Navajo Spirit Tours Family
Garry Holiday - Owner and Operator
Garry Holiday was born and raised in Monument Valley. He has had the opportunity to teach the Navajo Culture and history to colleges around the United States, demonstrating the connections through flute playing and contemporary as well as traditional Navajo music. He is an award winning artist of multiple mediums; some include bow making, silversmithing, flute making, sculptures, and pottery making. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC show his Bow, Arrow and Quiver set in the Navajo Section of their museum. He has always been inspired to share the culture of the Navajo People and share the land, so when he had the opportunity he opened Navajo Spirit Tours in 2007. He enjoys being able to meet guests from all over the world to find connections between each culture, and is able to teach the old stories passed down from generations to each person he has met. He is also a photography guide, who has studied the light in Monument Valley as well as a story teller and teacher to everybody he meets. He recently developed an allergy to the sun, so though he loves to be in the Valley as much as he can, he now does mostly specialty tours in the early morning and evening times.
When I was in Monument Valley UT for the day in September of this year, I had the opportunity to plan my return later in the year for an extended vacation and business meeting. I watched the various tour operators as it became clear that some of the very best sites regarding the Navajo and Anasazi culture were limited to professional Navajo Nation approved guides. As with anything else, there are different grades of anything. So it is true with Guides in Monument Valley. You can hire someone to ride you around in a truck with bench seats and get bounced up and down and lose your teeth – or you can ride with a guide who will make all the stops but have little or nothing to say. Then you have a tour operator (all in Monument Valley operators are licensed by the Navajo Nation) who takes the time (and lots of it) to explain the history of Monument Valley, the history of the Navajo people, and the ancient Anasazi who lived in the valley before 1150 AD. As usual, I went to Trip Advisor and checked out the various guides, and selected #1, Navajo Spirit Tours. Garry Holiday (a full blooded Navajo) and his lovely wife Michelle met with me and went over the offerings. We booked a one day Photo Tour and a 1 day group tour. Both tours were absolutely outstanding! Gary led both, but the entire operation is a family affair with one of the family, or almost family (future son-in-law) conducting the tours. Gary says that by explaining the rich history of the Navajo and Anasazi people, a better understanding between non-native American's and Native American's is realized. Gary will play traditional Navajo tunes on his hand-made flutes, possibly pull out his guitar – but you must ask him to play Amazing Grace on his flute, amazing. After looking at the other offerings, and the ratings on Trip Advisor (which are very important to me), I chose wisely. I can, without any reservation, highly recommend Navajo Spirit Tours. Do yourself a favor, go in the off season. Hotel rates are much less and you will get pictures without crowds in them! Written by 26statemobile on Tripadvisor.com
Larson Homer - Manager and Guide
Larson Homer was raised in Monument Valley by his Mother and Father who were traditional medicine people. He had the opportunity to learn as he was growing up about the culture from his parents and they inspired him to learn as much as he could. After joining our family in 2009, he became very interested in photography and this became his main hobby. He has since become a professional photographer, having his photos featured on our website but also in a major magazine, and in restaurants and homes around the United States. He has been able to host photographers from all over the world to teach them how to use their cameras and show them how to capture the best light of Monument Valley. He has also been featured on many photography websites for the work that he has done. He is well known for his humor, story telling, flute playing and photography.
Four of us took an all day private tour with Larson Homer.
Read his bio on the Navajo Spirit Tours webpage. Everything and more said about Larsonis true. We could not envision the incredible experience we were treated to!
Two of us are avid photographers and the other two are unbelievably tolerant. Larson has an eye for composition. He took us to spots off the beaten path and knew where the optimal positions were related to the time of day and time of year.
Larson was even tolerant if we wanted to take "just one more picture."
Having been raised in the Valley, Larson shared childhood stories and amazing stories of his grandmother who he obviously admired and respected. Those loving stories increased our understanding of the importance and spirituality of the Valley.
Laying back on a cool, slanting rock wall in a cove, eyes closed and Larson playing his native flute - playing what he felt. A religious experience.
Larson was incredible. We did not go on a tour. We took a journey with Larson through his childhood; through his homeland. Forever, we will be grateful for his openness and sharing.
Thank you, Larson! Written by Debbie C on Tripadvisor.com
Don Mose - Guide
Don Mose is a retired Navajo Culture and Language Teacher. He developed the Navajo Curriculum for the San Juan School District, which is still in use today. Some of the curriculum includes the genealogy charts to find which family you are related to based on your clans and the Diné language curriculum. He also personally helped develop the Navajo Rosetta Stone based on the Navajo Curriculum that he developed for the San Juan School District. He is a very eager story teller, teacher, and spiritual leader. He has had the opportunity to travel to learn the connections from other tribes around the world and developed the coyote tales, a child favorite television series on the Navajo Nation, and is also a published author.
