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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,
Present the 2016 Programs


Hiking To Ruins in the Southwest

April 17-23, May 23-28, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, Oct. 23-29

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

June 26-July 2, July 17-23, Aug. 7-13

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.


Photography 4 Corners

April 3-9 w/Barbara Grist, Oct. 9-15 w/Kit Frost

Discover the color and history of the southwest through the lens of your digital camera on a journey to capture the spectacular land formations and ancient ruins of the Four Corners region. Each date of this adventure visits unique settings to inspire your photography, all in the company of an expert photographer who teaches you how to snap stirring images of rock art, Ancestral Puebloan artifacts and dwellings, majestic mountains and sculpted red-rock canyons. Learn in the classroom how to make the most of your camera in sessions on composition, exposure, white balance, bracketing, ISO and more, and enjoy outings to test your new skills while your archaeologist guide interprets the breathtaking landscapes, prehistoric ruins and ancient cultures found throughout the region.

April date only:   ( Instructor: Barbara Grist,  visit her gallery )
On this date, take additional photo field trips to the lava vents at Shiprock, the Lukachukai Mountains, Canyon de Chelly, and the bizarre formations at Bisti Wilderness, visiting all four states of the Four Corners. Beginners through intermediate skill levels are welcome to join this session.

Oct. date only:   ( Instructor: Kit Frost, visit her gallery )
Your instructor, Kit Frost, is experienced at teaching to all levels of photographic knowledge. Autumn colors are at their peak during these session.



Uncover Secrets of the Anasazi: An Archaeological Dig in Colorado

Sept. 4-19

People have lived in the Colorado Plateau for over 12,000 years. The Ancestral Pueblo people, or Anasazi, lived farmed and thrived in the area from A.D. 500-1300 before the great migration led them to today's pueblos in Arizona and New Mexico. Venture to these hallowed grounds to learn from expert archaeologists and help uncover millennia-old Native American artifacts, such as tool and pottery fragments and other remnants of their culture. Join an active dig site to practice with specialized tools and learn the methods of a professional archaeologist as you discover this culture's architecture, art, technology and unique way of life.



Service: Artifact Preparation And Curation

Feb. 15-21, June 7-13

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. Portions of the costs for this program may qualify as a tax-deductible gift.

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

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