Events Calendar

Jun
20
Sat
Tecolote Ranch Insider Tour – CANCELED @ Tecolote Ranch
Jun 20 @ 8:45 am – 5:00 pm

Santa Fe Conservation Trust


2019 INSIDER TOURS


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological sites on private land
with archaeologist, Steve Post (see bio below).
R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email

Tecolote Ranch

Saturday, June 20, 2020 and
Friday, July 10, 2020
8:45 AM – 5:00 PM
Full-day tour near Las Vegas, NM

We will be traveling part of this 9,150-acre ranch by vehicle and then wandering and exploring sites where human history has left a unique set of footprints. Santa Fe Trail wagon wheel tracks and a wagon stop are still visible amid old rock ruins of 19th century selements. Artifacts from ancient hunter-gatherers, Puebloan ancestors, and Plains Indians are still being found. Tecolote Peak, a prominent landmark on the ranch, was an essential guidepost for settlers and bandits alike when they marched the Santa Fe Trail during the 19th century.

Led by archaeologist Steve Post & historian James Blackshear, with ranch foreman Rowdy Robinson.

$250 per person includes transportation, tour, and lunch


ABOUT THE GUIDES

Steve Post

Steve has worked as an archaeologist for 43 years in New Mexico, formerly Deputy Director of the Museum of New Mexico, Office of Archaeological Studies. His research spans 10,000 years of New Mexico’s past with a special interest in the archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region for the last 27 years. Most recently his studies have focused on 7,000 years of Archaic hunter-gatherer lifeways and the introduction of farming and Ancestral Puebloan culture into the Northern Rio Grande.

 

James Blackshear

James Blackshear has written two books on the Southwest, one about land grant history in New Mexico entitled Honor and Defiance: A History of the Las Vegas Land Grant in New Mexico, the other a social history of life on frontier forts, as well as an investigation of the Hispanic traders known as Comancheros. Blackshear has published articles about similar subjects in both the New Mexico Historical Review and the Military History of the West, and occasionally reviews books for scholastic journals. He is also published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He teaches U.S. History at the UNT Dallas Campus, and Texas History at the Plano Campus of Collin College in North Texas. His current research includes the Comanchero trade, Comanchero trails, and the links between New Mexican mountain people and Plains Indians. He and his wife purchased land in Pendaries north of Las Vegas, NM in 1999, and built a cabin, where they spend a couple of months each summer.

 

 

Rowdy Robinson

Tecolote Ranch Foreman and Master Storyteller.

Rowdy Robinson is a native of Cajun Country in Louisiana. He worked for a short time in construction and oil fields. He went on to work in the power industry where he met his wife of 21 years, Ruby. He’s also a talented welder. He became Ranch Manager of Tecolote Ranch, following in the footsteps of his father in law, Bud who was ranch manager for over 60 years. While he can’t sing and dance, he is a heck of a rider and roper.

 

 


R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email
Jul
10
Fri
Tecolote Ranch Insider Tour – CANCELED @ Tecolote Ranch
Jul 10 @ 8:45 am – 5:00 pm

Santa Fe Conservation Trust


2019 INSIDER TOURS


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological sites on private land
with archaeologist, Steve Post (see bio below).
R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email

Tecolote Ranch

Saturday, June 20, 2020 and
Friday, July 10, 2020
8:45 AM – 5:00 PM
Full-day tour near Las Vegas, NM

We will be traveling part of this 9,150-acre ranch by vehicle and then wandering and exploring sites where human history has left a unique set of footprints. Santa Fe Trail wagon wheel tracks and a wagon stop are still visible amid old rock ruins of 19th century selements. Artifacts from ancient hunter-gatherers, Puebloan ancestors, and Plains Indians are still being found. Tecolote Peak, a prominent landmark on the ranch, was an essential guidepost for settlers and bandits alike when they marched the Santa Fe Trail during the 19th century.

Led by archaeologist Steve Post & historian James Blackshear, with ranch foreman Rowdy Robinson.

