Explore the fascinating cultural history of the Uintah Fremont who once lived in remote canyons and bluffs in and around the Green River of northern Utah. Hike to awe-inspiring panels of rock imagery set in the beautiful sandstone country of what is known today as Dinosaur National Monument. Learn different perspectives about who the Uintah people were, who the descendent people are today, and how to identify cultural signatures in the archaeological record. We’ll also explore Northern Ute lands to learn about present-day lifeways and a vibrant cultural history that intersected the ancestral Uintah Fremont culture.
- Spend quality time in Dinosaur National Monument hiking to Fremont rock image panels, as we come to understand the resilience and ingenuity of ancestral peoples
- Enjoy a small group size and exclusive access to ancestral sites on private lands
- Engage with Ute tribal scholars to gain multi-cultural perspectives on past and present lifeways
What to Expect
Travel seminar limited to 10 participants
Meals, lodging, and transportation provided
(B, L, D) indicates meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sunday, September 10: Arrive in Vernal, Utah
Gather in the evening to meet the group and hear presentations from our scholars to set the stage for the upcoming week. Opening dinner to follow in one of Vernal’s downtown restaurants. Overnight Holiday Inn Express, Vernal (D)
Monday, September 11: Dinosaur National Monument
Travel to Dinosaur National Monument to explore a variety of petroglyph panels and pithouse communities in the Cub Creek Archaeological District. Hike the area to experience big views and perplexing geology that house elaborate petroglyphs such as “mountain spirits” and “masked dancers.” Finish the day with exhibits at Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Visitor Center. Overnight at Holiday Inn Express, Vernal (B, L, D)
Tuesday, September 12: McConkie Ranch
Head out to Dry Fork to spend the day at a private ranch, exploring beautiful sandstone bluffs that line the valley. Experience the vast array of rock imagery that adorns sandstone walls for miles. Tour the Ranch archaeological museum containing collections of pottery, baskets, and a preserved pithouse. End the day visiting the Uintah County Heritage Museum with its Fremont and Northern Ute exhibits and examine artifacts with our scholars. Overnight at Holiday Inn Express, Vernal (B, L, D)
Wednesday, September 13: Ashley Creek
Set out for Ashley Creek where we hike and explore the bluffs and valley for most of the day. This was an area intensely used by ancestral peoples as they hunted, foraged, and farmed in this rich area. Head back to town for an evening lecture by one of our Ute scholars. Overnight Holiday Inn Express, Vernal (B, L, D)
Thursday, September 14: Northern Ute Territory
Learn about the Northern Ute and various bands that live in Northern Utah. We’ll venture to far flung places with our Ute representatives to experience the unique rock imagery and cultural sites that capture the history, stories and culture of Ute in the region (pending Tribal permission). Prepare to be out all day and end with a closing dinner celebration. Overnight Holiday Inn Express, Vernal (B, L, D)
Friday, September 15: Departures from Vernal
Shuttles offered to the Vernal airport as needed. (B)
Is this program right for me?
We travel to remote areas of Dinosaur National Monument and the area surrounding Vernal, Utah. The itinerary is designed for energetic people in good health who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure. Expect moderate to light hiking consisting of multiple short hikes to fill our days. A couple of the hikes will be up to two miles long on uneven and sometimes rocky terrain. Some routes may be steep for short sections and have loose rock and no shade. Some hikes are alongside cliff faces and may go through narrow corridors. While staff members are available for assistance, you should be comfortable using your hands to steady yourself and be able to take steps higher than a standard staircase step to navigate around boulders and bedrock.
This program involves van travel to access sites and trail heads. Some days will include van rides of one hour each way. Other days will include van rides that last less than 30 minutes with multiple stops.
Team spirit and a good sense of humor are vital! If you have questions about your ability to handle this sort of challenge, please contact us.
The program begins and ends in Vernal, Utah. We are based out of one hotel, The Holiday Inn Express, for the week.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How strenuous is the program? This program includes short, moderate hikes where you will carry a pack with water, a snack, and any other items such as camera and sunscreen. Many stops will be short where you only need your water and your sunhat. Binoculars are very handy for those who opt out of scrambling up close to view the rock art.
How long are the hikes on the trip? Our longest planned hike is approximately two miles. Some access is a short walk from the van.
How much elevation gain do the hikes have? A couple hikes involve an elevation gain of 200 feet.
What time does the program start on the first day? We will gather at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Vernal on the first day. Check in between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. under your name.
What time does the program end on the last day? Plan your departure for anytime in the morning. Staff will offer shuttles to the airport as needed.
Can I drive myself during the program? We prefer that you travel with us, as a group in Crow Canyon vehicles each day.
What if I have a dietary restriction? Breakfasts are a buffet at the hotel. Lunches will be picnic or bagged sandwiches. Dinners will be at restaurants in Vernal. We will do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions where we pre-order food.
This program requires special permission from Dinosaur National Monument, Vernal BLM, and private land owners