. This trip turned out to be the perfect way to do it I was again in touch with the Colorado Plateau but experienced a new part of it…Highlights of the program? Eric Atene and Charlene Valentine Atene! They and the family members we met made the land come alive in a way that would be impossible without Navajo knowledge and perspective. The place and the people are woven together… And the congeniality of the group. I enjoyed this group, both guests and staff. ” – Tom Wylie, 2011 participant and National Park Service retiree, Denver, Colorado.