Trail ride through the old Wild West America
United States

Navajo trail

Follow the incredible, ancient Native-American Navajo trail on horseback across the Navajo reserve on the border of Utah and Arizona in the USA. Along the way, you will travel through impressive sandstone parks with stunning vistas - the majestic Monument Valley, the labyrinthian Slot Canyon and the naturally-formed Rainbow bridge. Out here vast open spaces contrast with narrow, winding canyons on this unique horseback trail in USA. Experience the old Wild West on horses descended from mustangs and roam through this region of wild and historic beauty.
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Trail Riding
11 days / 7 days riding
From £2,390

From the horse’s mouth

  • Navajo trail
    Renee Christine, aged 63, DEN HAAG
    It's a well organized trip, sometimes being at the mercy of Navajo authorities means changes at the last minute. It was all handled very well. Horses were fit, sound and up to the task. Food is great (even for us weird (read non meat eating) people). Warm days and (at times very) cold nights. Guides were...
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    Our travelling riders in the Navajo reserve
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    Incredible rocks formation along the trail
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    On horseback at Monument Valley
  • Arizona and horseback trail ride
    Horseriding trail in Arizona
  • Horses and riders in USa's canyons
    Riding in the canyons of the USA
  • Navajos trail in USA
    Horseback trail in Navajo territory
  • Horseriding in the Monument Valley
    Monument Valley, Utah
  • Monument Valley and horses in Utah
    Horses in Monument Valley
  • Navajo reserve on horseback
    On horseback in the Navajo reserve

Itinerary

Highlights

- See some of the greatest natural wonders of the West: Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Canyon Chelly, Canyon del Muerto
- Ride through Navajo territory and gain an insight into the culture of the people who inhabited the region
- Experience breathtaking canters towards an infinite horizon and welcome the night under radiant sunsets in an magnificent spectrum of colours
- A Navajo guide will accompany the ride and provide first-hand knowledge about the sites encountered along the route and the Navajo culture.
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - LAS VEGAS - ST GEORGE

    Fly from Europe to St George. There are no direct flights from the UK, but same-day flights are usually available through Phoenix.

    You can also fly directly to Las Vegas, then take a shuttle bus tonight (3 hours - to book on https://saltlakeexpress.com/).

    Flights are not included. We can help with your travel arrangements, please contact us if you require assistance with your flights.

    Night in St George to recuperate from the jetlag before the start of your ride the next day. The cost of this hotel is not included but we can book it for you on request - please contact us. We recommend staying at the Red Lion where your pick up is scheduled the following day.

    Please note: the following programme may change and evolve depending on weather conditions and authorisations.
  • Day 2 2: SAINT GEORGE - CHELLY CANYON

    CAMP
    After breakfast (payable locally), you will be met at the Red Lion hotel by your guide (c. 9.00 am). Yourself, the other riders, the horses and the equipment will be driven to Chelly canyon (approx. 6 hours), with a break for lunch at Kayenta.

    You will spend the night camping in a Navajo camp in the southern end of the Chelly canyon.
  • Day 3 3: CHELLY CANYON - DEL MUERTO CANYON - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    After breakfast you will mount up for your first day of riding, heading steadily down the Bat Trail into the canyon de Challey on winding, challenging paths. Once on the canyon floor, the ground will be softer and will allow you to pick up the pace.

    From the trail, you will get to see many of the sights unique to the Navajo reserve; Spider rock, the Anasazi ruins, hogans built by the Navajos and petroglyphs.

    You will camp for the night where Chelly canyon and del Muerto canyon meet.
  • Day 4 4: CANYON DEL MUERTO - MONUMENT VALLEY - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    Following breakfast, you will set off again through canyon Del Muerto with its immense and rocky landscape. The canyon has born the name 'Del Muerto' since 1804, after the Spanish slaughtering of the Navajos in that same year. You will view Anasazi ruins and on the pathway leading you out of the canyon, you will pass by Navajos farms.

    Mid-afternoon you will be taken by car through the Navajo reserve to the majestic Monument Valley where you will spend the night at a campside among the buttes of the valley.
  • Day 5 5: MONUMENT VALLEY - RAINGOD MESA - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    You will ride through hills of red sand, mesas (table top shaped formations) of Little Monument Valley. Your destination will be Raingod mesa where you will set up your camp. There will be an opportunity to stop at the visitor centre and to purchase Navajo Indian jewelry.

