Road Scholar Logo

Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel, the premier educational adventure for older adults, continues to grow at Kelly Place. Chosen as the first off-college-campus Elderhostel site in the nation (1980), Kelly Place continues this tradition with the following detailed program offerings.

In 2010 Elderhostel revised its registration requirements as well as adopting the name, Road Scholar. Adults who are not elderly and are 40 and up are now welcome to enroll in all programs.

Enjoy Mesa Verde Country's red rock canyons and moderate temperatures. McElmo Canyon Research Institute specializes in small educational study groups emphasizing archaeology, Native American arts and culture. Our archaeological preserve includes 25 Anasazi sites, an Anasazi pottery collection, pottery studio and hiking trails into canyon country. McElmo Canyon Research Institute, hosted by Kelly Place, is located 10 miles west of Cortez Colorado, and is 20 miles from Mesa Verde National Park.

Click here to visit Road Scholar website to sign up for programs.


Road Scholar and McElmo Canyon Research Institute 2013 Programs


Hiking To Ruins in the Southwest

April 14-20, May 26-June 1, Oct 20-26

Hike through sculpted red-rock canyons with spectacular mountain views. The canyons and mesas of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument are the sites for unique hiking experiences led by archaeologists and naturalists. Explore a 40-acre archaeological preserve with prehistoric "cliff-dweller" ruins, petroglyphs, and hiking trails into canyon country. Discover the natural beauty of a land which was once home to thousands of Ancestral Puebloan people. Enter thousand-year-old dwellings and learn what is known about the ancient civilizations and what is still a mystery.


Archaeology, Native American Art: Southwest Intergenerational Program

July 14-20

The Southwest comes alive during this week of exploring the cultures of prehistoric and modern Native Americans. Learn archaeological excavating and recording techniques working on a 1,000-year-old pueblo. Discover Native American arts and begin take-home projects. Pottery-making involves forming vessels, decorating, and firing them in a wood-fired pit kiln as the prehistoric Pueblo peoples did, from the mud to the finished piece. Learn to spin and weave in the traditional Navajo style, taught by a Navajo artist. A special field trip to Mesa Verde National Park, accompanied by an archaeologist, takes you back in time to wonder at the skills of the ancient cliff-dwellers.


Drawing the Spirit of the Southwest

Sept. 15-20

The soft desert colors and ancient Native American history of the Southwest offer unlimited inspiration for an artist’s palette. Express your creative imagination – and improve your drawing skills – as you draw from Native American influences to experiment with pastels in the studio, en plein air and on your own in your sketchbook. Listen to stories about the cowboys, traders and the Spanish Colonialists who also influenced art that is unique to the Southwest. Amaze yourself with your own drawings of pottery, red rock landscapes, portraits, and a sacred Ancestral Puebloan ceremonial site. Personal critiques and instruction are interwoven with discussions and slide shows on southwestern art and history.
    * Discover different expressions of Native American art, including a rock art panel, beautiful pottery, and the art of katsinas.
    * Spend a day at Hovenweep National Monument, a site comprised of six prehistoric villages, once home to 2,500 people.
    * Explore the 40-acre archaeological preserve of Kelly Place, and learn about the thousand year old Ancestral Puebloan ruins on its grounds.


Painting with Watercolors and Acrylics in Ancient Southwest Archaeological Canyons

Sept. 22-27

Enter canyon country–the home of the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan"cliff-dwellers", cowboys, and modern day Navajo and Ute tribes. Bring your colors and your imagination to capture the magic of the sculpted red rocks, mountains, and orchards. The area is known as the "Canyon of the Ancients" and has wonderful trails with on-site ruins. The scenery is spectacular high desert red slick rock sandstone and geological formations at the base of the Ute Mountains, formed by intrusion of igneous rock approximately 72 million years ago.
The serene McElmo Creek, winds through the canyon, providing beautiful lush contrasts to the warm pinks, yellows and reds of the sandstone cliffs with their dark dessert varnish streaking. The Ancient Native American and cowboy legends and lore of the canyons and mountains, will inspire wonderful sketching, painting and journaling. Enjoy a beautiful experience that will teach you much about our wonderful Southwestern United States as well as introduce you to novel techniques to enrich your painting expression.
    * Explore the 40-acre archaeological preserve, containing thousand year old Ancestral Puebloan ruins in various stages of excavation or restoration.
    * Spend a day at Hovenweep National Monument, using this beautiful and quiet setting as inspiration for your art.
    * Learn new techniques such as substrate preparation to expand your prowess in watercolor and acrylic painting.


Photography of the Four Corners: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona

Oct. 6-12

Unusual land formations and ancient ruins provide an abundance of captivating images in the Four Corners region. Discover the color and history of four states through the lens of your camera during in–field discussions on composition and technique. In Utah, photograph Valley of the Gods and magnificent desert vistas. Capture the colorful landscapes of Canyon De Chelly in Arizona. Shoot rock formations and ruins in New Mexico’s Bisti Wilderness and Aztec's great kiva. Venture into Colorado to photograph the spectacular cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. Spend a day creating a slide show and exploring the area on your own. Discuss prehistoric civilizations with an archaeologist and learn from Native Americans about their culture and art.


Service: Artifact Preparation And Curation

Feb. 17-23 and June 9-15

A thousand years ago, the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan peoples (Anasazi or "cliff-dwellers") left their dwellings in the canyons and mesas of southwest Colorado. Archaeologists have searched these ruins for clues to the many unanswered questions about their culture. Participants will be guided in the curation of ancient artifacts gathered from archaeological sites. Work will be done at the Anasazi Heritage Center, headquarters of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and the McElmo Canyon Research Institute. Participants will examine prehistoric pottery and stone tools in the process of curation and other service for the museum. Until the artefactual evidence is creatively analyzed, we have not made the best use of excavations. Learn about both the prehistoric indigenous culture and modern day Native American cultures in the Four Corners region. The capstone event is a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, guided by your expert archaeologist, instilling an even greater appreciation for the work of archaeologists and the craftsmanship of the Ancestral Puebloans. Portions of the costs for this program may qualify as a tax-deductible gift.

-- -- --

Home | Cortez Lodging | Activities | Rates | Contact | Book a Room | Book Camping

Facebook   |  

Find us at: 14537 Road G, Cortez, Colorado, 81321       Phone:(970)565-3125

Content, design, and images ©Kelly Place Inc., 2017