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“Good Experience”

Canyon de Chelly Tours
Ranked #2 of 12 Tours in Chinle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Canyon De Chelly Tours is an enterprise of Leon Skyhorse Thomas. Every guide is a professional, certified by the National Park Service by examination. In addition to tours of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument, cultural consulting needs are addressed on a case by case basis for those who seek a more intimate insight onto the Navajo Way. Leon has assisted film-makers on location in Navajoland and is used to delivering high quality services to the people and organizations he serves.There are over 2700 archaeological sites within the many canyons of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Only 13 of the 700 standing ruins have been stabilized, re-inforced, or protected from degradation. We are professional Navajo guides who can teach you the history of our canyons and about the Anasazi, Hopi and Navajo peoples. We pride ourselves in offering you more than just viewing our scenery - but we can do this too!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
West Palm Beach, FL
Level Contributor
84 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Good Experience”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

We booked a couple of months in advance with Leon (who is not very prompt in returning calls or emails), and on the day of the tour were called with a request for change due to weather conditions. Of course, the weather related changes are ok, but the guide was late and the tour was shorter than promised. The guide seemed very knowledgeable about the canyon, and Native American history, and I enjoyed the explanations a lot, although it seemed quite scripted and the guide showed no enthusiasm for many side questions.
The canyon is beautiful and full of signs of Native American history, although you cannot see the biggest prize - Spider Rock - for that, you must drive on your own on the South Rim.
We were lucky to have witnessed a large group of Native Americans riding horses, including several small kids riding without saddles. Quite a site!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank JaWestPalmBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
227 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 414 helpful votes
“Beautiful and educational experience”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

I made our reservation with Leon about two months before our trip. He gave me the details that we needed to know. I forgot to confirm our reservation and was biting my nails the day of the trip, but everything went smoothly. Eileen showed up on time and off we went for our private four hour tour. Eileen did great and we saw some beautiful views and learned so much! We got out often to be shown something or to have Eileen explain something in more depth. I made mention that my ten year old daughter likes to weave and she stopped at her weaver friend's house in the valley. We spent about a half hour watching her weave and it was really a wonderful experience! Her friend showed us step-by-step how she takes the wool and pulls it apart to get the dirt out, then dyes it whatever color she wants using things found in nature, then pulls it into stands and puts it on a bobber, then finally begins to weave without using a pattern. The time and effort that goes into it is nothing short of amazing.

I was wondering if we would get bored with a four hour tour, but the time flew by. Before we knew it, it was over. As it turned out, our tour lasted 4.5 hours! Their website suggests a minimum of four hours and I agree. Even so, we felt like we just skimmed the surface. There's so much to see.

Note: I'm a bit surprised to find that the tour has fallen from first place to fifth here on TA. After reading some comments, it appears that folks have issues with vehicles which may not be as sparkly shinning as they desire. These four wheel drive vehicles are used for REAL off-road touring. Not to drive around the city streets playing the role of "off-roader". These are vehicles aren't old, but have been put to the test of going through river beds, through deep sand and through rocky areas. Who expects them to be pristine? We were in a vehicle in which the one door stuck a bit. You had to simply pull it hard and it opened. Big deal! If folks are going to cut down the tour based on that, then I would say that their expectations are a bit unrealistic. If you want a Disneyland experience, then go to Disneyland. If you want an honest and well-informed guided trip of the Navajo canyon while driving in a SAFE vehicle and driver, then you aren't going to find a better tour company than this one. FYI: Knowing that some city folks are hung up on the perception that a new and snazzy vehicle means a top quality tour, they are adding to their fleet.

I would highly recommend them!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank GwenP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
133 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“A truly memorable tour”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

We met our Navajo guide at the visitor center for a 3 hour private Jeep tour. The tour along the canyon floor is bumpy and rough but well worth the rides somewhat uncomfortable nature. The canyon route is covered with deep sand and ruts but the beauty of the canyon makes the trip well worth it.

Our guide, Percy grew up in the canyon and was a wealth of knowledge with intriguing tales of Indian life and culture. The sheer cliffs tower majestically over the canyon floor and dwarf anything in their proximity. Many cliff dwellings dot the canyon walls throughout. The immensity of the canyon walls makes the dwellings appear as tiny models, but when viewed up close one can see the real size of these ruins.

In the silence and peace of the inner areas one can easily be over come by a mystical feeling with a sense of the spirits of the people's who lived there hundreds of years ago.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank PalosVerdesAviator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“So-so tour”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

I was looking forward to a great trip, but I was underwhelmed by the lack of professionalism exhibited by the tour company.

When I made the reservation, I was given very unspecific directions to be at the visitors center at 9:00 a.m. Eager for our tour, we arrived a half hour early and waited, and waited, and waited. As 9:00 came and went and no one "found us" we got worried. I didn't even know who we were waiting for. One guide from another tour company approached us eventually and when we said we were waiting for Leon, he said Leon doesn't give tours, and somebody else would be coming for us. Eventually we ran into other people who were looking for the same tour company and we tracked down a woman who was sending others out on their Canyon de Chelly tours. When we gave her our name, she said our guide had left with another group of tourists. Then she started scrambling and speaking to another guide in Navajo. It appeared that she was trying to get him to take us, but he was concerned that his Jeep was too small for our family of four (I was inferring this because they were speaking Navajo). Then she told us he was going to be our guide and I was reluctant, but he was our only alternative since there were no guides left and my family really wanted tot tour the canyon.

Guess what, the Jeep WAS too small. It made for an incredibly uncomfortable ride. The guide was knowledgeable, but it was difficult to get him to answer questions about the canyon not related to his scripted speeches. It was as if he was begrudging us information. I was dissatisfied by the lack of organization, lack of information, and generally poorly led tour. I would not recommend Canyon de Chelly tours.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank CaliforniaJessica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
70 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great tour”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

We tool the three hour private tour. Our tour guide was Davison and he was knowledgeable and funny. Took the time to answers all questions and stopped when we asked (even when it was not part of the tour). Saw some fantastic sites. My kids really enjoyed his discussion of the Navajo language. His knowledge of the canyon and lore was very good. Would definitely recommend.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank AmosMerritt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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