Our Expert Guides

Rachel Frampton

Senior Tour Guide/Owner Bindlestiff Private Tours

Rachel-Tour-Leader-PhotoRachel began her tour leading career in 1994 when she began leading tours in Greece with Thomas Cook. Her true passion for adventure travel soon evolved and she continued to work and travel the world ever since. Working as a tour leader throughout the USA Southwest and the Canadian Rockies for the past 7 years, Rachel is an avid outdoor enthusiast; her favorite pursuits are hiking, mountain bike riding and white water rafting.

“As a small company we are able to create a unique experience for clients, really tailoring each trip to different group dynamics. We are able to keep client costs to a minimum and continue to provide unparalleled value for money.  We love what we do and every day is a new adventure!”

When Rachel is not on the road leading adventure tours in the Southwest USA she can be found relaxing in Bali Indonesia, surfing, doing yoga and rejuvenating.


Khriss Urban

Senior Tour Guide/Owner Bindlestiff Private Tours

Khriss has been leading small group adventure tours since 1997 across the  USA and Canada. Patient and enthusiastic, Khriss enjoys showing others the awe inspiring natural world as much as he loves discovering its wonders for himself. Khriss is an expert in leading  Southwest USA tours. A keen adventurer and historian, Khriss is a great storyteller loves spending evenings around the campfire or dinner table sharing traveling tales and making new friends.

When Khriss is not leading tours he is globetrotting, seeking out new adventures around the world!

“It’s all part of the adventure-the people, the places, the lifestyle! I get to meet interesting people from all over the world and show them one of the most unique and exciting regions on earth!”


Alex Yakshe

Senior Tour Guide/Owner Bindlestiff Private Tours

Alex graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth during the recession in 2009. The recession was a blessing in disguise. With layoffs happening in the corporate world, he stumbled upon guiding and the travel life and never looked back. Since then, he has spent 11 seasons guiding, three winters in the mountains teaching snowboarding, nine months backpacking Central and South America, five months in New Zealand with a van, multiple trips around Europe and Africa, and so much more. Currently Alex has “settled” (not really) at the South end of Lake Powell, the United State’s second largest water reservoir. He uses this as a hub to access the surrounding beauty of the Colorado Plateau when not on tour.




Robert Graff

Vice President Of Sales And Marketing Bindlestiff Private Tours

With over 20 years in hospitality, Robert’s passion for languages and travel led him all the way to Las Vegas and into tourism. From his early days of life guarding in Greece, to teaching kindergarten, Robert found his true passion in tourism marketing, he became a tourism ambassador and interpreter welcoming foreign nationals and leading private tours to the national parks. Robert enjoys submerging himself in foreign cultures and traveling off the beaten path. Robert enjoys hiking, volleyball, yoga, and scuba diving in his free time.




Mike Brown

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours


Mike is originally from Baltimore Maryland, but he is no “city-slicker”! At the age of 15 he first experienced the American Southwest at Philmont Scout Ranch in Raton, New Mexico. He fell in love with the beauty and grandeur of the region and vowed to come back one day.

Mike has excelled in many professions including fashion design, DJ’ing, and massage therapy. In early 2009 he left the world of 9-5 jobs behind to “find himself” and became a global nomad, living, working, and visiting over 50 countries since. His first guiding experience was at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Petra, Jordan, where he volunteered with local Bedouins. From there he went on to guide and escort tours in places like Spain, Norway, the Canary Islands and Caribbean.

Mike is convinced that traveling can bring about positive life changing experiences in everyone, just ask about his!! This is why he is guiding tours today.

When not guiding, he is chasing the summer weather around the globe in search his next great adventure.

Joel Clark

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Joel“There’s an old saying here in the desert,” I once heard Joel say. “What you see in the desert is a reflection of your own soul.” Never without his old battered hat, given to him by his grandfather, Joel Clark has an addiction to the wide open spaces of the West.

