Crow Canyon

Turquoise Trails: Southwest Indian Arts

Southwest Indian Art


Turquoise Trails: Southwest Indian Arts 


Turquoise is a rare gemstone of great historical and cultural significance in the American Southwest. The stone is considered to be a representation of purity and protection, praised by local medicine men for its healing powers. This tour delves into the deep cultural significance of this icon of the desert Southwest as well as the effort involved in utilizing turquoise within artwork and jewelry.

Join members of the Tanner family—a trading post dynasty—as we explore the artistic, economic, and sacred value of turquoise in American Indian culture. We visit the newly renovated Turquoise Museum, and we will be granted exclusive access to a turquoise mine. Throughout the trip, renowned artists who specialize in inlay and lapidary work join us to demonstrate the artistic processes of using turquoise. Trips to local Pueblo communities provide an authentic glimpse of the lives of modern American Indian artists. You will even have the opportunity to create your own turquoise bead as a souvenir of the trip! This program will give you a deeper appreciation for the importance of turquoise in the art and jewelry of the Southwest.


  • Engage in a behind-the-scenes tour of the New Mexico Tiffany Turquoise Mine and learn about the variations of turquoise that the mine produces.
  • Visit the Turquoise Museum at the newly renovated Gertrude Zachary mansion for a turquoise lecture and tour of the museum. 
  • Spend time with present-day turquoise miners and world famous Native American lapidary artists.


To our valued participants: We appreciate your support and welcome your registration in our programs. Given the ongoing uncertainty around social distancing and travel guidelines, we are no longer requiring deposits upon registration. This will allow a smooth process for both our travelers and our organization if it becomes necessary to cancel additional programs due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you have questions about this policy for our Cultural Exploration programs, please contact Tayler Hasbrouck at 970-564-4366 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. With questions about any of our other on-campus programs please contact Laura Brown at 970-564-4346 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Turquoise Trails: Southwest Indian Arts

  1. Scholars
  2. Accommodations
  3. Is This Trip for You?
  4. Terms & Policies

travel_abroad Joe and Cindy Tanner are among the best-known American Indian art traders in the Southwest. Joe is a fourth-generation “old-school” trader and an authority on turquoise sources, history, and use. He and his wife, Cindy, have helped advance the careers of some of the most recognizable Southwest Indian artists.

travel_abroadEmerald Tanner is a fifth-generation trader and the daughter of Joe and Cindy Tanner. She loves cultivating relationships between collectors, artists, and colleagues. Emerald has offered education seminars on turquoise and contemporary American Indian jewelry for archaeological groups, museums, and collectors.

Hotel Parq Central

Locally owned and beautifully restored, Hotel Parq Central is a luxury boutique hotel steeped in the history of Albuquerque. Built-in 1926, the hotel features Italian-style architecture, sleek stone tiling, and inviting décor, as well as a garden, a rooftop lounge, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Guests enjoy indulgent breakfasts and complimentary airport and local shuttles.

La Fonda on the Plaza

Step into the past and experience the splendor of the American Southwest at La Fonda on the Plaza, the only Santa Fe hotel situated on the city’s historic plaza. Experience the allure of old-world charm at one of Santa Fe’s best hotels, where tasteful, modern conveniences blend with the warmth of New Mexican style. Enjoy the vibrant decor and authentic New Mexican architecture along with amenities including Wi-Fi, concierge services, a complimentary business center, and more.

SpringHill Suites

The newest all-suite hotel in Gallup, SpringHill Suites prides itself on its level of service that embodies the warm characteristics of Native culture. Visitors can indulge with drinks in the plush, renovated lobby before departing for bed in a lifestyle suite. Amenities include an indoor pool, new gym, and a freshly made breakfast every morning. Modern accommodations will allow you to wake up refreshed and focused.


This is a very mild program with no long hikes required. However, there will be time spent standing as you explore museums and turquoise mines. There is the potential for a large amount of sitting as you attend presentations and talk with community members. Please consider your ability to sit for long periods of time and your ability to walk through even terrain in controlled environments.


The elevation level for this trip is 7000 feet. We recommend ramping up your exercise regime prior to arrival and arriving a day or two early to acclimate, especially if coming from sea level. Adequate hydration and time for acclimation will minimize most effects of altitude. If you have any questions, please contact your physician.

Remote Facilities

Facilities and amenities will be available for the majority of the trip. Anticipate bus rides of up to three hours on some bumpy roads, with planned restroom stops along the way. You will be visiting some rural areas where the facilities may be limited; however, effort will be made to keep the trip as comfortable as possible.

Cultural Sensitivity

Elements of this trip include visits to rural areas, where traditional American Indian families welcome us as guests into their homes. These homes can range from very simple accommodations (i.e., toilet facilities may be an outhouse) to those with fully modern amenities. Please know that we practice “visiting with respect” with each and every family, regardless of their provided amenities. We will traverse a sacred landscape—the ancestral homeland of descendant communities. Guidelines will be provided to help you prepare for this journey. Alcohol is strictly prohibited on tribal lands.

For further information on the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policies please click here. You will find details on tuition, cancellations, travel insurance, accommodations, medical information, and more.

Tuition & Registration

Single Tuition
Member*: $5,510
Non-Member: $5,635

Shared Tuition
Member*: $5,000
Non-Member: $5,125

Deposit (due at time of registration): $2,000
*If you are interested in becoming a Crow Canyon member, please contact our Enrollment Specialists.

To Register:
Call: 800-422-8975, ext. 457
E-mail: [email protected]