All-Star Grand Canyon Tours Guides & Staff
Ben Murphy, husband, father, and founder of All-Star Grand Canyon Tours, Inc., brings diverse personal and professional skills to his Grand Canyon All-Star team. Ben's profound respect and appreciation for the outdoors began as a youngster growing up in Vermont with the Appalachian Trail at his back door. As a teen his explorations extended southward through the Blue Ridge Mountains. He became a certified scuba diver, expanding his range to ocean environments of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. While continuing to be an avid backpacker, mountain biker, hiker, skier, and snowboarder; Ben spent four years in the Coast Guard performing Search and Rescue.
He ventured West nineteen years ago extensively exploring and guiding backcountry and luxury tours throughout the Grand Canyon, Red Rock country, and Southwestern Four-Corners States. Ben concurrently earned his Bachelor degrees in Education and Fine Arts from NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona. His education, leadership, nurturing and outdoor skills, combined with an abundance of enthusiasm make him a great guide,vacation coordinator, and corporate event planner. The biggest reward for him is fostering a relationship between people and their environment. Ben believes that the more people understand and appreciate natural places, the more they will want to protect these places.
Cari Murphy's love of the outdoors had taken her on many hiking trails and mountains throughout the Southwest, but her very first trip into the Grand Canyon was to Havasupai Falls, and guided by Ben Murphy. They found they shared a love of all things outdoors as well as a deep respect for nature. Today they are husband and wife, owners of All-Star Grand Canyon Tours.
Cari achieved 8 years as an award winning, upscale Landscape Designer and brings 10 plus years of experience in the high-end hospitality industry to All-Star to ensure that top notch customer service, quality and luxury are synonymous with All-Star Grand Canyon Tours, making it truly world class. Wife, Mother and business partner, she and Ben have built their business to be the perfect blend of a elegance, paired with the rugged surroundings of the Southwest and the Four Corners Region.
She coordinates all private, corporate, student and large group tours from itinerary planning to the flawless execution of all details. Her amazing attention to detail will make certain you will have an extraordinary experience with All-Star Grand Canyon Tours from your first phone call to the end of your trip.
Nick B was born in Globe, Arizona and grew up getting lost in the brush of his backyard and along the
backroads of the Cobre Valley. He is a graduate of Miami High School, the University of Arizona, and the
James E. Rogers College of Law. Nick spent two years as a backpacking guide at Grand Canyon before
moving with his wife to Montana, where he spent three summers as a river guide and nearly two years
as a wilderness instructor.
Nick's personal and professional experience has taken him to some of North America's most incredible
places on foot, on skis, and on rivers. These include Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River,
the Havasupai Reservation, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and the Flathead River
basin, the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana, the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, the Sierra Nevada
of California, the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, and the Superstition Wilderness and Mogollon Rim
country of Arizona. Nick has experienced the best and near-worst of the backcountry in all seasons; in
snow, mud, rain, wind, and sunshine, in a range of temperatures from 115 F to 30 below zero.
Throughout his outdoor experiences, Nick is proud to admit that Grand Canyon is the home that is
always on his mind. He is happy to come back to northern Arizona with his wife and daughters to
continue a professional life that allows him to share his enthusiasm for this powerful place with new
friends every day. Nick's background and backcountry experience makes him a perfect fit for the All Star team.
Joel's love for the outdoors began on the east coast, camping and exploring the Appalachian Trail. He eventually moved on to Wildland Firefighting in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and then out to the Grand Canyon area. He has gained years of experience working in the Grand Canyon as a tour guide and manager in the tourist industry. Joel's love for the outdoors was apparent during his years of landscaping work in the Flagstaff area where he supervised and landscaped various properties. When he is not guiding during the summer months, he works at a local Ski Resort. Joel's interests include snowboarding, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, dirt biking, camping and taking care of his beautiful daughter. Joel is a stellar Grand Canyon Tour guide and we are pleased to have him as part of the All-Star Grand Canyon Team.
Molly McKee comes to us from Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 2009 she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geology and Outdoor Leadership. While in school she was a river guide during the summer in the Adirondacks on the Hudson and Indian Rivers in New York. After school Molly decided to move to an area she had always wanted to be a part of and in 2010 she made the big move to Flagstaff, Arizona. Since her arrival, she has been a Grand Canyon Tour and Hiking Guide. In her spare time, Molly enjoys hiking, camping and canoeing with her boyfriend Cory and their appropriately named dog Eldon. Molly is a Certified Wilderness First Responder, a Whitewater Rafting Guide, and a Leave No Trace Instructor. Molly's vivacious personality and outdoor ethics makes her a perfect fit with the All-Star Grand Canyon Team!