He has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and charted his own cross-country trek across the Mojave Desert totaling some 8,000 miles. Joel is an experienced guide, leading adventure tours and horse riding expeditions through the canyon lands of Southern Utah for over 6 years. When he gets out his guitar around the campfire, bring a handkerchief because you’re going to hear some soulful old cowboy songs.



Chris Mercer

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

chrisOriginally a Nashville Tennessee native, Chris found his love for nature at an early age growing up exploring the woodlands, lakes, rivers, and trails of the Appalachian Mountains. Craving other lands to discover he set his sights to the west and was spellbound by the vastness of the Rocky Mountains and the seemingly endless, other worldly landscapes of the Southwest.

As a naive and inexperienced 19 year old, Chris and his older brother took their first big road trip out west. Despite the bumbling mishaps of their youth and lessons learned the hard way, Chris caught a fever. Road Trip Fever! And the only prescription was more road trips. The freedom of the road, the connection with nature, the excitement of the unexpected, and the adventures around every corner fueled him on over the coming years to extensively explore every state in the U.S., across Canada, and over 15 other countries.

After graduating from MTSU, Chris began working as many as three jobs at once to fund his desire for the great wide open. Eventually stumbling upon a way to earn a living doing what he loves he began to lead tours throughout the U.S. and Canada. Guiding gives him the opportunity to share his experience, excitement, and awe of the beauty of the West, and to meet plenty of amazing people while doing so.

In his spare time Chris enjoys, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, paddleboarding, and any other outdoor recreational sport he can get his hands, or feet on. And he is a Nashville native remember, so of course he plays guitar!

Joe Olguin

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Joseph has been leading tour groups since 1995 across the USA.  Before becoming part of the Bindlestiff Tours team, Joseph was a camp director for over 15 years teaching inner city children all about the great outdoors and showing them all the wonders of the natural world.

Joe love’s the beauty of the open roads and the adventures they take him on. He has a passion to share his extensive knowledge and colorful stories of the American Southwest with the people he meets on our tours. When Joseph is not on the road, he enjoys beach volleyball, hiking, mountain biking and spending time with his friends in family



Bradley Manhke

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Born and reared in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Bradley’s sense for adventure and travel was instilled at a young age.  Summertime vacations included annual epic road trips to Missouri in a Chevet with a pop up camper. After graduating college, Bradley attempted cubicle life.  That ended quickly once he realized work visas were available in New Zealand.  After working for three years in New Zealand as a concierge, Bradley returned to his homeland and discovered he could make a living as an active tour guide.  This ten year journey took Bradley to many parts of the globe from Iceland to Crete, New Mexico to New Zealand,and many places in between where he enjoyed the ride from behind bars, handlebars that is. “I can show you short cuts on the Strade Bianche in Tuscany and know Crete like it was my hometown, but I can’t find my mother’s house without GPS.”  When not working, Bradley finds his sanity on a bicycle, fishing, cooking, doing yoga, pottery, arts & crafts, and generally exploring and learning more about the world that surrounds him.

“I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them then to travel with them.”  Mark Twain

Rene Sollberger

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Rene is happy when the horizon is wide. Born and raised in beautiful but tiny Switzerland, he started exploring the world early. No destination was too exotic, and no journey was too arduous. He crisscrossed Southern Europe, Africa, India, Asia and the United States by car, bus and train. In San Francisco he got his first job as tour guide, in 1989. He immediately fell in love with the majestic National Parks and the awesome vistas of the Southwest. Today Las Vegas is his home.

Rene’s degree is in Physics and Mathematics. He worked as a high school teacher and later as a journalist for major Swiss media. His job then allowed him to travel extensively, and, better yet, he even got paid to do it.

Rene loves to meet new people, explore new places, and share the magnificence of their geography, culture and history. That is what brought him back to the travel industry in 2016 when he moved to San Francisco. There is a saying in German that he has taken as his life motto, which could be translated as: Sharing joy only doubles it.

