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This tour was one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring things I have ever done. It's almost unbelievable, and also indescribable how breath-taking and the impression these rock formations make. Our guide was Derek, a Navajo young man who knew every detail about the valley and the history of the people as they are connected to the land. I didn't feel anything about the valley was set up just for the tourist. The gift shop and restaurant were very tastefully arranged. I am so glad I made time to be a part of the red dust for just a little while. I was very moved by the experience.
My wife and I are in absolute agreement this tour was the single highest moment of our summer vacation. I very much doubt you could learn half as much in twice the time on your own, and the personal touch of our experienced Navajo guide was powerful. Our guide John was a third generation guide who had grown up and now raises his family in the immediate area. Because of his honorable U.S. military service in particular, he impressed us with his ability to gently bridge mainstream American culture with that of his people. We've been armchair students of the Navajo people, culture and history for many years. In a few hours he answered many gaps in our perspective and knowledge, and this was not just with facts and history but also by the nature of his presence. This is not something we often would say - but we feel indebted to him as a cultural guide.
John took us both through the standard vista points and trails here in the core of Monument Valley, but he also had personal connections he shared with us. Part of this, to be honest, was possible because the day of the tour it was just the three of us. If you haven't done a local or native cultural tour, my primary recommendation is to show up with a lot of respect and patience for your hosts. This was not our home, we were guests. Curiosity, patience and appreciation are reward often in surprising ways.
In this case we also had quite a bit of time at a local Navajo family's home, specifically their hogan. We enjoyed hand harvested Navajo tea, a lesson in rug weaving from a woman who weaves for a living, and a relaxed interpreted discussion with a couple of Navajo elders that was a privilege. The most amazing piece was a tour through some of the local caverns, where John spontaneously played native music on his traditional pipe - wow!
Depending on who your guide is, and how many people are in your party, you may or may not have these specific experiences but these are real local guides with great things to share. Well worth the investment of your time, energy and money.
Also it gets very hot by 11:00 in the morning, so if you can - book an earlier tour. We must have had lucky timing because the weather was fantastic the day of our tour, and though warm we never overheated. Make sure to bring a jacket, sunglasses and water - even in the summer i can be everything from cold and windy, to oppressively hot. I've traveled widely and most guides go out of their way to help ensure your comfort. Have fun!
There was four of us with Stephen, the guide. The whole journey was the most wonderful experience. Stephen was a first rate guide, very informative, we learned so much from him which made it all the more wondrous. He helped me with my camera angles and best places for viewing. Overall we did 3,500miles on our holiday but we never stopped talking of our journey with Stephen and the sights there. Thank you.
Outstanding. Harry our guide was interesting, informative, entertaining, and edicutional. He along with Clint who joined us at times acould not have been better. One of our BEST experiences on our Western trip. The best way to see and understand Monumental Valley. Robert
We had four people on our tour and all said it was a great worthwhile tour! Mathew took extra time to ensure we got the best value from the tour. In taking a self guided tour of monument Valley you will miss the unique commentary from the Navajo perspective and you get into areas that are only accessible with the Navajo guide.
Fantastic. If you want see Monument valley but don't have a great deal of time just do this. Fantastic. Very Dusty. Take some old cloths.
Well informed Guide
Tour about right length of time
Adequate time allowed to ask questions I had
Met on time by agent, the Guide was a little late but overall did not impact on tour.
The tour was absolutely fantastic. Steven, our guide was lovely, very informative and friendly full of stories and inside information which made the tour that much more interesting. Going inside the Navajo house and seeing how they lived was a highlight.
I would definitely recommend this tour to my friends.
We had a great experience - learned more about the land and the people and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.
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