We’ll head towards Payson, with a stop for coffee and goodies, on our way to Heber, Arizona, where we’ll enjoy lunch on self at the award-winning Red Onion Restaurant. Casual and affordable, the Red Onion’s menu offers daily specials, along with delicious burgers, homemade chili, salads and more. After lunch we’ll travel to Farmington, New Mexico, where we’ll check into our hotel—our headquarters for the next two nights. We’ll take some time for a refresh before gathering for our own Happy Hour and carry-out dinner from Los Hermanito’s, serving delicious New Mexico-style food, and it’s all included.
We’ll enjoy breakfast, included at the hotel, then it’s back on the bus, headed for Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco Canyon is home to the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. The park preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas in the United States. Between A.D. 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction. Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a fifty-year drought commencing in 1130. Chaco Canyon is a World Heritage Site and considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people, who maintain oral accounts of their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to the land. It is one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, included, while exploring Chaco Canyon. Late afternoon we’ll head back to our hotel, and after a refresh we’ll again gather for our own Happy Hour, included, before heading out to enjoy dinner on self.
We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, included, and then it’s bags out and we’re headed for home. We’ll make several great stops and do plenty of sightseeing on this relaxing journey back to the Valley. This remarkable tour should be on everyone’s bucket list!