Apart from traveling, Rene – who is fluent in three and a half languages – enjoys hiking, photography, swimming, skiing, driving, cooking and eating. In his time off, he still works as journalist and writer. In 2019 he published his first book, a biography of a Swiss diplomat who served as the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Joseph Spaid

Senior Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Joseph Spaid is a multiple award-winning film director who’s traveled to 71 countries, and completed four circumnavigations of planet Earth. Although raised in San Diego, he was “made” in New York City where he had a dream job in film, tv, and advertising before trading-up to the job of a lifetime as a travel guide. When not guiding in The States, Spaid can be found leading round-the-world travel, working as a surfing guide in Senegal, or completing the post-production of his latest film in Mexico. Other passions include still photography, writing, storytelling, hiking, camping, cycling, boating, scuba diving, meteorology, oceanography, geology, ornithology, nomadic culture, gardening, dogs, and raising college money for the kids of CED Orphanage in India. Joseph’s motto is; ‘Be brave. Be kind, Go.’




Chelsea Nielsen

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Chelsea graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Recreation Administration and has devoted her career to helping people get outdoors. She has spent more than ten years working on public lands, and she is proud to say that she volunteered for Americorps, helping to better the country she loves.

She is an experienced guide and has also worked as a park ranger in the Mojave Desert, as well as helped manage two federal recreation grants for the State of Nevada.  “Anything that keeps me outdoors!” she says.   In her spare time, she enjoys riding her dirtbike, playing her ukulele, and journaling.




Julia Davis

Senior Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Growing up in landlocked, relatively flat and quiet Minnesota, young Julia was travel starved and eager to see the world. As soon as she was old enough to accept a job as a tour guide, she hit the road and fell in love. No matter how many times she visits some of America’s most celebrated destinations, she always finds a new reason to appreciate it. In the past decade, she’s taken exploration very seriously. She is an experienced solo traveler. In fact, of the 33 countries she’s checked out, half were experienced on her own. Although these trips have left her feeling empowered and confident, she’s convinced there’s no greater reward in life than sharing these experiences with others. Now, after nearly a decade as a professional galavanter, she considers every corner of this beautiful country home and looks forward to sharing it with you!



Jason Richmond

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Jason began his tour guiding career in 2008 and has led over 100 trips across the United States, Eastern and Western Canada.  Jason spent the summer of 2018 leading trips in Alaska. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but now calling Kentucky home, he spends his off-season teaching Music Theory and Composition at Northern Kentucky University. Music and travel are Jason’s biggest passions and he gets to do both of them as his careers, making him the luckiest person alive. When he is not traveling or teaching music, you can find Jason at home playing guitar and thinking of his next travel destination.




Brittni Phillips

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Brittni found her love for travel at a very early age while taking long road trips from New Jersey to North Carolina with her family. Through the good, and the bad, the road has always called to her. Thirteen years ago she discovered group trips and found her calling. Although she is a New York City Lady at heart after living there for 14 years, her enthusiasm for knowledge and sharing experiences has led her to leave the big city, follow her dreams and begin her career as a tour guide. Brittni enjoys leading tours all over the USA and is always looking to discover new places. She typically knows where the best ice cream shop and bookstore is in any town and if she doesn’t, she’ll find it! In her spare time she enjoys baking and decorating cookies, reading, arts & crafts and always exploring new and old parts of the world. Brittni’s favorite travel quote uniquely describes her outlook on travel and life in general- “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. Melody Truong”



Tim Wenzel

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Growing up happily in rural Wisconsin, Tim had no idea where life would take him or what he wanted to do once he ‘grew up,’ as they say. Having spent a year studying abroad during college, Tim has been addicted to traveling.  After a few years of work solely to fund international backpacking trips, Tim began his guiding career, which he has done for most of his adult life, bringing him all over the continental USA, Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska. In addition to showing North America to guests, Tim has worked in the mountains of Colorado, guided in Yellowstone, and has worked a few seasons at the US Antarctic research base, McMurdo Station. Though he has many outdoor hobbies, his outdoor passions are hiking and canoeing which have led him to hike 2 routes of the Camino de Santiago, hike across the country of Israel, and to paddle the entire Mississippi River.



