Archaeology Weekend at Navajo Lake

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Navajo Lake
Navajo Lake

Prior to the construction of Navajo reservoir in the 1960s, an abundance of Navajo sites and rock art filled the canyons. This was the northern edge of the Dinetah, the old Navajo homeland, where from the 1400s to the 1750s, the culture flourished and developed much of what marks the Navajo culture today. The rock art is connected to Navajo archeo-astronomy and spirituality, says Janet Clawson-Cano, park naturalist.

Events:

June 28:

9 a.m. – learn about rock art and Navajo Reservoir at the visitors’ center. Kids will get to draw their own rock art image and learn about preservation and archaeology.

6 p.m. – Clawson-Cano will present “Dinetah Rock Art and Navajo Reservoir Archaeology”, at the visitors’ center.

June 29:

9 a.m. – hikers will gather at the Sambrito Wetlands trailhead and learn about the archaeological history of that area. Located in the northwestern section of the park, the Sambrito holds a rich history going back thousands of years with ancient sites, and holds the remnants of the northern most known Navajo hogan village.

Participants should bring water and a day pack, binoculars, a camera and wear clothing and footwear suitable for an easy to moderate hike on dirt trails. This is also a well-known bird and wildlife refuge. Binoculars and bird guides will be available for use. Hikes will be held weather permitting.

To reach the Sambrito trailhead leave the main Park entrance and turn left on Highway 51 and travel about five miles, turn left onto County Road 988 and continue to the parking lot.

The program is free, but every vehicle entering the park must have a pass. The daily entry fee is $7, and an annual pass costs $70. The park offers more than 100 camp sites, many with full hook-ups, and three cabins are available for rent. To reserve a camp spot or a cabin, call 1-800-678-2267, or go to the reservation section of the Colorado Parks and Reservation website.

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