Jason grew up in the mountains of Ouray, CO where he took an early interest in the outdoors. He spent most of his time hiking around the surrounding areas, rafting the Umcompahgre River , and snowboarding in the winter. After graduating High School, he spent some time in Riverton, WY taking NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) courses at Central Wyoming College while studying Environmental Science. He then moved to Flagstaff, AZ where he studied Art and Astronomy at Coconino Community College. Shortly after, he was employed by the Arizona Snowbowl Ski and Ride School where he continues to work during the ski season. He has received a Level 2 AASI Certification in snowboard instruction and continues to progress in the field. He usually spends his free time hiking the many trails around Flagstaff as well as cross country and downhill mountain biking in the Sedona and Flagstaff area where he can truly appreciate his love for Northern Arizona. Jason's easy-going personality and love of the outdoors really shines through in all the services he provides to guests. Jason has been with us since the 2012 season and has proven to be a gem in the world of outdoorsmanship. We are thrilled to have him a part of the All-Star Grand Canyon Team.
Milton Tso is a Native American Navajo born and raised on the Navajo Reservation just 20 minutes from the Grand Canyon. He has worked with the National Park Service for over 13 years. When you are on tour with him, you can rest assured that you will discover many interesting facts about the local Navajo Tribe and how they are connected to the Grand Canyon. He is a native flute player and has performed for many people throughout the years and Hillary Clinton was one of them. He is a devout family man as well as tribe member. When he is not guiding he spends his free time enjoying other activities: photography, modelling, and acting. As far as we know he is the only Navajo guide to provide tours inside the National Park. Milton's background and his fun personality make him a great fit with the All-Star Grand Canyon Team.
Born in California and raised in Southern Arizona, Jon grew up playing and exploring in the outdoors and began developing a passion for hiking and backpacking. He moved to Flagstaff in 2002 and pursued a great variety of academics (changed his major way too many times), ending up with a degree in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University. Jon spent much of his college years exploring Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon and further developing a love of outdoor activities. After working various jobs he decided to revisit his lifelong love of the outdoors and began traveling, climbing, and backpacking around the world. He has spent time pursuing his passion of backpacking and climbing mountains in East Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, and Alaska. Jon became an EMT and began life as a Ski Patroller and hiking/backpacking Guide in 2012 and has since not looked back. When he isn't showing people the Canyon from the inside out, he spends his free time pushing himself to the brink of exhaustion, hiking and climbing as much as he can.
Born in Tucson and raised in Cave Creek, Arizona, Katie developed a love of the outdoors, and specifically the Grand Canyon at a very young age. All her life, family vacations consisted of camping, hiking, scuba diving, and rafting throughout Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Mexico. These family trips were led by her father who is a hydro geologist, giving Katie an understanding and a interest in learning about the natural systems surrounding her. She first backpacked into Havasupai Canyon at the age of 7, and was 12 years old the first time she rafted down the Colorado River through the heart of the Grand Canyon. Since then she has fostered a love for the outdoors that has taken many forms. Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Tampa, she worked as a biologist and project manager at an environmental consulting firm in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In 2009, Katie returned to the southwest to attend Northern Arizona University for a certification in Wildlife Ecology and Management and to use her long-awaited permit to lead a 21 day trip down the Colorado River. After a chance invite to deliver a sailboat from Culebra, Puerto Rico to Greenport, Long Island via Bermuda in 2010, she was instantly hooked. For the last few years she has divided her time between Flagstaff, Arizona and the Florida Keys working as a dive-master and as crew on sailing charters. We are fortunate to have Katie working the summers with us here at All-Star Grand Canyon Tours. Katie hopes to help people discover an appreciation for nature, while having fun with her at the Grand Canyon.
The latest addition to our All-Star tour guide team is Aaron Murphy. Aaron cut his teeth as an outdoorsman during his youth, exploring the Green Mountains of Vermont and North Atlantic marine habitats. As an advanced scuba diver his initial guiding experiences were within various underwater environments. During his college years in the West, Aaron accompanied his brother and sister in-law, All Star Owners, Ben and Cari on many camping adventures throughout the American Southwest. This kindled in him a love for the big skies and, following graduation, led to his joining our team. Aaron brings his skills and experience as a journalist and communications graduate to the table; facilitating his ability to connect people with the southwestern lore as well as the magic of the outdoors. Because Aaron is also a member of the All-Star marketing staff, he wears many "hats"- positioning him to always share his unique enthusiasm for the business and natural landscape.
Dan grew up in Illinois and spent his childhood hiking almost daily in the forest preserve behind his parent’s house. When the forest preserve got too small he looked west and joined his friends in Flagstaff in the early 2000’s and enrolled in Northern Arizona University.
While he earned his Masters in Education, Dan worked as a guide at Grand Canyon and spent his spare time hiking through Northern Arizona and Southern Utah’s canyons, plateaus, and forests. He journeyed through the Grand Canyon and took countless road trips through places like Escalante National Monument, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and along coastal California from Big Sur to the Lost Coast trail. He later became a high school Special Education teacher in Flagstaff and also taught and lived in South Lake Tahoe. In his time off from teaching, Dan worked summers as a guide for All Star and for a local non-profit group that takes children on educational river trips.
