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Heard Guild Explorers

Heard Guild Explorers features day trips in and around the Phoenix area. Please contact to reserve a spot on these trips, to obtain more information, or to suggest (or lead) an outing.

Docent led tours at Museum of the West Exhibits: Hopi Pottery Masterworks “Canvas on Clay,”  and “The Art of Joe Beeler: A Western Original”

Please join us for the first Heard Guild Explorers outing of the season. We will visit the Museum of the West at 3830 North Marshal Way in Old Town Scottsdale on Friday November 9 at 10:15. A docent led tour of Nampeyo’s work and that of her modern relatives, a fine modern Hopi pottery show, and the Joe Beeler show will start at 10:30 and last about 45 minutes. There are several other shows going on plus the permanent collection so save your sticker, and you can return after lunch if you wish. Warning- The sticker sometimes is hard to remove from silk, vinyl, suede or leather clothing.

Lunch will be at noon at Café Forte’ (7032 E Main St. Scottsdale) about a 5-minute walk from the museum. We will order individually from the menu.

The entrance fee is $12.00. Museum of the West members are free.  The museum wants a final count two weeks before our visit. So please email an RSVP to by October 27 if you are a member. If not a member, please mail a check for $12 made out to Kurt Kahlenbeck so that I receive it by October 27. Please indicate if you will be staying for lunch since Café Forte’ also wants a head count in advance.

The museum requires a single payment for non-members at our arrival. Members can present their card at the front desk upon arrival. There is free underground parking behind the museum.

Guided Trips

The Guild arranges guided trips each year for Guild and Museum members only. Not only will you travel with people who share your interests, you will have the finest interpretive guides who are experts in their fields. Most trips are in the Southwest but sometimes we travel further afield. For more information about any of the Guild trips, contact

Heard Museum membership is required for all participants.  If you or your travel partner aren’t museum members, please visit and click on the support tab on the top banner of the home page for information on how to join. 

Upcoming Trips

Land of the Seri — October 14-17, 2018 — Please note date change

Join us as we explore the little known world of the Seri Indians in northern Sonora Mexico.  Our guide will be Jesus Garcia from the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson.   He will share with us the lifeways of this desert. Our voyage of discovery includes a panga ride to the mangroves of Isla Tiburón, birding the estuary of Laguna de la Cruz, a visit to Isla Alcatraz,  and visiting the Seri people themselves on the beautiful beaches of Kino Bay.

Details and registration HERE.

SOLD OUT!  Mexico’s Copper Canyon — December 7-16, 2018

Tour the jewel of the Sierra Madre, Copper Canyon, and enjoy lectures of historical and cultural communities by experienced guides. We will visit Alamos, ride the “El Chepe” train from sea level to 8,000 feet, and visit the Tarahumara Indians during the Virgin of Guadalupe feast day.

This trip is sold out, but we are accepting names for a waiting list; contact Details and registration information HERE.


Hopi Arts, Hopi Culture — May 10-13, 2019

In conjunction with Tohono Chul, we will travel to the land of the Hopi where culture and tradition are rooted in the land. We will be introduced to silversmiths, potters, basket weavers and katsinam carvers working in both historical and contemporary ways who will share with us their art, their lives, and their rich cultural heritage. Departure over the Mother’s Day weekend will improve our chances of witnessing the very special celebrations that may be taking place in many of the villages.

Details and registration information will be posted when available.

Past Guild Trips
  • Northern Chihuahua / Mata Ortiz
  • Copper Canyon
  • Hubbell/ State Line Tour
  • Arizona-New Mexico Border
  • Tucson and Southern Arizona
  • Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks
  • Santa Fe Holiday
  • Apache Country
  • Navajo Reservation
  • Hualapai and the Grand Canyon
  • Kino Mission Trip to Northern Mexico
  • Mata Ortiz
  • Àlamos Music Festival

What Our Travelers Have to Say…..

The trip was of course wonderful, a sharing of knowledge, history, beautiful art and beautiful people.  But I thought I would share with you what I said without a moments thought when some one asked me what the best part of the trip was to me: hugging old friends and getting to know new friends.

Thank you for an amazing trip.  This trip was an immersion into the Hopi way of life, philosophies, artists, the land, etc.  Mark certainly shared his love and appreciation of all that encompasses Hopi!

Traveling to Mata Ortiz was on my bucket list and the recent Heard tour was even more spectacular than I could have ever imagined. First there was the Heard team…Shelly, Steve with South of the Border Tours and guides Greg and Bob. All were knowledgeable professionals who kept us informed, entertained, well fed and safe!

Then there were our fellow passengers…an interesting and diverse group whose common goal was to support these artists by buying lots of pots! Yes, we happily contributed to their struggling local economy.

But most importantly were the creative potters..both men and women who make beautiful pots from the local clay, natural pigments, and a simple firing process. We were most fortunate to meet the man who started it all, Juan Quezada and see firsthand how he and his family make the intricate beautiful pottery right in his own backyard. He inspired us with his generous teaching style and his simple but profound wisdom.

We were all changed by experiencing for ourselves the miracle of Mata Ortiz. Thank you Heard for this amazing adventure. ~ Jenny and John

I have been fortunate enough to take several Guild trips organized by Shelly. They are entertaining as well as educational: she chooses excellent drivers, knowledgeable guides, and locations that entice exploration. There’s always a variety of activities to please everyone, a balance between structure and free time, and pleasant but affordable accommodations.
I highly recommend these Guild trips! ~Donita Beckham

My wife and I had a thoroughly wonderful trip masterminded through the Heard and Tohono Chul Park by Stephen Bernier and Mark Bahti. Mark’s informative comments always added to and never interfered with enjoying the experience. Being able to have a direct and unfiltered experience is important to my wife and I and a reason we rarely travel in groups. Steve had an incredible knack of pulling off one ‘extra’ surprise after another. Whether it was an outdoor breakfast at Spider Rock at Canyon De Chelly or a BBQ at the Hopi Second Mesa, Steve did a marvelous job. Mark and Steve knew everyone and were able to get us insider looks at the Hopi Second Mesa, lunch at the Toadlena Trading Post, and a chance to talk to Billy Malone, one of the last of the old-time Indian Traders. You can never see enough but this trip opened up the possibilities. We have since taken two trips of our own to the Indian Nations and felt like knew what we were doing. ~ Bob & Joyce Veranes

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