Santa Fe Conservation Trust


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological and geological sites on private land.


Diablo Canyon Geology Tour

Thursday, April 27 • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Half-day tour near Santa Fe, NM
$150 per person (includes lunch)

This outing will explore the volcanic story behind Diablo Canyon, and provide sweeping vistas of the Jemez Mountains and White Rock Canyon.  Geologist Kirt Kempter will lead the group on a 2.5-mile hike that climbs 450 feet in elevation, providing overlooks down into Diablo Canyon.  The geologic story from above reveals a volcano that created explosive eruptions, a cinder cone, widespread lava flows, and finally a lava lake, frozen in time.  If you have hiked Diablo Canyon before, this will certainly provide a different perspective on this remarkable feature.  Participants will meet at a designated parking area on Camino La Tierra, and should bring appropriate hiking attire and water.  Walking sticks recommended.  This hike is moderately strenuous and includes walking on rocky, uneven surfaces.

Pueblo San Marcos Archaeology Tour

Saturday, July 8, 2023 • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Half-day tour in the Galisteo Basin
$150 per person, includes lunch
Registration now open



Join us on this tour of Pueblo San Marcos with Archaeologist Tamara Stewart, Southwest Projects Director from The Archaeological Conservancy and Assistant Editor of American Archaeology. One of the largest pre-Columbian settlements in North America, Pueblo San Marcos was occupied between A.D. 1250 and the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, during which time it grew to an estimated 2,000 adobe rooms in 22 room blocks enclosing ten to twelve plazas and including the remains of an early 17th century Spanish Colonial mission and metallurgical smelting features. The site remains highly significant to Pueblo people today, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been established as a permanent archaeological preserve in southern Santa Fe County. Join this fascinating tour and hear about some of the exciting recent research conducted here and the important role the site played in the Galisteo Basin and beyond. A short, easy hike will take participants around the site’s highlights and includes walking on uneven terrain. We will meet at the Lone Butte General Store parking lot nearby on south NM 14 and carpool to the site, bringing appropriate hiking gear and water, including trekking poles as needed. Visitors are asked to be respectful of this ancestral site and, while encouraged to pick up and examine artifacts, to leave all cultural remains where they were found.

More information about this site can be found at:

Galisteo Basin Night Sky.  Photo by Tony Bonanno.

Stargazing in the Galisteo Basin

Friday, October 6 • 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Galisteo Basin, NM
Registration Opens TBD

$150 per person, includes dinner

Join us for a celebration of our dark skies at a private home on conserved land in the Galisteo Basin. Gaze through multiple telescopes, learn from astronomers and enjoy a catered dinner and beverages.



Tamara Stewart

B.S., M.A., Archaeology
Assistant Editor, American Archaeology
Southwest Projects Director, The Archaeological Conservancy

Tamara holds a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Archaeology and has more than 25 years of professional experience in the Southwest, with particular emphasis on the Galisteo Basin of southern Santa Fe County and northern and central New Mexico. She has authored and co-authored hundreds of cultural resource management reports and management plans, State and National Register nominations, and National Historic Landmark nominations. Tamara recently completed the National Register Multiple Property documentation form (MPDF) Cultural Landscape of the Greater Galisteo Basin, North-Central NM. Tamara additionally works as Southwest Projects Director and Assistant Editor for the non-profit preservation organization The Archaeological Conservancy and their nationally-distributed quarterly publication American Archaeology magazine.

Kirt Kempter

Kirt Kempter is a Fulbright Fellow and Ph.D. graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  A volcanologist and field geologist, Kirt has conducted extensive field research in Costa Rica, Mexico, and New Mexico, and has worked with the NASA astronaut training program, providing field geologic training to astronaut candidates.  His interest in global geologic processes has allowed him to lead field-oriented expeditions to destinations such as Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Africa, and Antarctica. Kirt has led educational tours for Smithsonian Journeys and National Geographic Expeditions since 1993, and greatly enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge of geology with tour participants.  On the side, Kirt particularly enjoys photography, cooking, and tennis.



Peter Lipscomb

Peter Lipscomb began his education and advocacy for sensible lighting practices nearly two decades ago. During that time, he has backed legislative actions on the state level, supported outdoor lighting ordinance efforts in Clayton and Union County, Rio Arriba County, and Taos and Taos County. As former Night Sky Program Director for the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance, he compiled the nomination packet to designate Clayton Lake State Park New Mexico’s first International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. A 2016 honoree of the Stewart Udall award, today he serves as Cerrillos Hills State park manager and conducts guided night sky tours for residents and visitors to New Mexico as owner of Astronomy Adventures.