$250 per person includes transportation, tour, and lunch


ABOUT THE GUIDES

Steve Post

Steve has worked as an archaeologist for 43 years in New Mexico, formerly Deputy Director of the Museum of New Mexico, Office of Archaeological Studies. His research spans 10,000 years of New Mexico’s past with a special interest in the archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region for the last 27 years. Most recently his studies have focused on 7,000 years of Archaic hunter-gatherer lifeways and the introduction of farming and Ancestral Puebloan culture into the Northern Rio Grande.

 

James Blackshear

James Blackshear has written two books on the Southwest, one about land grant history in New Mexico entitled Honor and Defiance: A History of the Las Vegas Land Grant in New Mexico, the other a social history of life on frontier forts, as well as an investigation of the Hispanic traders known as Comancheros. Blackshear has published articles about similar subjects in both the New Mexico Historical Review and the Military History of the West, and occasionally reviews books for scholastic journals. He is also published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He teaches U.S. History at the UNT Dallas Campus, and Texas History at the Plano Campus of Collin College in North Texas. His current research includes the Comanchero trade, Comanchero trails, and the links between New Mexican mountain people and Plains Indians. He and his wife purchased land in Pendaries north of Las Vegas, NM in 1999, and built a cabin, where they spend a couple of months each summer.

 

 

Rowdy Robinson

Tecolote Ranch Foreman and Master Storyteller.

Rowdy Robinson is a native of Cajun Country in Louisiana. He worked for a short time in construction and oil fields. He went on to work in the power industry where he met his wife of 21 years, Ruby. He’s also a talented welder. He became Ranch Manager of Tecolote Ranch, following in the footsteps of his father in law, Bud who was ranch manager for over 60 years. While he can’t sing and dance, he is a heck of a rider and roper.

 

 


R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email
Oct
3
Sat
Galisteo Spring Insider Tour @ Galisteo Basin Preserve
Oct 3 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Santa Fe Conservation Trust


2019 INSIDER TOURS


Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites

Rare opportunities to explore archaeological sites on private land
with archaeologist, Steve Post (see bio below).
R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email

Galisteo Spring

Saturday, October 3, 2020
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Half-day tour in the Galisteo Basin Preserve,
Santa Fe, NM

The Galisteo Basin has been continuously occupied by a diverse collection of peoples and cultures since prehistoric times. Galisteo Spring — the most significant water source for wildlife in the 740-square-mile Galisteo Basin — has been used for millennia by many cultural groups who have passed through or settled there. You will hike to the spring and explore the tangible remnants and rich history of these cultures.  Co-leading this tour will be Jan-Willem Jansens (see bio below).

$150 per person includes tour and lunch


ABOUT THE GUIDES

Steve Post

Steve has worked as an archaeologist for 43 years in New Mexico, formerly Deputy Director of the Museum of New Mexico, Office of Archaeological Studies. His research spans 10,000 years of New Mexico’s past with a special interest in the archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region for the last 27 years. Most recently his studies have focused on 7,000 years of Archaic hunter-gatherer lifeways and the introduction of farming and Ancestral Puebloan culture into the Northern Rio Grande.

 

Jan-Willem Jansens

Joining us for the Galisteo Spring tour will be Jan-Willem Jansens, owner of Ecotone Landscape Planning, LLC, specializing in restoration of forest and woodland ecology, watershed health, and collaborative stewardship. He has worked for over 25 years on forest and watershed conservation throughout northern New Mexico as co-founder of the Galisteo Watershed Partnership.

 


R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email
Oct
4
Sun
Bears Ears Guided Camping Trip @ Bears Ears National Monument
Oct 4 – Oct 9 all-day

Outings and Explorations

Immerse Yourself in the Canyons, Cultural Sites & Rock Art of Southeastern Utah’s Cedar Mesa


When
Sunday, October 4 to Friday, October 9, 2020
Price:  $960         Deposit:  $200
($460 tax-deductible)

Leader:  Linda Siegle

Book Now
Total Capacity:  Ten People, Seven Available


Get ready for a five night camping trip with four days of hikes and explorations at Cedar Mesa, part of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah!

Indian Creek Canyon and Sixshooter Peaks

Led by our experienced guide, Linda Siegle, you’ll be amazed at the prolific rock art that scales the canyon walls.  We’ll hike through the southwest’s most colorful canyons to find hidden ruins.  During the evenings, see the Milky Way blazing a trail across a night sky that the ancestors of this ancient place revered.