    You will spend 2 days on the Navajo reserve discovering their culture and craft-making. The Navajo are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. They are the second largest federally recognized tribe in the United States with 300,460 enrolled tribal members as of 2015. The Navajo Nation constitutes an independent governmental body that manages the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners area, including Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. The Navajo language is spoken throughout the region with most Navajo speaking English as well.

    The open landscape will give you stunning views and on the horizon, the setting sun lights up the cliffs in pink and ochre hues.
  • Day 6 6: RAINGOD MESA - MONUMENT VALLEY - RAINGOD MESA - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    Starting the day with a glorious sunrise, you will ride past the popular Totem pole and through beautiful sand dunes. On horseback you will reach the summits of some of the unusual rock formations ever present through the valley. It is after these types of rocky formations or 'monuments' that the valley is named. You will ride between sand dunes, canyons and hillocks formed by the continual erosion of the plateau.

    Stop for lunch at ancient ruins, and the afternoon should provide opportunities for long canters across valleys and through drainages.

    At the end of the day's ride, you will head back to the camp, have a dinner and spend the night.
  • Day 7 7: RAINGOD MESA - NAVAJO MOUNTAIN - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    Your last morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise at Raingod Mesa. Around noon you will load your horses and transfer to Navajo mountain on the border of Utah and Arizona. The mountain is sacred to the Navajo people and its form is similar to a hogan, the primary, traditional dwelling of the Navajo people.

    The landscape here is craggy and the ground quite difficult to ride. The challenges presented by this hostile landscape are the reason why the Navajo were able to survive the Spanish invasion. You will see some hogans dating back to the period of this conflict. You will ride through a labyrinth of arches and vaults of multicoloured rocks on meandering paths.

    You will set up camp in the northern part of the Navajo mountain.
  • Day 8 8: COLORADO RIVER - NAVAJO MOUNTAIN CAMP - 4-6 hours riding

    CAMP
    Today you will ride from camp into the canyons formed by the erosion of the water's path through the rock. Some sections will have to be walked on foot and there will be some climbing. This is a very scenic section of the trail with several vantage points over the vast Colorado river plateau. Lunch looking down on lake Powell.

    Return to the Navajo Mountain Camp for a farewell dinner.
  • Day 9 9: PIUTE CANYON - LAKE POWELL - 4-6 hours riding

    From the campsite, it will be a half-day ride to Hawkeye arch, in some of the most remote parts of the reservations. Return back to camp and plan on arriving back in St George by 7:00pm.

    Hotel not included.
  • Day 10 10: SAINT GEORGE - LAS VEGAS - EUROPE

    You will be free to make your own plans for breakfast and then you will travel to Las Vegas airport by the 'St George Express' shuttle (3 hours). This service is not included but we can help with this on request.

    ATTENTION: On arrival at Las Vegas be aware that there is an hour's time difference between Las Vegas and St George.
    From there, you will catch your flight back to Europe. Make sure to book a flight that takes off after 14:00.
  • Day 11 11: EUROPE

    Arrival in Europe.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included.

- Hotel nights in St George (before and after the ride) as well as potential shuttle transfers from/to Las Vegas are not included. We are happy to help with this upon request.

- Price is based on shared double room accommodation and a shared tent. If you would prefer not to share your tent during the trail you will be charged approx. £65 for the trip.

- Groups are made up of 6 - 14 international riders plus guides.

- Maximum weight of dressed rider : 95kg/ 15st/ 210lbs

- Gratuities are included.

- An electronic travel authorisation (ESTA) is required to enter the USA. It is your responsibility to organise this. Please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and contact us if you need help.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 groom
1 cook
1 vehicle and driver
1 local team

Inland transport

Transfers from day 2 to day 10
Boat the last day

Accommodation

2 person tents and foam mattresses

Meals

Full board from lunch on day 2 to lunch on D9

Extras

Gratuities to the guides are included in the price

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras
Dinners and breakfasts in St Georges on day 1 and day 9 are not included - you can expect to pay around £17 (24$) for a buffet lunch. Also not included is lunch on day 2 in Kayenta.