Dan has returned to guiding in the canyon full time and given in to his Grand Canyon addiction. Whether he’s taking folks on a tour of the South Rim or helping someone up a steep canyon trail, Dan is eager to share his knowledge and truly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
Jason has always had an appreciation for the outdoors and art. He is an eagle scout and has a Master's degree in ceramics. Jason grew up skateboarding, surfing, wake boarding and taking art classes. His grandmother taught him landscape painting at a very young age and he minored in drawing in graduate school. His love for clay introduced him to northern Arizona while participating in a five day wood firing at Northern Arizona University. After revisiting many times Jason moved to Flagstaff in 2006 and began guiding at the Grand Canyon. He has also guided in Rocky Mountain National Park and Sedona. Snowboarding, hiking, disc golf, boating, rock climbing, making pottery and mountain biking are some common activities for Jason these days. He is a member of the Flagstaff Potter's Guild and displays his work in downtown Flagstaff at Arizona Handmade Gallery. Jason is proud to be an All Star Guide and looks forward to many outdoor adventures in remote and peaceful places.
Cory is a native of Arizona, growing up in Phoenix and moving to Flagstaff in 2001. He has worked in Grand Canyon since 2003. Originally on a trail maintenance crew for Coconino Rural Environment Corps, and later for the National Park Service. He is responsible for building and maintaining hundreds of miles of trails throughout Arizona and southern Utah. Including his seven years as a Grand Canyon hiking and tour guide, Cory\'s also experienced in guiding visitors in Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Sedona, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Canyon making him an expert of the Four Corners Region. As a lover of botany and he enjoys identifying native plants in the area. In his spare time, Cory enjoys fishing, canoeing, backpacking, and hiking with his son, Jack, and his girlfriend, Molly. His love for the outdoors and guiding experience makes him a great fit for the All-Star team.
Laura grew up in the scorching, but beautiful, desert of the Southwest. Born and raised in Arizona the desert has been her playground since she could walk.
Laura has been lucky to visit all parts of Arizona, backpacking parts of the Arizona Trail, and experiencing the state in all its beauty.
After graduating from Northern Arizona University, Laura joined a local environment Americorps program, the Arizona Conservation Corps. During her two years of service she has helped thin the Ponderosa forests, removed thousands of invasive plant species, and fixed, maintained, or created over a hundred miles of trail in the Southwest.
Eventually, this led to working in the Grand Canyon with the National Park Service. In 2014 and 2015 Laura worked hands on with NPS to maintain their trails. There she lived in the Canyon for 8 days at a time, finding the splendor the Canyon has to offer.
Patrick Boyd was born in Franklin, Tennessee and had an affinity for being outside since
childhood, whether it be playing in the woods behind his house or spending his time on
the various reservoirs and forests of Tennessee. He completed his first real backpacking
trip when he was 7 years old, scaling Mt. Leconte, the highest peak in Tennessee. His
passion for the outdoors was solidified. He learned of his passion for the great West on
family vacations as a teenager. He knew then he would one day leave his beautiful
homestate of Tennessee to explore the mountains and deserts of the west.
Patrick received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science with a concentration in
Conservation Biology from Tennessee Technological University. While in school, he spent
countless weekends exploring the caves, rivers, waterfalls, and reservoirs on the
Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau and spent three summers as a Seasonal
Interpretive Ranger of Tennessee State Parks at Burgess Falls State Park.
After completing his degree, it was time to move to the great West to find new things to
explore. From 2011 to 2013, he spent the majority of his time in Crested Butte, Colorado,
skiing and bagging peaks and trout in the Wildflower Capital of Colorado. For the
summers of 2013 and 2014, he decided to forego paying rent and camped beside the
beatiful Slate River outside of Crested Butte so he could have more time to explore the
rivers and peaks surrounding Crested Butte.
Now a resident of Flagstaff, Arizona, Patrick stays busy exploring the mountains, deserts,
gorges, and canyons of the area. His love for the beauty in the four corners region,
including the Grandest Canyon of them all, fuels his evergrowing passion for the
astounding nature that has offered him happiness since he was a child.
Brandon Jeffery was born in Encinitas, CA and grew up surfing and hiking around southern California. In high school he began backpacking in the Sierra Nevada, New Mexico and the Grand Canyon. This inspired a love of the American Southwest.In 2008 he moved to Flagstaff to study Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor Leadership and Outdoor Education. During his time at Northern Arizona University, he worked at the outdoor program leading numerous trips to the Grand Canyon, Havasupai, Grand Gulch, the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas, and rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. In addition he works as a snowboard instructor and holds a Level 1 Certification with the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). As a Leave No Trace Master Educator (LNT), Brandon has a strong environmental ethic. His passion for the outdoors is fueled with a desire to protect and preserve the natural environment for future generations.
Rob Noonan has worked 21 full seasons as a Grand Canyon River Guide. He has a degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College, and has worked for 7 years with prominent scientists on the Glenn Canyon Environmental Studies Team for the Bureau of Reclamation. Rob has been involved in major research studies of big horn sheep, water fowl, and peregrine falcons. He has guided from Alaska to Patagonia, but the Four Corners area and the Grand Canyon have remained his primary passion. His skills and experience make him a valuable member of the All-Star Grand Canyon Team.