Cultural Arts

Cultural Arts

 

Every Trek at Cottonwood Gulch will immerse you in the wilderness, the science, and the culture of the Southwest.

 

Southwest Culture: The Navajo Nation, Georgia O’Keefe, Zuni Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Geronimo, Acoma Pottery—New Mexico’s unique history speaks for itself. This is the Wild West, a land of unmatched inspiration to countless artists, and a place whose Native American heritage is alive and well. Unlike many wilderness programs that focus solely on adventure, we also take time to meet and learn about the people who live here.

At the Gulch, we believe in a very holistic program. In addition to hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing, the Gulch will take you through the 1,000-year-old walls of Chaco Canyon, teach you to paint the same landscapes that inspired Georgia O’Keefe, or help rebuild a Hogan or weave a rug with our Navajo neighbors on their farm. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the many cultural legacies of the American Southwest.

 

Native American Culture

Our unique location in the heart of the Four Corners region offers an unparalleled cultural experience. But we don’t just watch from a distance. We take time to stay with our friends in the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Reservation, and Zuni Pueblo, sometimes for days at a time. We’ll tend animals on their farms, cook traditional meals, and sleep in Navajo hogans. Our trekkers develop life-long friendships that often change the way they see the world around them. For decades the Henio family and their Navajo friends have been an integral part of Cottonwood Gulch, and to this day they join us as summer trekkers, serve on our Board of Directors, and work as staff. Most importantly, the Gulch gives you a unique opportunity to learn about a different culture firsthand.

Read more: Native American Culture>

 

Archaeology

Nine decades of leading expeditions has taught us again and again that if you’re going to fall in love with archaeology, you have to get your hands dirty. You need a chance to walk through the ancient walls of Chaco Canyon yourself—pictures in a textbook don’t do it justice. Each summer we hire a professional archaeologist who will teach you about archaeology using your own hands. Archaeology at the Gulch is different than in many other programs. If you choose to work with the archaeologist every day, you certainly can! Archaeology is a major component in understanding the Southwest and the people who have lived here for centuries

Read more: Archaeology at the Gulch>

 

Art

The Southwest is a haven for artists. Whether you are silver smithing, weaving a Navajo rug, or painting the red rock landscape, you can immerse yourself in artistic inspiration. The opportunities are many: create your own ceramic pot, your own silver and turquoise bracelet, or a wooden bench made from scratch. Music is also a big part of the Gulch, and many trekkers have worked with our staff musicians to hone a skill or learn a new instrument.

Read more: Art at the Gulch>

Summer Treks Page>

College Prep and Volunteer Work>

 

Discover a new culture… Discover You

 

 

Every Trek at Cottonwood Gulch will immerse you in the wilderness, the science, and the culture of the Southwest.

 

Southwest Culture: The Navajo Nation, Georgia O’Keefe, Zuni Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Geronimo, Acoma Pottery—New Mexico’s unique history speaks for itself. This is the Wild West, a land of unmatched inspiration to countless artists, and a place whose Native American heritage is alive and well. Unlike many wilderness programs that focus solely on adventure, we also take time to meet and learn about the people who live here.

At the Gulch, we believe in a very holistic program. In addition to hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing, the Gulch will take you through the 1,000-year-old walls of Chaco Canyon, teach you to paint the same landscapes that inspired Georgia O’Keefe, or help rebuild a Hogan or weave a rug with our Navajo neighbors on their farm. This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the many cultural legacies of the American Southwest.

 

Native American Culture

Our unique location in the heart of the Four Corners region offers an unparalleled cultural experience. But we don’t just watch from a distance. We take time to stay with our friends in the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Reservation, and Zuni Pueblo, sometimes for days at a time. We’ll tend animals on their farms, cook traditional meals, and sleep in Navajo hogans. Our trekkers develop life-long friendships that often change the way they see the world around them. For decades the Henio family and their Navajo friends have been an integral part of Cottonwood Gulch, and to this day they join us as summer trekkers, serve on our Board of Directors, and work as staff. Most importantly, the Gulch gives you a unique opportunity to learn about a different culture firsthand.

Read more: Native American Culture>

 

Archaeology

Nine decades of leading expeditions has taught us again and again that if you’re going to fall in love with archaeology, you have to get your hands dirty. You need a chance to walk through the ancient walls of Chaco Canyon yourself—pictures in a textbook don’t do it justice. Each summer we hire a professional archaeologist who will teach you about archaeology using your own hands. Archaeology at the Gulch is different than in many other programs. If you choose to work with the archaeologist every day, you certainly can! Archaeology is a major component in understanding the Southwest and the people who have lived here for centuries

Read more: Archaeology at the Gulch>

 

Art

The Southwest is a haven for artists. Whether you are silver smithing, weaving a Navajo rug, or painting the red rock landscape, you can immerse yourself in artistic inspiration. The opportunities are many: create your own ceramic pot, your own silver and turquoise bracelet, or a wooden bench made from scratch. Music is also a big part of the Gulch, and many trekkers have worked with our staff musicians to hone a skill or learn a new instrument.

Read more: Art at the Gulch>

Summer Treks Page>

College Prep and Volunteer Work>

 

Discover a new culture… Discover You