Archaeology Hike-Explore-Learn Tours
The Field Institute offers tours to highlight the beauty and drama of the archaeology of the Verde Valley. The physical demands of our tours will be as varied as the topics we explore. The Verde Valley offers visitors a world-class archaeological hiking experience. Our goal is to help the participant select the tour that will maximize their enjoyment and safety while ensuring that their skills and abilities match those of their fellow participants.
Click on a tour picture for more details on that tour.
General Tour Guidance
Tours begin December 1. Read our COVID-19 Policies and Procedures designed for the safety of our guests and guides.
Most of our archaeology tours are offered year round. However, due to high daytime temperatures in June, July and August, we will suggest a very early start. The Beaver Creek and Verde River tours are not offered during these summer months.
All tours are private, meaning they are limited to a family group or co-habitating individuals. We require reservations at least 48 hours in advance through our online system. You can call us for additional information at 928-567-0066. Tours require a minimum of two and a maximum of eight participants. Become a member of Verde Valley Archaeology Center to receive a 15% discount on tour fees as well as in the Center gift shop.
The elevation in Camp Verde is about 3,100 ft (945 m) while Sedona is about 4,500 ft (1,372 m). All of our tours are in the Verde Valley with the highest hike going to 3,500 ft (1,067 m) at Atkeson Pueblo. If you are a "flat-lander," coming to this area may take some adjustment. We do not recommend strenuous hiking on your first day. Give your body a day to adjust. With the dry climate you will need to drink more water than you normally do. If you start to experience a headache, it is likely due to lack of water.
Can People with Physical Disabilities Participate?
Physical Requirements: Walking and hiking at elevations above 3,000 feet require participants to be in good physical condition. Day hikes will range from two to five miles. Please keep in mind your own physical fitness and experience level.
We are not concerned about a person's disabilities but rather with a person's ability to participate. All participants must have the strength and balance to hike up and down undeveloped trails and to maneuver over and around large rocks that make up the pueblo structures. Participants are responsible for getting themselves in and out of our vehicles themselves or with a companion.
Participants must assume full responsibility for their own safety and provide their own health and accident insurance. Every effort will be made to avoid and prevent mishaps. Each participate must complete an assumption of risks and liability waiver to participate in any tour.
We have a 48-hour cancellation policy in order to receive a refund. Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will not be refunded. No exceptions can be made to this policy. If we cancel a tour you will receive a full refund.
Tour Cancelled Due to Inclement Weather
Due to the potential for flash flooding and the slippery nature of soil with high clay content, tours may be cancelled in the event of wet weather. Excessive heat can also be a cause for cancellation. If we cancel a tour you will receive a full refund.
Can I Reserve a Private Tour?
Yes, in fact all of our post-COVID tours are private, meaning they are limited to a single family group or cohabitating individuals.
Water and Transportation
Transportation is provided for archaeology tours to and from the Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. Participants are responsible for transportation to the Center. We encourage participants to bring snacks (trail mix, etc.). We provide bottled water. Pick-up at your location is available for groups of at least four participants.
The physical demand and academic nature of some courses determine the age limits. The Beaver Creek and Verde River tours cannot accept children younger than 12. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Tour fees are required for both the child and the adult.
Pets are not allowed on archaeology tours.
Suggested Clothing and Gear
Dress in clothing comfortable for being outdoors. It is recommended that you wear sun protection including hats and sunscreen year round. Hikes to the private archaeological preserves are steep so hiking poles are recommended. If you do not have them we can provide a pair to use free of charge. Wear closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops) suitable for walking on uneven terrain. We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone with inappropriate footwear that we deem to be a safety issue.
For the comfort of all participants, items prohibited include firearms, cigarettes and cigars, e-cigarettes, drones, glass containers and alcohol.
High desert weather can be highly unpredictable. There is little to no shade on the hikes and temperatures will vary. Sunscreen, hats and plenty of water are recommended year round. The high desert of the Southwest can be a challenge for those unused to the unique environment and conditions.
Tipping your Guide
It is customary to tip the guide, especially when they provide you with exceptional service. Gratuity is based on individual preference but we suggest 15% which is the industry standard. You may tip the guide in cash or have it added to your credit card.
The high elevation, dry heat and no shade can quickly take its toll. Please be prepared with sunscreen, hats, sturdy closed-toe shoes, insect repellent and at least a liter (1.75 pints) of water or more per person. We provide two pint bottles of water per participant.