Washington College ALUMNI TRIP to the Southwest USA
Sunday, October 1, 2023 – Monday, October 9, 2023 (9 Days)

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Led by Aaron Lampman, professor of anthropology, and Julie Markin, associate professor and director of Washington College Archaeology, this trip is an exploration of the vibrant history, environment and culture of the American Southwest.  In Durango and Santa Fe we stay in centrally located 4 star hotels.  In Albuquerque we hope to stay in a newly renovated hotel in the heart of the Balloon Feista Park.  All of our tours are private, and whenever possible we have VIP passes to highlight events such as the Durango-Silverton Train and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

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In Durango, Colorado we focus on cultural and educational exploration of the Ancient Puebloans (Anasazi) at some of the premier archaeological ruin sites in North America. Chaco canyon, which is incredibly remote, was the ceremonial and spiritual center for people of the Ancient Puebloan times. Mesa Verde is a spectacular gem with hundreds of cliff dwelling ruins scattered through a series of mountain canyons.  Of course, no trip to Durango is complete without a historic train ride along the Animas River through the remote mountain passes to the historic mining town of Silverton at 11,000 feet!

After a couple of days in Durango, travelers will be immersed in some of the most important art galleries and installations in the U.S. while visiting Santa Fe, the first capital city of North America. In addition to touring the unique and beautiful architecture of the city, we will have private tours of the Museum of contemporary Native American Arts and Canyon Road – a mile of bohemian art galleries featuring the best arts in the American Southwest. Meow Wolf, which we will visit, is arguably the hottest art installation in America right now!


The final stage of the trip centers on the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Nearly a million people visit this festival each year to view early morning and twilight glow shows as 500+ balloons take to the skies.  With our VIP passes we can dine at the festival while relaxing in private viewing areas.  We’ll be sure to visit Old Town Albuquerque to explore the architecture and the unique shops and galleries.  And we’ll visit the Sandia Mountains (where Prof. Lampman’s grandparents built an adobe house and raised their kids) on the Tramway and dine in one of the fine restaurants with a view!