A hard group to please, 12 of us driving a 10 day circuit of the Four Corner area, a university crowd from Puerto Rico--students and professors (ages 28-69), with an interest in Amerindian/Native American culture, anthropology, and history. I took a year planning the route to take us through the “musts” of the area, but more importantly, which guided tours we should choose, what local businesses to sponsor. I chose wisely with Navajo Spirit Tours. We did their Monument/Mystery Valley all day tour, and were led by DonMose. Meeting this remarkable man was in itself a highlight in our trip. We were stunned with so much scenic beauty and the cultural experience was simply unforgettable. Don is a kind soul, a teacher by vocation. The access into the valley’s canyons and cliffs, and Don’s informed talks on the cliff dwellings, and the rock art left behind by the Ancient Ones were extraordinary. He enthralled us with the stories he shared about growing up Navajo, about his people’s history, culture and language, all of which Don takes great pride in having as a legacy to pass on to his grandchildren, and to us. He was thrilled with all of our questions, and we had many. There happened to be a sand storm that day, fierce at times, but we all took it in stride as we relished the levels of beauty here, the dancing sand under the wind’s spell only enhanced our walk through this most amazing place on Earth! Do not miss doing this tour—worth every penny and simply, unforgettable! And get ready to keep up with this Grandfather, because man, he can climb! Thank you Don for a cherished day! Thanks Miesha Holiday and Latisha Litsui for being so patient and helpful in securing our tour, over the many emails we crossed. May You Ever Walk in Beauty! Written by Diane A on Tripadvisor.com
Sean Holiday - Guide
Sean Holiday was raised in Monument Valley. He is an adventurer who loves to explore and learn new things. He also does his own compositions for flute music. He has dedicated himself to learning about the Navajo People and the Anasazi People; through not only the written history but also through the oral history making himself very educated in these subjects. He has also become fluent in knowledge of the political history and well as the modern Navajo Nation politics. His hobbies include hiking to rural ruins throughout the Navajo Nation to collect information on each site to compare to his home. He has been to hundreds of ruins, leaving only footprints behind so that they can be enjoyed for more thousands of years. He has had the opportunity to document some of his journey for others on social media. His aspirations are to spread his knowledge to others so that they may also have an understanding of our people just as he has come to.
Take one part Mark Twain, one part Paul Horn, one part social historian, one part old soul and you just might wind up with someone like Sean Holiday, a truly complete and unique guide and docent. His knowledge of the Valley, his kindness with his charges, his gentle way of speaking and communicating and his keen sense of playfulness and humor made our half-day tour through Monument Valley a time to treasure and remember. Given that he does this up to several times daily for season after season, we never had the sense that Sean was impatient or tired of repeating himself. He imparted deep knowledge of Navajo and other Native American history and cultures, a history of the incredible formations, petroglyphs and lore within the Valley in a way that was not only informative, but also deeply personal and pleasing. As if that weren’t enough, Sean played native flute in the cavernous “Big Hogan” rock formation soulfully and well. Thank you, Sean. We will recommend you to all our friends and any one else traveling to Monument Valley.
~ Paul and Roberta, Sunriver, Oregon, October 2018 Written by Paul G on Tripadvisor.
Latisha Litsui - Receptionist and Guide
Latisha Litsui was raised in Monument Valley. She has co-created local company Mashy&Rae Creations. As part of Mashy&Rae Creations she has organized events in Monument Valley, some of the events include weddings and birthdays along with her business partner they have been able to add a lot of creative beauty to our community. Mashy and Rae creations is a company that works with people locally to create invitations, as well as making DIY crafts although our very favorite part of the business has been finding ways to integrate the traditional medicinal herbs and make them into soap that everybody can use during their normal daily routine. Latisha's passion is to bring business to our area to show our people an out of the box way of thinking since land restrictions make it almost impossible to build businesses on the Navajo Nation. Outside of her business aspirations her hobbies have also led her to the love of all things vintage, including her love of polaroid photography. Currently Latisha works in the office and corresponds with our guests. She will greet you on the phone and is able to answer the many questions you may have. If you need assistance she is the one to ask.
I sincerely appreciated the information you provided about your tours before we booked. The individuals I spoke with before booking and when I booked were very helpful. By Square Customer
Miesha Holiday-Homer - Receptionist and Guide
Miesha Homer was raised in Monument Valley, as a young girl she had an interest in computers and formatting. She was also a performer and had an interest in traditional herbal medicine and the plants that grow wild in our area. When she was around 11 years old she helped with the family jewelry stand. She began to understand business and how it worked and eventually as she grew older the things she did as a young girl helped her evolve into a well rounded business person. Her love for computers was her beginning. She designed Navajo Spirit tours website. As a herbalist she became interested in how soaps and lotions could be made from the plants she studied: Co-creating Mashy and Rae creations. As a singer/songwriter she has been able to perform throughout the United States. She has also performed on our tours. Miesha has a love for the land as well as an interest in photography. If you call our office many times she will be the one you will speak and correspond with. She is always happy to help you arrange a trip to Monument Valley and has immense information to share to help you plan a successful trip.
When planning our side trip to Monument Valley, we came across the reviews for Navajo Spirit Tours and booked a full day tour with them online. Boy, are we glad we did! The first half of the day was the tour through Monument Valley. Even though we had a rental SUV capable of doing the 17 mile valley road, I was glad to leave the driving to someone else. Miesha was our guide for the full day, and we had a great time. The scenery is just incredible, and having a Navajo guide made it possible to see some of the sights not available without a guide. The iconic views of the mittens are there, but the close up of the rest of the valley was just a wonderful experience--to last a lifetime. After a lunch in The View restaurant ( we invited Miesha to join us, she was such a delight!) we continued on into the second half of the day-Mystery Valley. Again, only accessible with a Navajo guide. We lost track of exclamations of "wow" very early on, and continued to see so many more gorgeous vistas, rock formations and Anasazi ruins, as well as plenty of petroglyphs and a stray dinosaur footprint or two. Meisha was very articulate and passionate about the history, culture and stories of the Navajo and the area, and we learned so much from her. We were also treated to many Navajo songs with her incredible voice among the hollowed out natural acoustic shells so prevalent in the valleys.
We have been blessed to see so many incredible sights in our country, and have done many incredible tours over the last 13 years, but this one we both agreed topped the cake. It was indeed THE BEST TOUR EVER. There is a reason Navajo Spirit tours is Trip Advisor's number 1 attraction in Monument Valley. They really are the best! Written by terrieraulie on Tripadvisor.com