Nicole Stratman

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

When Nicole was formally introduced to the world of guiding, she finally knew she had found her tribe. After getting her first guiding glimpse taking Rascal Flatts sweepstakes winners on backstage tours, she left her home of Nashville to work in New Zealand & Australia and travel independently. When she returned home with a new world perspective, she had the pleasure of guiding international clientele around North America for the next 5 years. It brings her great joy to educate guests about geology, history and to find intriguing new spots along the journey. When she’s not guiding, you can find her living on the road full-time with her partner in their Dodge RAM Promaster, volunteering, hosting the Tour Guide Tales podcast, supporting zero waste shops & sustainability initiatives, and occasionally jumping out of planes with whoever cares to take the plunge.



Chris Patrick

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours


Travel and comedy flow strong in this one. Before finding a job that would pay him to travel, Chris worked in Alaska as a salmon processor, was a recreational skier in Colorado & Wyoming, and was a free agent “manny” by drifting from one home to another caring for kids in exchange for everything in the fridge. In addition, he has been around the world a couple times to see as much as he can, however he always comes back to the Southwest. He loves meeting new people and aims to entertain while educating his guests.

When not on the road, Chris loves time with his niece, running to a gate to catch a plane, creating YouTube videos and training to be a cast member for SNL.


Jon Sloan

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Having grown up in Southern CA Jon has always wanted to go outside, play and stay there. After graduating from college he began his guiding career in 1985 as a whitewater raft guide in WA and later guided rivers commercially in AK, UT, ID, and CO. Jon’s passion for travel and national parks led him to 5 seasons as a Tour Guide helping travelers to experience the highlights of America, Alaska, and Western Canada. Winters were spent as a Professional Ski Patroller at first, then later backpack vagabonding through foreign countries. Jon’s service as a US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger in Idaho and CO was his favorite downtime from always being on the go. Jon has enjoyed recent years guiding vehicle-based backcountry tours again in Yellowstone winter, spring and fall in Canyonlands and Arches national parks, and summers near his home in the colorful San Juan mountains of Colorado.



Nathalie Francois

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours


Nathalie’s passion for traveling, exploring and adventure has taken her to all 50 states and all over the world. As an individual traveler, modern-day European ‘settler’, adventure travel tour leader, licensed sightseeing guide and private flight attendant and more. Nathalie started out her guiding career delivering informative and fun small group adventures throughout North America. While back in her ‘hometown’ Manhattan Nathalie delivers private culinary walking tours through diverse NYC neighborhoods. Tasting local foods is a huge aspect of travelling and exploring  “you learn so much of a culture through its cuisine!” One of Nathalie’s favorite travel quotes is from Bill Bryson: “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”


Jillianne Palmer

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours


Jillianne caught the adventure bug early. Shortly after her 17th birthday, she packed up her car and set out on her first solo road trip with her eyes set on the majestic mountains of the West. Since then, she has completed seven cross-country road trips on her own, seen all 50 states, hopped across 12 different countries, and visited 35 national parks. She met her partner while volunteering for Americorp in Colorado. They discovered a shared passion for adventure.  Jillianne’s passion for helping others discover the many wonders of the outdoor world is apparent through her guiding career. Glacial tour guiding in Alaska, ski instructing in Colorado, river guiding in Nevada, and more. Jillianne’s interests include anything outdoors, with some favorites being backcountry skiing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, and birdwatching. She is excited to take you on an unforgettable journey filled with exciting new experiences!


