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Oak Creek Field Seminar


Most visitors to the area are familiar with Oak Creek Canyon. It is a river gorge that runs between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona.  But Oak Creek continues beyond Sedona for about 10 miles until it reaches the Verde River. It is one of the few perennial streams in the high desert of Northern Arizona. Like Wet Beaver Creek, it spawned many habitation sites along its banks.

This seminar will visit two important archaeological preserves owned by the Archaeological Conservancy that are along Oak Creek.

The first stop will be the Ottens Pueblo. Edgar Mearns, a US Army surgeon and naturalist stationed at Camp Verde from 1884 to 1888, visited Ottens Pueblo (often referredto as Sugarloaf Ruin) during his extensive study of ancient ruins of the Verde Valley. A survey conducted in 1939 noted that it contained 55 to 65 rooms and that its central plaza was 60 x 75 ft (18.3 x 22.9 m) in size.



The second stop will be the Atkinson Pueblo at the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River. This site has the largest free-standing pueblo wall in the Verde Valley. The elevated location of the pueblo would have provided an excellent view of people travelling up and down Oak Creek. Atkeson Pueblo is one of a number of prehistoric sites located in regularly-spaced intervals of around 2 miles (3.2 km) along the upper and middle Verde River and its tributaries.




START: 8:30 am in the Archaeology Center for an overview, leaving the Center promptly at 9:00.

LENGTH: 3 hours

PRICE: $125 per person includes transportation from the Center and water. Members and their guests receive a 15% discount.

GROUP SIZE: We can schedule a field seminar with a minimum of 3 participants and maximum of 6. A private tour can be arranged with pick-up at your location when paying for six participants.

DIFFICULTY: The hikes to Ottens Pueblo and the Atkeson Pueblo are moderately difficult and involves a steep elevation change, with uneven terrain. As a result, we cannot accommodate children under 12. 

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Additional information on the seminars, such as required clothing and supplies, can be found in the Details page.