Breakfast: 7:30–8:15 a.m.
Morning activity: 8:30 a.m.–noon
Lunch: noon–12:45 p.m.
Afternoon activity: 1:30–about 4:30 p.m. The end time varies somewhat, depending on the day’s activities.
Dinner: 5:30–6:15 p.m.
Evening program: 6:30 p.m.
Shanna Diederichs (B.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado) is the director of the Basketmaker Communities Project, Crow Canyon’s current field initiative. Before joining Crow Canyon in 2010, she worked as an archaeologist throughout the Four Corners area, including at Mesa Verde National Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument. But her true passion is the beginnings of Pueblo culture, so she considers herself the luckiest archaeologist in the Southwest, now that she’s working at some of the earliest Pueblo sites in the region. In her spare time, Shanna loves hiking and traveling to places as far flung as Alaska, Brazil, and Egypt.
Caitlin Sommer (M.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado) is a supervisory archaeologist at Crow Canyon. She’s worked at the Center since 2010, instructing students in proper field methods and techniques—she likes teaching people, especially those who have never done archaeology, how to “read” dirt! Her research interests include Southwest and Great Basin archaeology, with a focus on understanding connections among different groups of people through time and across space. When not doing archaeology, she enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and being with her husband, dog, cat, and guinea pig.
Kari Schleher (Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico) is Crow Canyon’s laboratory manager. She teaches artifact analysis to students and adults in Crow Canyon programs. Her specialty is the analysis and interpretation of Pueblo pottery; she is particularly interested in production technology and what pottery can tell us about connections between different groups of people who lived in the past. Kari enjoys traveling, especially to learn about cultures around the world, and she has worked on archaeological projects all over the American Southwest and in Peru. In her spare time, she likes to hike and make jewelry.
Michael Lorusso (B.A., Anthropology, Southern Illinois University) began working at Crow Canyon in 2012 as a lab intern and returned full-time in 2014. As laboratory education coordinator, he develops and teaches lab education programs, processes and analyzes artifacts, and assists with curation concerns. He also serves as Crow Canyon’s internship coordinator. Michael’s research interests include the central Mesa Verde region, ceramic design analysis, issues related to the curation of archaeological materials, and public archaeology. He enjoys hiking and exploring the greater Four Corners region, skiing, and live music.
Meet all of our archaeologists and educators.
Students stay in our comfortable cabins, which are new in 2016. The cabins have been designed to be energy efficient and to blend well with the landscape. Students may also be housed in our hogans (Navajo-style log cabins). Both accommodations have bunk beds; students and chaperons must bring their own bedding and towels. Bathrooms (with showers) are located down the hall in each cabin. If your group is staying in the hogans, there is a separate "superhogan"
with men's and women's bathrooms with four shower stalls in each. You may want to assign shower times (for example, morning or evening) to alleviate crowding.
Housing is assigned by Crow Canyon on the basis of the number of groups on campus, the numbers of students and chaperons in each group, and the facilities available. We will do our best to honor requests for the cabins or hogans but cannot guarantee specific accommodations. The cabins are coed, but individual rooms are not; your child's roommates will be other students of the same sex. Chaperons stay in separate rooms in the cabins and provide supervision. We cannot guarantee that chaperons will have accommodations to themselves, nor do we provide single‐person accommodations.
Crow Canyon offers a varied and delicious menu, served cafeteria‐style in the lodge. Most special diets can be accommodated. Lemonade, water, iced tea, and fruit are available at all times. Off-campus lunches (for example, at the archaeological site and at Mesa Verde National Park) are served picnic‐style. Soft drinks, water, and juice are available from vending machines located behind the lodge. If you do not
want students to use the machines, you must set your own rules and let students know before your arrival.
You may choose to bring your own snacks, such as fruit or microwave popcorn. If you allow students to
bring their own snacks, you must collect all snacks and store them in the kitchen in a space that will be assigned to you. Food and drinks (other than water) are not permitted in any cabin room or hogan at any time.
There are no laundry facilities on campus. You and your students should pack enough clothing to last the duration of your stay.
Crow Canyon’s 170-acre campus, located just outside the town of Cortez, features a large meadow, pinyon- and juniper-covered hillsides, and spectacular views of Mesa Verde and the La Plata Mountains. A short nature trail winds through the woods. Buildings on campus include the lodge, where students take their meals; the cabins and hogans, where students are housed; and the Gates Archaeology Laboratory, which houses classrooms, offices, and a small gift shop in addition to the lab. Two learning centers—one a life-size replica of a seventh-century pithouse, the other of a twelfth-century pueblo—allow students to “experience” life in the ancient past.
Crow Canyon is located amidst majestic mountains, mesas, and canyons about 4 miles northwest of the town of Cortez in southwestern Colorado. We are 15 miles west of the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park and 40 miles northeast of the Four Corners Monument, where the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet.
Driving to Crow Canyon
Major highways link Cortez to cities in all directions. We are 50 miles west of Durango, Colorado; 400 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado; 250 miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico; 400 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona; and 350 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Traveling by Air
The Durango–La Plata County Airport, located about 80 minutes from campus, is served by United Express and Frontier Airlines via Denver and by US Airways via Phoenix.
For information on motorcoach transportation from Durango, you may call Herrera Coaches at 505.242.1108 or USA Bus Charter at 800.979.4498. (Note: Crow Canyon has no formal arrangement with Herrera Coaches or USA Bus Charter.)
Transportation While You Are Here
Crow Canyon provides local transportation to sites, the Anasazi Heritage Center, and Mesa Verde National Park. However, if you drive or come in a motorcoach that will be in Cortez during your stay, you may want to use your own vehicle. Your assistance provides us with greater scheduling flexibility (see page 2 of Program Arrangements Form in “Required Forms for Group Leader”).
The following tuition rates are based on a minimum of 10 students. Groups with fewer than 10 students will be charged for the minimum of 10.
Scholarships are available for local and American Indian schools.
For more information, contact a sales and enrollment specialist.
||Cost per student
||Cost per required chaperon
|Five-Day Field Archaeology Program
|Five-Day Archaeology Program
|Four-Day Archaeology Program
|Three-Day Archaeology Program
|Two-Day Archaeology Program
|One-Day Field Trip
||No charge for chaperons
*Price varies, depending on how many nights are spent on campus.
Schools are required to provide their own chaperons, which may include teachers and parents. Please
note that Crow Canyon is a licensed child-care camp (license number 46348) governed by State of
Colorado regulations. We are required by state law to adhere to the following chaperon-to-student ratios:
- Children 8–10 years of age (grades 4–5): 1 adult chaperon to every 8 children
- Children 11–13 years of age (grades 6–7): 1 adult chaperon to every 10 children
- Children 14–18 years of age (grades 8–12): 1 adult chaperon to every 12 children
Contingent upon available space, schools may bring more than the required number of chaperons.
Additional chaperons pay the student rate.
Tuition and fees cover lodging based on shared accommodations, meals as agreed upon in the final
contract, entry fees, and permits. Transportation to and from Cortez, Colorado, is the school’s responsibility.
A nonrefundable deposit of $200 to $1,000 (depending on program length) is required to secure your
group’s reservation and can be made by check or credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express,
or Discover Card).
All requests for program cancellations must be made in writing.
Crow Canyon Sales and Enrollment Specialist
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
23390 Road K
Cortez, CO 81321-9408
Cancellations become effective on the date received and will result in the
forfeiture of the deposit and possibly the assessment of additional penalties
and fees. Complete details provided at registration and in the program contract.