Grand Canyon Experience: Hidden Stories

2019 grand canyon2

Sold out! To be placed on the waiting list, call 800.422.8975, ext. 457. 

Travel 278 miles through the remote heart of the Grand Canyon for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure

September 12–21, 2019

Steeped in Hopi origin stories, Grand Canyon National Park reveals the history of ancestral Pueblo villages and other desert cultures. Spend eight days on a motorized raft enjoying a river adventure down the Colorado River with renowned archeologists as you visit culturally and archaeologically significant sites. Venture the path of the infamous Powell Expedition of 1861, run world-class rapids, and camp along the canyon beaches during this exceptional journey.


  • Travel down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park on a 36-foot motorized raft.
  • Learn about the rich history of the area from scholars Lyle Balenquah and Shanna Diederichs.
  • Visit archaeological and cultural sites throughout the river corridor.

About the Grand Canyon Program

  1. Scholars
  2. Accommodations
  3. Is This Trip For You?
  4. FAQs
  5. Terms & Policies

Lyle Balenquah Lyle Balenquah (Hopi) is a member of the Greasewood clan from the Bacavi village. He holds a Masters of Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. Balenquah has worked in the American Southwest as an archaeologist documenting ancestral Hopi settlements and lifeways. Currently he works as an independent consultant; his work experience includes time with the National Park Service, the Hopi Tribe, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. He also works as a hiking and river guide, combining his professional knowledge and training with personal insights about his ancestral history to provide a unique forum for public education.



Shanna Diederichs has worked at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center since 2011, and in the southwest for 17 years. Diederichs has served as a field and laboratory supervisor for numerous cultural resource management surveys, testing, and mitigation projects in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. She was the project director on the Bircher, Pony, and Long Mesa Post-Fire Archaeological Assessments in Mesa Verde National Park. Diederichs has written or contributed to numerous resource management documents and archaeological publications. She has a Masters of Anthropology from Northern Arizona University.

All accommodation reservations are made by Crow Canyon Archaeological Canyon as part of your program. Here is a sneak peek into where you will be staying throughout the trip:

Residence Inn Las Vegas Hughes Center - A relaxing retreat awaits you at Residence Inn Las Vegas Hughes Center. The hotel provides an unbeatable location near The Strip and when you're ready to retire from adventure, unwind in the spacious suites.

Camping in the Grand Canyon - Seven nights will be spent "glamorous camping" along the river of the Grand Canyon. We will set up a new camp each night park. Sleep under the stars as each night wraps up with stories around the campfire from scholars and other participants.


There are many hikes planned throughout this trip and all of the hikes are optional. You should be comfortable carrying your personal gear to and from the campsite each night. Much of the day will be spent on a 36-foot motorized raft. You should be comfortable sitting and being on the water for an average of five hours per day, with stops included.


The elevation for this trip ranges from 3,500 at Lees Ferry to 1,300 feet at Pearce Ferry. We recommend ramping up your exercise regime prior to arrival or arriving a day or two early to acclimate, especially if coming from sea level. If you have any questions, please contact your physician.

Remote Facilities?

This is a wilderness adventure. You will be "glamping"(glamorous camping) for 7 nights in the Grand Canyon. This means amenities will include cots, tents, sleep kits, and an outdoor common area with chairs, a river kitchen, and outdoor toilet. All meals will be prepared by our guides.

Cultural Sensitivity?

It is a violation of the Society of American Archaeology code of ethics for program participants to keep any artifacts or other cultural or paleontological remains from any archaeological site. It is against the law for participants to keep any such materials collected from state or federal land. It is our hope that you become site stewards and help us preserve our national heritage for future generations.

Should I get travel insurance?

Yes, we highly recommend that all of our program participants purchase some type of travel insurance to help you protect your purchase against any unforeseen circumstances. When you don’t purchase travel insurance, you risk losing your full deposit and any other payments that you have made toward the trip. Crow Canyon does not endorse any particular travel insurance agency, but we recommend visiting InsureMyTrip.com (link) as a starting point. At the least, Crow Canyon recommends purchasing cancellation, evacuation, and/or baggage insurance.

If I cancel, will I get my deposit back?

If you cancel before 90 days prior to the start of the program, you can get a refund equal to 50% of your deposit. Instead of a refund, you could transfer your deposit to another program through 2020 or turn your deposit into a tax-deductible donation. If you cancel after 90 days prior to the program, you forfeit all payments and your deposit.

Do I need my own camping gear?

No; for your convenience, our outfitter will be supplying all necessary camping gear.

Will I get wet?

You will be getting wet on certain days while on the raft. Bring rain gear and river sandals or shoes for your time on the river. All camp gear, dry bags, and personal flotation devices will be provided.

Can I bring alcohol?

Yes, you can bring alcohol. Please refrain from bringing any glass containers. All alcoholic beverages should be in cans, plastic, or metal containers.

Who should I reach out to with questions?

Crow Canyon’s Cultural Explorations team works hard all year planning these incredible trips. If you have questions regarding the itinerary, accommodations, travel, etc., please reach out to Kate Thompson by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 970-564-4395.

If you have questions about payments or invoices, please contact our Enrollment Specialists by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 800-422-8975, ext. 457.

For further information on the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policies please click here. You will find details on tuition, cancellations, travel insurance, accommodations, medical information, and more.

Tuition & Reservation

Single Tuition
  Member*: $5,160
  Nonmember: $5,285

Shared Tuition
  Member*: $4,995
  Nonmember: $5,120

Deposit (due at time of registration): $1,000
*If you are interested in becoming a Crow Canyon member, please contact our Enrollment Specialists.

Registration Deadline: July 14, 2019

To Register:
Call: 800-422-8975, ext. 457
E-mail: [email protected]

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