  • It’s a wonderful opportunity to take pictures, explore a magnificent setting and learn the stories told by the land.
  • Delicious meals are provided by the leaders and prepared by all.
  • Van transportation from Santa Fe is included and also provided from the campground to all the trailheads.

Background

House on Fire ruin at Cedar Mesa

Part of the mission of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust is to ignite people’s passion for nature.  What better way to do it than by exploring the numerous canyons and cultural sites at Cedar Mesa at Bears Ears National Monument!

People have been living in the Bears Ears region from as far back as 8,500 years ago.  The more permanent residents, the ancestral Puebloans, began occupying the area at leave 2.500 years ago, and vestiges of their kivas, towers, dwellings, pottery and weapons still remain on Cedar Mesa.

Newspaper Rock

The petroglyphs and pictographs date back 5,000 years.  Some protected walls of the canyons feature artwork spanning the range of styles and traditions showing every style from the archaic to the more recent rock art left by the Ancestral Puebloans, Ute, Navajo and Paiute peoples.

The geology of southeastern Utah is outstanding.  You will see high mountain tops to broad mesas, winding canyons, hoodoos standing guard, stone arches, natural bridges and verdant wetlands.  Fossils on Cedar Mesa remind us that 300 million years ago, this area was once a tropical sea with a thriving coral reef.  Cedar Mesa itself was part of a seaside desert where large, mammal-like reptiles burrowed into the sand to escape the heat at the end of the Permian period.

Valley of the Gods

From earth to sky, Cedar Mesa let us experience what the ancestors revered:  an area capable of providing subsistence for an incredible diversity of plants and animals, where water could be captured and filtered from passing storms.  The Navajo refer such places as “Nahodishgish,” or places to be left alone.  What a blessing to be able to visit this amazing place with a guide who has been exploring the hundreds of canyons for over three decades.

Monarch cave ruin

Linda says our hikes will take us into some enormous alcoves shaped by towering sandstone walls.  In these canyons are vibrant riparian communities for hundreds of species including golden eagles. And the diverse soils and microclimates of the canyons host a huge variety of vegetation.  Keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep, cottontails, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, shrews, tassel-eared squirrels or at night one of the 15 species of bats.  Linda said they once saw bear tracks in South Mule Canyon.

In 2016, President Barack Obama declared that 1.3 million acres of this amazing terrain become the Bear’s Ears National Monument.  In 2017, the current administration signed a proclamation reducing it to just under 202,000 acres, opening much of it to mineral and geothermal leasing.  Still in litigation, come with us in October and experience the wonders of this landscape and let it ignite your own passion for nature!

October is a perfect time for visiting Cedar Mesa.  The days are cooler, and the nights are perfect for bundling up in your sleeping bag.  It is generally dry, but be prepared for the swings of nature that can occur in the high desert.

Itinerary

Our goal is to hike different canyons each day to view the incredible geology and explore Ancestral Puebloan dwellings, looking for rock art everywhere.

Our day starts early to fix breakfast and prepare lunches for the day’s hike. We will drive as a group to each day’s trailhead which will take about 30 minutes. At the end of the day, we will return to camp by approximately 4:00 p.m., perhaps a bit later some days. If time allows we may also include a visit to the incredible museum at Edge of the Cedars State Park that features one of the most impressive collections of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts in the region.

Hikes (dependent on weather and group interests/abilities) may include

Procession Panel & Monarch Cave (Comb Ridge) – The trail to Procession Panel climbs up slickrock to the top of Comb Ridge where you enjoy great views and will see over 170 petroglyph figures including the main panel showing a large group of people side by side in a procession.  Approximately 3 miles long with 650-foot gain.

South Mule Canyon – This hike along a canyon wash and benches showcases rock art and numerous ruins, sheltered in alcoves and beneath overhangs along the canyon’s walls. The trail heads up the wide shallow canyon, with walls composed of alternating layers of red and white sandstone, which are initially 80-ft. high but rise to heights of 500-ft. toward the upper reaches, about 5 miles from the trailhead.

