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Book Your Reservation Now: s.m.shaw@msn.com  ~ or ~ call 505-286-4585

~ John Wayne's Monument Valley Horseback Ride ~

~ November 3 - 7, 2014 ~

A Historic & Scenic Arizona Horseback Ride and Tour into Film History

Our four-day ~ with an optional 5th day ~ Monument Valley horseback ride and tour focus' on the scenic beauty of this American West icon, her Native American cultural history and the location sites of the many John Ford / John Wayne movies filmed in the area.

We'll ride deep into "John Wayne Country," located in the heart of the Navajo Tribal Park.  Our guide is one of the best and well-known Navajo guides in the valley.  She was born and raised in the valley and as a child was a background actor on several of the films made here.  Rumor has it her family served as guides for John Ford and she knows all the locations we want to ride to.

The West... the Real West... the Reel West... it doesn't get much prettier, grittier, or awesome than Monument Valley.

If you love those John Wayne / John Ford movies filmed here, then this ride is for you.

The region, located on the northern border of Arizona and southern border of Utah, near the Four Corners area, lies within range of the Navajo Nation Reservation.  Monument Valley means the valley of the rocks (Navajo: Tse' Bii' Ndzisgaii) and is characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 feet above the valley floor.

~ This Ride is Suitable for All Riding Levels - from the Novice to the Advanced ~

COST:  $2,096 per person

   Initial Deposit:  $500 per person, non-refundable deposit required to book your reservation

       Final Payment:  Due 90 days prior to ride

Optional 5th day of riding ... on Saturday -- see below for details.


   1.   Trained horses (you’ll be matched to a horse based on your riding abilities)

   2.   Tack (use of personal saddles okay)

   3.   Wranglers (they do all the work)

   4.   Navajo Guide / Historian (she is as good as they claim!)

   5.   Three meals a day (sack lunches for saddlebags when riding)

Not Included

1.   Transportation to and from Monument Valley, Utah

2. Hotel accommodations -- I highly recommend Gouldings Lodge (435-727-3231 / www.Gouldings.com), where we will have our breakfasts' and dinners' (lunch will be on the trail).   It was here John Ford & John Wayne stayed.  There is also a movie museum here and the set from one of Wayne's films.

a.  I have blocked a number of rooms at Gouldings Lodge for our group.  Gouldings Lodge fills up quickly - with or without us.  I highly recommend you call Gouldings and make your reservations as early as possible.  Mention Great American Adventures so they know to take the room from the block of rooms reserved for us.

b.  You can Google other local motels, but most are 20 to 30 minutes away.

c.  Arriving by RV?  Contact Yvonne Chee, campground manager, at 435-727-3231, ex: 2

Transportation Packages, plus Optional Tour Packages for non-riders

GAA has made arrangements with East-West Global Tours to arrange your complete transportation package; including roundtrip air, vehicle rental or *motorcoach plus motel accommodations or any combination.  *Flight arrivals can be coordinated to facilitate group transfers via motorcoach to share the expense of transportation. 

Simply Contact Shawn Elder at 480-648-4735 for all your transportation needs and optional tour packages.  Shawn and his team can arrange for daily tour packages for the non-riding spouses during the week.

Airport Information

Monument Valley is in a remote and undeveloped part of the country, with no major nearby airports. 

The nearest major airports are:

1. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is located approximately 300 miles south in Phoenix, AZ, and is about a 5 hour drive, and;

2. The Albuquerque International Sunport Airport is located approximately 330 miles to the southeast in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is about a 5 hour 45 minute drive. 

3. There are also The McCarran International Airport located approximately 375 miles west in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Salt Lake International Airport located about 400 miles north in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Period clothing (See Dress Code) ... though not mandatory, dressing in "period-clothing" makes these rides more fun, more adventurous, sets the "mood" and makes for great photos ops!!  Try it!  Don't spend lots of money unless you want to ... I make several recommendations on the Dress Code site where to purchase these items. Dress warmly for this ride!!

Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of this region, we'll specifically focus on the films of John Ford and John Wayne.

 In fact, John Ford filmed a total of nine movies here including:

1939 film Stagecoach - nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director;

1948's Fort Apache; 1949's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; 1956's The Searchers;   

I strongly urge you to watch some of the movies mentioned here... you will definitely recognize these sites during the ride.


Some of the many movies filmed here also include:

1946's My Darling Clementine; The Eiger Sanction; Wagon Master; Easy Rider; Once Upon a Time in the West; Mission Impossible II; The Marlboro Man cigarette commercials; How the West Was Won; Mackenna's Gold; The Trial of Billy Jack; 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger; Back to the Future II and III; The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp (in which I was a background actor); and Seth McFarland's A Million Ways to Die in the West (in which I was a background actor)


Book Your Reservation: s.m.shaw@msn.com ~ or ~ call 505-286-4585

~ Itinerary ~

Early November is an ideal time to see Monument Valley.  The weather - cool and crisp - is perfect for riding.  Tourists have gone home, leaving this beautiful valley all to ourselves.  Very important... Gouldings Lodge will have rooms available for us.

Monday, November 3, 2014

1.  Arrive Monument Valley

a. check into Gouldings Hotel, 1000 Main Street

b.  This will be our headquarters for the week

c.  We'll also have our breakfasts' and dinners here.

d.  Contact them at 435-727-3231 / www.Gouldings.com

2.  4:30 PM - "Meet & Greet" outside in front of the Movie Museum, weather permitting.

a. Appetizers and soft drinks, coffee and tea will be served.

b.  Dinner on your own this evening.

3.  8:00 PM - For those interested, a John Ford / John Wayne movie will be shown!  In fact, a different movie will be shown each night!

Tuesday - Friday, Nov 4-7, 2014

 1.  After breakfast each morning, we'll head out to our horses waiting for us deep in the valley.  I work with only the best wranglers, hand-picked by me, that know their horses and choose horses for you based on your riding abilities.   We'll mount and allow our Navajo guide - also the best in the area - to take us on an adventure I have personally requested.

 2.  Tuesday night will be a special outdoor cookout for everyone ... including our non-riding spouses (weather permitting).

 3.  Lunch everyday is on the trail.

 4.  Wednesday - "John Wayne" Day - wear your best cowboy / soldier attire that would make the Duke proud!!

 5.  Thursday Night - Costume Contest!  For the best looking "John Wayne" dressed individual.  The winner will be judged on what he/she has worn for the week, with extra points given for "John Wayne Day" on Wednesday.

 6.  Friday night dinner will be another special outdoor cookout for everyone, including our non-riding spouses (weather permitting)

Optional 5th day of riding!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

 1.  I was asked, "Gee, if I'm coming all the way to Monument Valley, can't I ride for five full days like on your other rides?"

a.  My response, "Ok."  And then I started calling the wranglers, Gouldings Lodge restaurant and Navajo Guide. 

 2.  The price for this additional day is $315

a.  Includes horses, tack, three meals and guide.

Or, if you prefer, you do not have to opt for this additional day and can head home!!

** Will need a minimum headcount of 10 for this extra day.

C'mon Pilgrim ... Let's Ride


Recommended Reading

"John Ford and the American West"

by Peter Cowie

The photos in this coffee table book show many of the areas we'll visit at Monument Valley



Book Your Reservation Now: s.m.shaw@msn.com  ~ or ~ call 505-286-4585

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