Accommodation

Accommodation in St George - before and after the ride

Transport

Visa fee (ESTA) of approx. £10 ($14) - this must be arranged in advance
Airport transfers and potential shuttle transfer from Las Vegas to St George and back.
International flights that we can book for you upon request

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation.

Optional

Accommodation

Single tent supplement - see dates and prices for details.
  • March - April 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    17/04/2020 27/04/2020 £2,390 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/10/2020 19/10/2020 £2,390 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses you will be riding are working horses including mustangs, paints and quarter horses. They are well trained, forward going, confident and sure footed.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be an experienced rider who is used to riding across varied terrain for several hours. There are some long riding days and the pace can be fast at times. There are some areas of difficult terrain.

Pace

There are long stretches of walking as the horses need to conserve their energy to complete the whole ride, but there are plenty of opportunities for fast riding as soon as the ground allows it.

Tacking ability and participation

Everyone is expected to assist in caring for the horses (tacking up, un-tacking etc) and setting up camp (erecting tents and helping prepare meals) and washing up.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit. There are some long days (up to 8 hours riding) at the start of the ride. The ground is uneven and you have to be able to trust your horse to find his way. This ride is not recommended for riders who are scared of heights. The camp is also basic.
You should have previous experience of a long trail ride over several days and it is advantageous if you have experience of remote camping too.

Equestrian equipment

Supplied material:
- Tent and foam mattress
- Saddle bags
- Western saddle / equipement
- GPS balise for emergency.

For you to bring (optional) :
- Front saddle bags
- Rope to fix your jacket at the back of the saddle.
* We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Comfort of the ride:
Basic. The material will be transfered from camp to camp (toilet, drinking water)
A hot shower is possible in Monument Valley

Travel info

Comfort

In Saint George, you will be staying in a 3 star hotel in double or triple bedded rooms.
Whilst on the trail you will be camping in two-man tents with foam mattresses (provided). You will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Toilets will be available.

Meals

Meals are outside.
Heavy breakfasts of sweet and salty food.
Lunch from your saddle bags prepared by you in the morning.
Dinner is warm and typical American fare: BBQ meat, vegetable, salad, potatoes.
Water and soda at your disposal.

Alcohol is prohibited on Navajo land.

Climate

Arizona has a dry climate, with little rainfall. Temperatures vary greatly from place to place, season to season, and day to night. Average daily temperatures at Yuma, in the southwestern desert range from 43° to 67°F (6° to 19°C) in January, and from 81° to 106°F (27° to 41°C) in July. At Flagstaff, in the interior uplands, average daily January temperatures range from 14° to 41°F (–10° to 5°C), and average daily July temperatures range from 50° to 81°F (10° to 27°C).
The state receives more than 80% of possible sunshine, among the highest in the US.

Guide and local team

Originally from this area, the Heaton family will lead you on this expedition. Mel, the patriarch of the family, has formed a strong relationship with the Navajos over many years. His relationship with them allows the Heaton family to organize this wonderful horseback trail.

Tips

Tips are compulsory in USA.
Tips are already included (10%) but you are welcome to leave a little extra if you were particularly happy with the service provided.

Packing list

Please note: nights can be cold in this part of the USA. Please make sure you pack accordingly and have a sleeping bag with the sufficient comfort factor.

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Swimming costume - for swimming/bathing in rivers/hot springs

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 celsius, but would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 celsius
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in

Other useful items
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Field glasses
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Tall riders may benefit from taking a pair of long stirrup leathers with them (the local stirrups are adjustable but are sometimes limited in length)
- Even if foam mattresses are provided, you may pack your own inflatable mattress for comfort's sake.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling
- In your hold luggage put any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage place any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

Visa & Health

Formalities

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the valid visa requirements for entry. We will endeavour to keep this section up to date, but please visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors for further information.

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. To enter the United States of America, a passport valid for the duration of stay is required by Australian, British, Canadian and other EU nationals.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME
Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. Visit the official US website to apply for your ESTA: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
All travellers entering the USA under the Visa Waiver Program require individual machine-readable passports. Children included on a parent's passport also require their own machine-readable passport. Travellers not in possession of machine-readable passports require a valid USA entry visa.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren’t valid for entry into the United States or transit through the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme; if you’re planning to enter or transit through the US using an ETD you must apply for a visa from the nearest US embassy or consulate before you travel, or hold a valid lawful permanent resident card (often referred to as a ‘green card’), which you must have with you on arrival; you can leave the US using an ETD that has been issued in the United States

Visitors to the USA travelling under the Visa Waiver Program must obtain authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the USA, if arriving by air or sea. It is recommended that applications are made at least 72 hours prior to travel but you may apply at any time prior to travel. Airlines must now deny check-in to passengers without a valid ESTA. There is a US$14 fee. An ESTA is valid for two years, so if you've applied for one previously, ensure it's still valid.