Alex Pilkevich

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours



Alex is an experienced international travel Guide with 10 years of experience guiding worldwide. Alex is a Professional Archaeologist, specializing on Native American cultures and enjoys sharing his knowledge with guests. He has hiked through the Himalayas, Andes, Alps, Rocky Mountains, Sierra  Nevada’s, Patagonia, Mexico and Guatemala. He can’t wait to share his stories with you!



Brad “Indy” Holmes

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Indy spent his early years growing up in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. It wasn’t until his children left the nest that he rediscovered his love for the outdoors. Indy has backpacked most of the Appalachian Trail and has run 30 marathons in 30 states.   Indy continues his adventures and love for the outdoors with Bindlestiff Tours doing what he loves the most, showing guests this great country.  





Jack Warren

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

“Growing up in Chicago, Jack wasn’t originally exposed to the great outdoors, but after his first Outward Bound course – white water rafting the Salmon River, his life changed forever.  For most of his adult life, Jack has worked to travel and further his understanding of this beautiful planet of ours. He has ventured to 50 countries and volunteered with aid organizations all over the world.


After starting his own company and selling his business in 2014, Jack embarked on a road trip across the USA and found his passion as a travel guide.  For the past 7 years, Jack has had the great fortune of showing people from all over the world this great country – our national parks and diverse cities.  All told, he’s driven 250,000 miles, crossed the country 30 times, and been to all 50 states on personal journeys and leading trips.  When he’s not showing passengers around the US, he loves cruising around America with his partner, Nicole, in their RV. Jack also loves jumping out of planes and throwing friends/ family out of them too. You can’t beat the views at 14,000 feet.”

Federico Grant

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Federico spent 12 formative years in Los Angeles, CA where he studied Spanish Literature and Linguistics at UCLA. He speaks close to 4 languages. Federico began hiking in earnest and developed a sense of respect for nature & conservation thanks to his membership in the UC Sierra Club. Later he moved to Costa Rica where he became a naturalist and adventure guide. Federico is an avid bird watcher, hiker, mountain biker, scuba diver, sea kayaker, boogie boarder and swimmer. He is a certified NAUI Divemaster & Instructor.

Federico has travelled to over 65 countries in different capacities; tour guide,
naturalist, expedition leader and adventurer.  He has worked as a tour guide for 37
years.  He is keen on sharing his knowledge and passion of the great outdoors with his guests. Federico is a great cook, conversationalist and occasional singer


Kit Cass

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Kit has guided for 5 years both on the road and in Zion National Park as a canyoneering guide.

A former naval officer, Kit tried his hand in finance on Wall Street for two years before the desire for freedom, an open road, and the southwest in particular were too much to resist.

When not guiding, he is often rock climbing or canyoneering and knows just about every natural hot spring worth visiting!



Keyan Auer

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours


Keyan’s love of nature began when he learned to surf at the age of 13 in his hometown of San Diego, California. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree
in Ecology and Evolution, and began leading camping trips in 1997. Since then, he has guided countless tours across the breadth and length of North America, from as far north as the Klondike boomtown of Dawson City in the Yukon to the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala. Continuing education and work in Ecological Restoration and service for California’s State Parks have furthered his knowledge of and commitment to the beauty and bounty of the natural world.

Kyan also lived and taught English in southern Mexico for 6 years, becoming fluent in Spanish and immersing himself in Mexican culture. While he loves storytelling, witticisms, and banter
around the bonfire, he claims that he cannot tell the truth of his heart any better than Edward Abbey: “My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.”

Mario Enriquez

Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Originally from New Mexico, Mario developed his love of the outdoors from an early age while spending summers camping, hiking and fishing throughout the state.  While studying Chemistry at the University of New Mexico, Mario often spent weekends and free-time exploring the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado while camping and snowboarding with friends in Santa Fe, Taos, Red River, Durango and Wolf Creek.