Citadel Ruin – This 6-mile round trip hike leads to an impressive fortification that sits at the end of a peninsula. The only access to the ruin is via a land bridge that runs the length of the peninsula and requires some scrambling down a section of slick rock but ultimately leads to the beautifully preserved Citadel Ruin and beautiful vistas all along the way.

West Fork of Upper Butler Wash & Cave Tower – This 3 mile hike in Upper Butler Wash, partially shaded by cottonwood trees, leads to four sets of ruins and is lesser known than many other hikes in the region. With ruins along both sides of the wash, binoculars may be helpful to view across to inaccessible areas. The Cave Tower hike is a short 1 ½ mile trek to a site where you’ll see the remains of the few towers still standing in all of Cedar Mesa.  With no obvious villages or dwellings nearby, the reason for these towers, possibly defensive or lookout posts, remains unclear.

Wolfman PanelThe Wolfman Panel is a petroglyph site which consists of multiple images that were precisely inscribed into the dark patina of the cliff. There are also a few remaining walls of a cliff dwelling across the wash that are passed on the hike.

Sand Island & Upper Sand Island – Petroglyphs at the site include Archaic, Ancestral Puebloan, Navajo, Ute and perhaps a couple of wooly mammoths and a bison from the Clovis period. This comparison of the wide-ranging styles of images at one location is quite unusual.

Trip Logistics

Transportation: SFCT will provide transportation in two vans from Santa Fe to Bears Ears, or participants have the option of driving their own vehicles and joining the group at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station. We will then travel approximately 1 mile to a primitive BLM campground.

Gear and Food:   Participants will need to bring their own tents, sleeping bags/pads, day packs, camp chairs (please see Equipment List) as well as clothing for all weather, rain gear and broken-in hiking boots.  SFCT will provide all food, water, cooking equipment, fuel and first aid supplies.  The campground is primitive with outdoor latrines and no running water – though water is available at the Ranger Station. Participants may want to bring a solar shower to clean up after hiking.

SFCT will try to accommodate food preferences and allergies (see Meals) but please inform SFCT in advance of any food restrictions.  All participants will share in meal preparation and clean up duties during the week. Participants will prepare and pack their lunches and snacks each day to carry, along with ample water (3+ liters), in their day packs.

Hike Specifics

The trip includes incredible scenery and to fully enjoy it we will be hiking up to 6 miles each day. Hiking in the desert can be challenging due to sand, mud, brush, and heat, and our hikes will be moderately strenuous.   The terrain we will cross will include canyon bottoms that may be muddy and thick with brush, and sandstone which may have a steep angle or be near edges, thus requiring a good sense of balance and minimal fear of heights. Some scrambling over rocks may be required to reach ruins.

Our day packs may weigh as much as 20 pounds since we each must carry our lunch and snacks for the day, plenty of water, and other personal items.

To fully enjoy this trip, participants must understand the physical challenges involved. All participants should be reasonably fit and may want to train for the hikes.  Please speak to SFCT staff if you have concerns about physical limitations or hike requirements.

Trip Reservations

Space is limited for this trip to ensure your spot please contact SFCT at (505) 989-7019 or email . A $200 deposit is required to hold your reservation with the remaining balance of the trip fee due on September 4th (30 days prior to departure.)  Of the full $960, $460 is tax-deductible. Cancellations made at least 30 days prior to departure will result in a complete refund, after September 4th your deposit will not be refunded.

In addition to your deposit, upon reservation all participants are required to complete and submit the SFCT Trip Participant Release form.


Additional Information

President Barack Obama’s Proclamation Establishing the 1.3 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in 2016:  https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/2016bearsears.prc_.rel_.pdf

President Donald Trump’s Proclamation Cutting Bears Ears National Monument to 201,876 acres in 2017:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-modifying-bears-ears-national-monument/

Bears Ears National Monument Official Website:  https://www.blm.gov/visit/bears-ears-national-monument


 

Oct
16
Fri
Star Gazing Party – CANCELLED
Oct 16 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Night sky in the Galisteo Basin. Photo Credit: Tony Bonanno.

CANCELLED

Stargazing Parties
in the Galisteo Basin

Friday, April 24 and
Friday, October 16
6:30 pm – 10 pm