July 6, 2017

Monument Valley Tour Review With Goulding's Tour

Let me start out by saying that the Monument Valley is so beautiful. It's located in Utah and on the Navajo Reservation. The Monument Valley is a sacred place belongs to the Navajo tribe. It is recommended that you attend a tour with a Navajo guide so that you can learn the history of the Navajo tribe, open your imaginations to many wonderful rock formations as pointed out by the guide, and best of all have the guide does all the driving on the unpaved dirt road while you just kick back and enjoy the narratives and views. For more information about the tour, the road condition on the 17-mile scenic loop, places to stay, etc. please refer to the Q&A post on "Everything You Want To Know About The Monument Valley"

During our visit to the Monument Valley, we wanted to stay near the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which is the entrance to the 17-mile scenic drive loop. Our options were either the View Hotel or the Goulding's Lodge. We decided to stay with the Goulding's Lodge as the rate is cheaper and their cancellation policy is more flexible. We also found out that the Lodge does provide their own Monument Valley tour, so that's super convenient for us.

Goulding's Monument Valley Tour Price
I did a few researches to see how much a typical Monument Valley tour charges, to my surprise, the Goulding's Lodge's Basic 17-mile tour costs $60/adult, which is cheaper than the competitors that I found. They also have reasonable price for the sunrise and sunset tours, but those tours did not work out for us. We originally wanted to do just the Basic 17-mile loop tour; however, we wanted to experience the back-country further, so we decided to pick the Deluxe tour instead. The Deluxe tour includes the 17-mile loop plus the back-country experience. It costs more than the Basic tour and it takes an hour longer too. The experience is well worth it!

Booking Process
You can either book online or book on the phone. If you are staying with them, you can book on the phone and they will just put the specific tour that you want in your reservation. You are not getting charged until your check-in day, making this a nice flexible cancellation. I did inquire the girl at the lodge too whether it's necessary to book in advanced. She said no, if the tour is ever sold out, they will just bring more tour shuttles. So it's completely up to you on 'when' you want to book.

Tour Check-In
The Monument Valley tour provided by the Goulding's Lodge is operated by the Goulding's Lodge itself. It's not a third party tour. So when you check in for your stay, if you have a reservation for your tour, it'll be confirmed during that time as well. They then will instruct you on what time to wait for the shuttle, etc. The tour fee will be charged to the credit card on file. The process is really quite simple. The hotel staff told us to wait at the tour pick up area which is at the bench by the swimming pool area. Our room was across the pool so that was very convenient!

Tour Shuttle & Guide
The shuttle has the Goulding's name on it. It has a few seats on it with open-air windows. There were only two of us on the shuttle at the time. We were there during the off-peak season, so it ended up being a 'private' tour just us on the shuttle, which was kind of nice. The weather was a little bit cold that day, but the shuttle has a flapper that blocks the wind. However, do monitor the weather to dress properly because the tour is taken place outside. We did see other tour company's shuttle has no flapper and it's just open-air, bur...

The Goulding's Tour Shuttle with Flapper for blocking the wind
Our guide is a nice Navajo gentleman. His name is Henry. He has his own saying and character that we found very funny (in a good way). We enjoyed his company and his narratives showing us the Monument Valley!

Our Tour Guide Henry Came Out From the Hogan - Navajo Home
The Monument Valley Tour
The tour itself was wonderful. We are so glad that we did the Deluxe tour, especially we did not drive our rental car on the unpaved dirt road of the 17-mile loop. We did see a few non-four wheel drive car attempted to do that and we felt sorry for them because they were struggling navigating on that rough road.

At the beginning of the tour, our guide Henry took us to the Hogan, a Navajo home, to show us how Navajo tribe lives, weave rugs, etc. which was quite interesting. Once we hit the 17-mile loop, he pointed out to us several rock formations. I feel like once you are in the Monument Valley, you have to open your imagination to see Christ the Redeemer, Elephant, Snoopy Dog, the Mittens, etc. He also told us many stories and pointed out to us where famous movies were taken place there in the Monument Valley. The 17-mile loop is incredible, but the experience of the back-country to see more views that cannot be seen from the 17-mile loop is another highlight of our trip. It's so quiet and it makes you appreciate so much about the natural wonders.

Navajo Woman Demonstrated Weaving
Join the Monument Vally and See the Mittens In Person
Do you see Snoopy?
If you are going to the Monument Valley and wanting to stay there for the night, I recommend that you check out the Goulding's Lodge. They also provide the Monument Valley for more reasonable price compared to the competitors. You want to join at least their Basic tour so you get to experience the 17-miles scenic drive where you get to see all the highlights of the Monument Valley. If you can afford, pay the extra money for their Deluxe tour to go back-country to experience beyond the 17-miles drive. You will go back home with wonderful experience and of course beautiful photographs. The Monument Valley is just amazingly beautiful. As our guide Henry would say: "That's how it is!"

Don't forget to check out: Everything You Want To Know About The Monument Valley

For Goulding's Lodge Tour Information about tour description, time and price: https://www.gouldings.com/tours/

Check out more articles on the Monument Valley

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  1. In regards to Snoopy....


  2. Hey, great article. What time of the year did you visit monument valley?

    1. Hi we went there in May. The weather was chilly outside at the time. So take jacket if you want to do the tour in May. It’s low season.