After college, Mario moved to Chicago where his career in Food & Beverage Hospitality led him to management positions throughout the mid-west, Kentucky, Florida and Arizona building successful bar programs and lists for multiple restaurant and bar concepts.  Experience on a national level led him to follow his lifelong interest in wine by accepting a Wine Director position at a beautiful, 6,000 acre ranch & resort on the Continental Divide in Tabernash, Colorado.  Here, he was able to log 60+ days snowboarding each year while building award-worthy beverage programs for the resort.  During the beautiful Colorado summers, Mario was an avid camper, hiker, fisher and explorer of the region’s surrounding National Parks and remote areas.  Mario

looks forward to sharing the next beautiful sunset, amazing mountain setting and snow adventure while meeting people from all over the world!

Charlie Taussig

Senior Tour Guide Bindlestiff Tours

Charlie started the adventure of guiding people around North America in 2010. What started as a fun job for “a year or 2” – really gave him the travel bug. Fast Forward 12 years later – he has brought people everywhere from the Arctic Circle to Hawaii. Charlie has spent 10 years criss-crossing, circling, driving, flying, surfing and hiking all over the continent. It literally took a global pandemic to get him to stop for a minute! After a two year hiatus, he is happy to be back on the road, he can’t imagine working a job that doesn’t involve having fun and doing something he has great love and passion for – sharing the good times, with people from all over the world and different walks of life.

In his free time you will find him with his family and friends in his home state of Washington or traveling the world. At home or abroad, he enjoys many things that involve being outside and sharing it with others.

You can always count on finding him exploring, seeing live music, snowboarding and surfing.

Melissa Chiella

Operations Manager Bindlestiff Tours

Melissa hails from the great city of NY but left the big apple and her corporate legal career in 2010 to follow different dreams. She never looked back and has been exploring the globe and pushing her limits since. Melissa loves her new passion driven career in Adventure Tourism. For 12 years she was a front and back-country guide expanding in over 25 of America’s National Parks and was also lead trainer and General Manager for an outdoor travel brand in California. Alaska’s rising peaks, crisp mountain air and creamy blue glacial pools specifically stole her heart, where she exclusively guided wilderness backpacking for 4 years. She is a freelance travel & adventure writer tying in all the things she has learned and loved over the years. Melissa now calls the West Coast home, splitting her time between beautiful Lake Tahoe and the bright lights of Las Vegas. With many years of travel experience, hiking adventures, cultural exposure, and professional guiding, she looks forward to sharing her colorful experiences and knowledge with guests. Melissa is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), California Naturalist, Swift Water 1 Rescue, Avalanche 2 Rescue (AIARE) and Lifeguard.


Becky Stone

Reservations Manager and part time Tour Leader Bindlestiff Tours

Becky’s love for travel began at an early age. From the UK, Becky’s family used to take her on annual holidays all over Europe and later on further afield to Africa, Thailand and the USA. Passionate about anything travel Becky enjoys anything outdoors and spends her free time sailing, water skiing and kayaking.  Becky’s love for adventure travel led her to us and she is now our full time Reservations Manager and part time tour leader.  An adventure with Becky will be fun, educational and awe-inspiring as she will take you to all the best scenic photo spots away from the crowds. Her favorite Southwest USA destination is Monument Valley.



Ari Brundrett

Reservations Manager and part time Tour Leader Bindlestiff Tours

Ari’s love for the outdoors is deeply rooted from growing up in Massachusetts and exploring the wonders of New England. While in college at UMASS-Lowell, Ari was a student leader for the Outdoor Adventure Program leading hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing trips for the college and community. She moved to Virginia where she worked as an assistant for the William & Mary Tribe Adventure Program, and then to West Virginia to work at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Ari’s favorite memory is leading a college trip to the Everglades in Florida, where she taught kayaking and camping skills while paddling between islands. She loves to share her passion for the outdoors through biking, hiking, rock climbing and kayaking, and is excited about what Las Vegas has to offer!.