Spider Rock Girls Boarding School (established in 2011)


The first Spider Rock Girls Boarding School was a big success and we have scheduled the next class for September 23-29, 2011.  The Boarding School class is a combination weaving and camping experience in Canyon de Chelly and at the Holiday Inn, near the mouth of the canyon.  The class is suitable for students at any weaving skill level, including beginners.  We will be starting the class on Sunday, September 23 at the Holiday Inn and will be weaving there on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday afternoon, weather permitting, we will go into the canyon and students who want to will camp at the Spider Rock Girls’ summer home at the base of Spider Rock on Wednesday and Thursday evening.  Students who prefer to sleep at the Holiday Inn will leave the Canyon at 4 PM Wednesday and can return from 10 AM to 4 PM Thursday.  All campers will leave the canyon on Friday morning, exploring the north canyon on the way out.  The class will end on Saturday, September 29.

Because we are sharing rooms and all meals, this is an all inclusive class  The fee of $1900 will include a double occupancy room at the Holiday Inn, all meals,  transportation into and out of the canyon via truck, your weaving class, the use of looms and tools, enough yarn to do your first project (or two) and a swell t-shirt identifying you as a Spider Rock Girls Boarding School Student.   The only extras you’ll need to buy are items from the commissary (ok, the Holiday Inn Gift Shop).

The class is designed for eight students. Campers should  arrive prepared to camp with minimal equipment and live outdoors for 48 hours.  Equipment will hard to obtain and expensive if you wait until you arrive in Chinle, so please arrange to bring your equipment with you or work with us to procure it and have it on site for you prior to the start of class.  Please realize that if you are not prepared, in our opinion, to successfully stay in the Canyon that you may be asked to remain at the Holiday Inn.  We will also modify our camping plans if the weather, in our opinion, will make camping unduly uncomfortable or dangerous.  We will make every effort to schedule at least one day of weaving at Spider Rock.    You need to provide your own sleeping bag, adequate clothing, and toiletries while in the canyon.  We will provide meals and basic facilities.  Each class member should expect to participate in basic housekeeping while in the canyon to allow Emily and her family more time for instruction.   If you haven’t taken a class with us before, we’ll be contacting you to discuss the class with you and make sure that we all think it’s a good fit before we take your deposit.

Getting to Chinle: Chinle is located on the Navajo Nation, about 210 miles west of Albuquerque, NM and about 300 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.  Amtrak provides train service to Gallup, NM, 75 miles away from Chinle.  The train arrives from Flagstaff, AZ at about 9 AM and from Albuquerque at about 7 PM.  There is no train service from Phoenix.  We will be glad to pick you up at the train with advance notice.  Please note that there is no taxi service which runs between the train and Chinle.  If you are willing to provide a ride for another student from either Albuquerque or Phoenix, please let us know and we’ll try to match you up with someone who would like a ride.

Other Important Details: Our class is held on the Navajo Nation, which is a sovereign entity.  While on the Navajo Nation, we are subject to the laws of the Navajo Nation and alcohol is prohibited.  The elevation in Chinle  is about 5500′ above sea level and you may find that you need a day or so to adjust to the altitude.  The climate is high desert and temperatures can vary as much as 40 degrees over a 24 hour period.  It is not unheard of for us to have snow in September.  The average temperatures in September  are 45-55 degrees at night and 75-90 degrees during the day.

Your instructors: Emily Malone is an accomplished third generation (at least) Navajo weaver who specializes in Burntwater and Germantown designs.  She lives in Chinle.  Assisting Emily with various aspects of the class will be her daughter Larissa.   Emily will also be assisted by Mary Walker, a bilagáana (Anglo) weaver with 38 years of experience with Navajo techniques and Lou Murphy, another Anglo weaver who is also experienced in group camping.   Mary and Lou also serve as the class coordinators and organizers.

Registration, cancellation and refund policies: A deposit is required to hold a seat in any class.  Tuition must be paid in full 90 days before your class begins.  If you find that you cannot attend the session that you have registered for, you may move to another session at no additional cost if there is space available.   You may cancel your registration prior to six months before your class and you will receive a full refund of your tuition less $75 in administrative fees.  If you need to cancel within six months of your class date, your tuition will be refunded less $75 if we are able to fill your seat.   If we cancel a class due to low enrollment, you’ll receive a full refund of all the fees you’ve paid or you can transfer to another session that has space.  Our policy is to make this determination six months prior to the class and we will inform you immediately should we need to do it.   Since your ability to attend any class session may be affected by conditions like weather, employment and medical emergencies that cannot be anticipated, we highly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to cover the portions of your trip that may not be refundable.  At this time, we are accepting $300 as a deposit.  An addition you will be automatically billed on a per month basis until your tuition is paid.  The automatic billing rate at this time is $200.   If you fail to complete your payments for the class, we will refund your partial payment, less $75,  if we can fill your place.

  Deposit for Spider Rock Girls Boarding School


You will be billed automatically for additional tuition for a total of $1900

Number of Seats Open



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