The Fort Massachusetts field site is set on a privately owned wilderness preserve, and our hosts have asked that we do everything we can to maintain the natural character of the site. That said, we do have a degree of accommodations in our living arrangements:

  • Flush toilets
  • On-site solar showers (icy-to-warm water, depending on how long the sun has been out)
  • Communal kitchen facilities
    • 2 refrigerators, 2 range/oven
    • Microwave
    • Food prep areas
    • Dry food storage
    • Drinking water
  • Covered dining area
  • Ample space for tents
  • Limited space for trailers/RVs (no hookups)
  • Electricity, limited space for charging electronics
  • Limited/sporadic cell service, depending on carrier
  • Swimming hole

Vehicles will be allowed on campsite for loading and unloading, but will only be allowed to stay at the campsite based on extenuating circumstances. A secure student lot will be provided about 5 miles from the site. Those needing to return to their vehicle from the site can usually hitch a ride with one of our field staff.

For those who think they won’t get enough exercise on an active archaeological site, are interested in swimming but not in the crisp (read: frigid) mountain stream in our backyard, or want to shower somewhere with indoor plumbing, there is a rec center in Fort Garland that houses a pool, gym, and changing room facilities. Daily passes can be purchased for about $2.

Field Trips

A trip to Chaco Canyon, NM, is scheduled for the second 4-day break. This excursion is highly recommended for anyone interested in prehistoric archaeology, archaeology in the American Southwest, or monumental prehistoric architecture. This field trip is open to any students or volunteers who wish to go, and costs around $50 per person. Additional field trips may be arranged based on general interest.

Outside of planned activities, students are encouraged to take advantage of the many recreational (and educational) opportunities around the San Luis Valley, such as:

  • Hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreation
  • Local museums (check out this list at SLV Museum Trail)
  • Scenic railroads (we have two)
  • Ghost towns and other features of local history
  • Hot springs spas
  • UFO watching, cemetery hunting, and other weird activities

San Luis Valley and northern New Mexico have a wealth of Native American archaeological sites, some as much as 8,000 years old.