Southwest Native Trails

Southwest Native Trails: Schedule days 9-16

American Southwest Culture and National Parks Tour – Texas, New Mexico and Arizona Tours
Explore Santa Fe, Sedona, and Tucson while touring beautiful National Parks and lesser known landscapes of the Southwest

 

The second half of our Southwest culture tour incorporates some incredible national monuments, including White Sands, Chiricahua, and Organ Pipe Cactus. Explore the preserved fort at Fort Davis and Old Town Mesilla. Revisit stations of the Apache Wars, touch on popular history at Tombstone, and immerse yourself in ranch life at Apache Spirit Ranch–all the while moving within expansive western landscapes and subtle desert ecosystems. Between natural beauty and cultural immersion this tour will leave you with many incredible memories.

For more details and information visit Southwest Native Trails.

Organ Pipe Cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus


Daily itinerary of the Southwest National Parks and Culture Tours: Day 9 - 16

Day 9: Fort Davis, Texas, Day Trip

After breakfast we drive to nearby Fort Davis, one of the best preserved forts of the West. One of Texas’s most scenic roads takes us past many natural features and much history. We hike and enjoy the views. The first stage-coach in the area–the Butterfield Overland Stage Mail Coach–passed through here, carrying mail from Missouri to California. An unexpected sight is the McDonald Observatory, perched on a mountain featuring the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, one the largest telescopes in the world. We visit this unique place and explore. In the evening, we again enjoy soaking in the mineral springs.

Fort Davis, Texas

Fort Davis, Texas

Davis Mountains

Davis Mountains

Day 10: White Sands National Monument – Las Cruces

Today we reenter New Mexico and explore the fascinating White Sands National Monument, Sahara-esque gypsum sand dunes, the largest in the world. We get information at the Visitor’s Center and take a hike through this snow-white sand desert. We spend the evening in historic Mesilla, a well-preserved, original Mexican town. In the eighteenth century it was an important trade center. Night in Las Cruces.

White Sands NM

White Sands NM

Mesilla Old Town

Mesilla Old Town

Day 11: Fort Bowie – Chiricahua National Monument – Willcox

Fort Bowie lies in Cochise County and was built in 1862 as a base in the fight against the Apaches, who collected all too many white scalps in the nearby, bloody Apache Pass. From the white perspective, something had to be done to protect the main route through southern Arizona to California. Today Fort Bowie is only a ghost town, remembering cultural classes of Indians and Whites. The unique landscape of eroded, volcanic rock offers wonderful hiking trails and views. We spend the evening and night in Willcox.

Geronimo at Fort Bowie

Geronimo at Fort Bowie

Chiricahua NM

Chiricahua NM

Day 12: Amerind Foundation – Tombstone – Apache Spirit Ranch

Today we reach the Dragoon Mountains, where Geronimo’s grave is believed to be. Large round blocks of granite create a mysterious atmosphere. We visit the Amerind Foundation, an important foundation supporting Native American culture and history. Then we stop in Tombstone, the setting for the shootout at the OK Corral — a town where the Wild West remains much the same today. This evening we check into the Apache Spirit Ranch, which will transport us back to the year 1880. Here we lose ourselves in the world of horses, cowboys and Indians, and allow ourselves to be spoiled by good home cooking, and have time to let the mood of the American West sink into us.

Amerind Foundation

Amerind Foundation

Mail Stage in Tombstone

Mail Stage in Tombstone

Day 13: A Day on Apache Spirit Ranch

Enjoy this day riding out on the range, relaxing in the swimming pool, and exploring a restored wild western town, complete with saloon. Gain a new perspective on the Native American way of life by listening to present-day Apaches. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on the ranch. Evening entertainment at the campfire and under western stars.

Apache Spirit Ranch

Apache Spirit Ranch

Apache Spirit Ranch

Apache Spirit Ranch

Day 14: Tucson – Arizona Sonora Desert Museum – Ajo

After breakfast we drive to Tucson, a mid-sized city with shopping opportunities and a well-known Spanish colonial catholic mission, San Xavier del Bac Mission, built in 1780. Earlier this area belonged to “New Spain” and was run by Spanish Franciscans. Later, in 1821, San Xavier became a part of Mexico and then in 1854 was made part of the United States. We explore this beautiful mission. The afternoon we spend at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum–a combination zoo and botanical garden– which gives us an understanding of the magnificent desert ecosystem. Later, we reach the quaint mining town of Ajo, where we spend the night in comfortable cabins.

Sonora Desert Museum

Sonora Desert Museum

Ajo, Arizona

Ajo, Arizona

Day 15: Ajo – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument – Phoenix, Arizona

Traveling along the American/Mexican border we move through American checkpoints erected to discourage illegal immigration. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument stretches along this most heavely guarded area. We get information at the Visitor’s Center, then take a short hike to admire the unique organ pipe cacti amid many other cactus varieties. We picnic here, enjoying the desert stillness. In the afternoon, we make our way back to the big city.

Organ Pipe Cactus NM

Organ Pipe Cactus NM

wild cactus in bloom

wild cactus in bloom

Day 16: Flights depart from Phoenix, Arizona

Today the Southwest Native Trails Tour ends. The hotel offers free shuttle service to the airport. Thank you for traveling with us and have a safe flight home! For those interested in extending their stay in the Phoenix area, we would be happy to assist you.

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

group-goodbye