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“Fantastic Tour of Monument Valley” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Keya-Hozhoni Tours

Keya-Hozhoni Tours
Ranked #6 of 7 things to do in Kayenta
Attraction details
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fantastic Tour of Monument Valley”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2011

Altough it seems you can do (or at least attempt to do) the 17mile drive through Monument Valley yourself, we're glad we didn't do it ourselves. We took a two and a half hour private tour, for which we payed 75$ per person, which was fair (and quite a bit cheaper than other tour guides). Our guides were Ray and Carla and both of them were very kind. They were not rushed at all, but gave us the time to explore at every stop they made. They also provided lots of information on the sights we passed and showed us the best places to take pictures. The tour offers you a way to see more of Monument Valley than the 17 mile drive does. We absolutely recommend this tour company: if you want to explore Monument Valley, they are excellent guides. And just a reminder: there is one small booth at the parking lot of the Visitor Center (the View hotel) and it seems like the tour companies take turns there. So make sure to hook up with the right company.

Visited November 2011
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2 Thank WorldTravellers1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Monument Valley tour with fantastic guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2011

We spent a day in Monument Valley. The fantastic tour we took with this company mitigated the horrible experience we had at Goulding's RV Park. While waiting for our planned guide to show up at the View (they never showed), we met Carla, one of the guides. She is fantastic, personable, knowledgable, and really knows how to give an interesting tour.

Our tour group was only 4. Carla would stop the vehicle any time we tapped on the roof so that we could get out and take pictures (in addition to her normal planned stops). From what we could see, other tour groups who went with Goulding's tours were being herded en masse like cattle. It's better to go with a smaller company like this. At one of the stops, she bought fried Indian bread for herself, but gave everyone in the vehicle a piece to try! It's the little things that make an experience memorable.

Carla did not rush us, and in fact she kept us out for 3 hours on the scheduled 2.5 hour tour. Nevertheless, Carla managed to get us back to the Mittens for some fantastic sunset photographs. I would highly recommend Carla as a guide, request her if you can. Do NOT book a tour with Goulding's.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank tschwob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
71 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Go with someone else”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2011

We signed up for a 2.5 hour tour with this company on Sep 3, 2011.

Our guide, Dan, was a polite and decent man, but just not suitable for the role as a guide. He did point out shapes of rocks, pointed out where to get good photos and offered to take some of ours. But we hoped to learn something more and he was not able to explain any of the history of the area and Indian culture or the meaning of some of the rocks. Infact when we questioned his information was incorrect, eg he said that the Ancestral Pueblo peoples petroglyphs was millions of years old, coming from Mesa Verde we knew that was not true. For some reason towards the end he did not stop at spots like Artists Point. I asked a couple of times, but then just gave up.

Here are the positives of the experience:
--My husband and I were the only ones on the tour, so we got to enjoy monument valley together.
--Second since it was 2.5 hour tour we got to see some arches that we would not have seen if we had driven.

Tip - remember the tours are usually in open air trucks, so it gets very dusty out on the road.

Monument valley is beautiful, go with someone else and get value for the $65 that you will spend on a tour. Perhaps the tours with Tom himself would be a better experience.

Visited September 2011
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Thank traveljunkie20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
251 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,117 helpful votes
“Good Monument Valley tour for serious photographers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2011

Hi, We took the all day photographers tour of Monument Valley with this company. Our guide was Tom (owner) who leads most of the higher end tours geared specifically toward photographers. The all day tour is acatully built in two parts. You meet before dawn and go out for the morning hours. He then drops you off back at the hotel. Then around 4:00 pm you meet up again for the afternoon shoot culminating just as the sun sets back at the "Ansel Adams spot" (where he took one of his most famous Monument Valley shots) just at sunset.

Tom (a native of the area) is very good at taking you to many different "off the beaten path" locations in the valley. Mostly they are not on the public loop drive so not accessible to anyone not on a tour. He is a very friendly guy with lots of knowledge of the area. While driving from spot to spot he offered historical and cultural information which was quite interesting. However, from time to time there were stretches where he was not saying anything. However, once we started prompting him with questions during these times he brought forth all kinds of information and stories that were quite interesting.

Our tour (In an SUV) was just 2 couples. Since my wife is not a photographer, Tom gave her a $100 discount which was quite a good deal. As for shooting, as stated earlier, he had a good itinerary of places to stop with a wide variety of subjects (areches, butts, vistas, etc.). He offered good suggestions about framing and composition along with suggestions as to good use of foreground elements.

Through no fault of Tom, on our particular day the weather was not cooperating. To shoot monument valley and get those rich red, orange colors and dramitic shadows of the monuments draped across the desert floor you need good light. Unfortunatly our shooting day was mostly overcast with periods of rain with only a few short periods where there were breaks in the clouds. Some of these breaks provided some good opportunities but they were few and far between. For the most part the light was very flat and the overcast sucked most of the color out of the scenery. Having said that I did come away with some keeppers - just not as many as I had hoped for. Other than those few moments when the sun peaked through, the best shots of the day where right at sunset when the sun broke through moments before it dipped below the horizon giving us great shots of the valley from the "Ansel Adams" spot (BTW you don't need to be on a tour to get to this spot, but do need to know when to be there) and how to frame it).

Tom's pre tour communications were good. He clearly identified the meeting location and time (be aware of the time zone as "Navajo Time" is its own time zone which can be different than Arizona and/or Utah). He showed up on time and provided what he had advertised.

All in all a good value for the serious photographer.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Califdan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great tour with Tom”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2011

Took a sunrise/sunset tour in Monument and Mystery Valley with Tom Phillips in Aug 2010. Six in total on the tour, four of them in my party of which only I was taking photographs. Tom gave discounted rated for the non tripod members of my group.

Amazing experience and fantastic tour. Photographs and memories will last a lifetime. Standing watching the sun rise between the Totem Pole and Dancing Sisters whilst the echos of Toms flute were sounding in the silence of the valley was amazing. The colours and light were changing by the minute and the range of photographs were staggering.

Just after sunrise, a short walk around to the rippled sand dunes close to the totem to catch the sun lighting the Totem, cliffs, grass and the ripples on the dunes was spectacular. Put this with the petroglyphs, the cliff dwellings, the rock formations, the hot air balloon floating over the mittens, the arches and the Eye of the Sun and Ear of the Wind, a view of the valley through teardrop........what can I say amazing. Tom's narrative on the Navajo culture as we travelled around added a whole other level of meaning.

Stayed at The View....and what a view it is. A storm that night, lightening over the Messa...caught on 'film'

We'll be back.

Dave

Visited August 2010
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidMK1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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