When applying for ESTA-authorisation and entering the passport number, the number 0 must not be replaced by letter O as this can lead to problems upon entering the USA. The granting of an ESTA does not guarantee entry to the USA. Canadian citizens do not require an ESTA, but permanent residents of Canada who are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program must obtain one.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISAS
If you don’t qualify for entry under the VWP, and don’t have a US Permanent Resident Card, you should apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate before travelling.

Holders of UK passports with the endorsement British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Protected Person, British Overseas Citizen or British National (Overseas) Citizen do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and need to obtain a visa.

PLEASE NOTE

Travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

- Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
- Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR TRAVELERS TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA
If you are travelling to the USA visa Canada, please remember you also need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), mandatory for anyone transiting through Canada. Completing ESTA formalities do not replace your eTA.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade des Etats-Unis
    2, avenue Gabriel
    75008 paris
    Tél. : 01.43.12.22.22
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France aux Etats-Unis
    4101 Reservoir Road, N.W.
    20007 Washington D.C.
    Tél. : +1 (202) 944 60 00
    Fax :
    info@ambafrance-us.org
  • US Embassy
    24 Grosvenor Square
    W1A 2LQ London
    Tél. : 020 7499-9000
    Fax :

Health

There are no vaccinations required for entering the United States. If you are entering from a yellow fever endemic area (or you have been to one within 7 days of entering the country), you may be required to show proof of immunization. Recommended vaccinations include Tetanus(Lockjaw), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Rabies vaccinations are sometimes recommended for wilderness travel and/or wildlife volunteer projects. Lyme disease is endemic in the northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest areas and transmitted via blacklegged ticks.

Travel insurance that provides medical coverage is a requirement for visitors to the US. Only emergency cases are treated without prior payment and treatment may be refused without evidence of insurance or a deposit. All receipts for services rendered must be kept in order to make a claim. Medical care in the United States tends to be quite expensive, especially for emergency treatment provided in hospital settings, paid for out of pocket.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin

Budget and money

The US Dollar, is the national currency of the United States. One dollar consists of 100 cents. Frequently used coins are the penny (1¢), nickel (5¢), dime (10¢) and quarter (25¢). 50¢ and $1 coins also exist, but are rarely used. Frequently used banknotes are the $1, $5, $10 and $20 notes. $2, $50 and $100 notes can also be found, but are rarely used.
Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the USA, including American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Visitors are advised to carry at least one major credit card, as it is common to request pre-payment or a credit card imprint for hotel rooms and car hire, even when final payment is not by credit card. Be sure to check with your card issuer for current surcharge rates imposed for use of the card outside your home country. You should also inform your issuer that you are travelling for a specified period so your card is not flagged or temporarily suspended.

Bank-issued debit cards are accepted at many businesses in the US; however, using them to pay for many travel-related expenses, such as car hire and hotel rooms, often incurs a surcharge, deposit, or a hold on your account.

Telephone and jetlag

The dialling code for the USA is +1

The country stradles a number of different time zones. Eastern Daylight time (eg. New York) is GMT -4. Mountain Daylight time (eg. Montana) is GMT -6. Pacific Daylight time (eg. California) is GMT -7.

Did you know?

Did you know?

A short history of the Navajo nation

The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah in the United States. A trail ride on horseback is the perfect opportunity to learn about this area.

Home to the Navajo people, the land has a long and difficult history, with its population decimated during their infamous conflict with the government over land ownership. However today they have endured and have retained their culture and language intact. During your trail ride in Navajo Land, you will have the chance to discover their beautiful craft including potteries, rugs, iconic turquoise and silver jewellery and much more.

The land also boasts an incredible variety of national monuments (Brice Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, etc), tribal parks and many lakes and ponds, including the famous Lake Powell. Each of these monuments has its own history and provide a spectacular backdrop to your trail ride.