Ancient Wayves and GCC Field Institute: Cedar Mesa and Grand Canyon Tour

Trip Type: Guided Backpacking & Hiking Trips

Hike Level: Moderate

Date: September 17-23, 2022 (6 Days)

Group Size: 10

Price: $2800


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Hiking below the rim. Typically a day hike. Often requiring a moderate amount of elevation change, about 2,500 feet each way. On an established trail with minor obstacles to step over or around. Contact us with questions or to discuss the best class to suite your level at (928) 556-5302.
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Grand Canyon is home to a diverse and vibrant community of Indigenous people. As some of the first inhabitants and caretakers of the land, they have cultural connections to the landscape where their ancestral roots run deep.

To connect visitors with some of the Native cultures who call the canyon home, the Field Institute is partnering with Utah-based guiding company Ancient Wayves for a first-ever joint exploration along the Colorado Plateau. Led by expert Navajo guide and adventurer Louis Williams, participants will experience and hear first-hand Indigenous connections along the Plateau from Blanding, Utah, to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Through day hikes, local food, and engaging interpretation, this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain Indigenous perspectives of the mythical landscapes of the Southwest.

This program is mostly all inclusive, most of the meals are included. Lodging during the program is included as well.  All transportation during the program is included.  If you are travelling to Arizona by plane we can help provide camping gear for the portions of this program where we are camping.  To find out more about this option give us a call at 928-556-5302.

When you book a trip with the Field Institute, a portion of your fees goes directly towards important projects at the park, creating opportunities for all people to come, enjoy, and marvel at the wonder of Grand Canyon.

Trip Highlights
  • Experience ancestral ways of life along the Colorado Plateau walking in the footsteps of Indigenous cultures.

  • Learn about stunning southwest archeology through Indigenous-first perspectives.

  • Enjoy Navajo tacos while hearing Native stories and music first-hand.

  • Visit iconic locations from walking along the Sandal Trail near Black Mesa, Arizona to hiking down to overlooks on the less visited Tanner Trail at Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Take in the sounds of desert wildlife while listening to Native interpretation from an expert guide.

House of Fire Bear's Ears National Monument
Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument
Photo description: Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument
Pictographs at Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument
Photo description: Pictographs at Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument
Artifacts at Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument
Photo description: Artifacts at Monarch House Bear's Ears National Monument


Meet at the Community Building on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park at 3pm. We will discuss logistics for the next few days and answer any questions.

The trip will leave the South Rim at 8 am and stop at Navajo National Monument near Black Mesa Arizona. 

After a couple of hours at Navajo National Monument the trip will depart for Utah.  We aim to arrive at Abajo Haven Cabins by 4 pm.  You can learn more about Abajo Haven Cabins by visiting:

Dinner this night will be a cookout provided by Abajo Haven Cabins.  Here we will meet Louis Williams and some of the other folks from Ancient Wayves.

Our first day hike with Ancient Wayves, will be hikes to House on Fire and Cave Towers.  

Ancient Wayves will provide a packed lunch for the day.  Expect lots of interp and insights as we explore this remarkable area.

Ancient Wayves will make Navajo Tacos for dinner.  Participants will be able to spend some more hearing stories and music provided by Ancient Wayves.

On our second day of hiking with Ancient Wayves we will explore Butler Wash, Monarch Cave, and Wolf Man Panel.

We will also plan on visiting Sand Island Petroglyph Panel. 

We will leave Utah and head back to Grand Canyon.

Along the way we will stop in Monument Valley and Louis Williams will provide some engaging interpretation of the area.

Today we will take a short day hike down the Tanner Trail to the overlook of 75 Mile canyon, approximately a 3 mile round trip hike.  Afterwards we will head over to the Desert View Watchtower for more incredible views of eastern Grand Canyon.

Today we will take a day hike down the Hermit Trail to dripping spring a round trip hike of 7 miles.  This is the last full day of the trip and we will have a big cookout at Mather Campground.  Participants are welcome to spend the final night at the campsite.

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Louis Williams

Louis Williams, owner of Ancient Wayves, is a Navajo adventurer who was born and raised in Navajo country. Growing up in a small town near Monument Valley, Louis has been trekking and exploring the mystical desert canyons of the Four Corners since a young age and is excited to share with others the beauty of the land and the rich cultures that exist in the region. Learn more about Louis and Ancient Wayves at  

What's Included

Price for the class includes:

  • Our expert instructors
  • Transportation for the entirety of the program
  • Some of the meals included

What's not included

You are responsible for:

  • Your camping and hiking equipment
  • Transportation to and from the canyon
  • Lodging in the park before or after your trip
  • Certain breakfasts and dinners 

Additional notes


Download Class Itinerary (coming soon)

Download Recommended Gear List (coming soon)

Get started

Book this trip online

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Monday-Thursday, 8 AM to 4 PM Arizona MST