Have you heard of Antelope Canyon before? Chances are probably about 50/50 that you have. But the odds increase substantially that you've seen photos of the slot canyon before, even if you didn't know it.
Antelope Canyon, located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona, has become a bit of a mecca for photographers, owing to the famous light beams that shine down into the narrow canyon during certains times of the day.
When planning this road trip, I knew Antelope Canyon had to make it into our itinerary somehow. I knew it would be too good to miss.
And I think I was right.
The slot canyon portion of Antelope Canyon can be accessed in two different spots, across the road from one another — Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Upper is the more famous of the two (because of those light beams), and is therefore much more crowded. Lower, by contrast, is much less-visited. It is also a more adventurous canyon, with more hiking and climbing involved within it.
As much as we would have liked to visit both sections of Antelope Canyon, we only made it to Upper. We started out there at about 11 a.m., hoping to catch the light beams before they started disappearing once the sun rose to the middle of the sky just past noon.
Since Antelope Canyon is owned by the Navajo Nation, it requires an entry fee, and a paid guide. The Upper canyon cost $31 per person total, which included a $25 fee for the guided canyon tour, as well as a $6 Navajo fee. In my opinion, it was worth the entrance fee.
We arrived at the Upper canyon around 11 a.m., but it was so crowded that we missed out on the 11 .m. tour and were booked on the noon one instead. About 15 minutes before noon, we were all piled into modified pick-up trucks and taken on a (very bumpy) 15-minute ride to the slot canyon. I would NOT recommend this for anyone with a bad back…
After arriving at the canyon, our group of 12 was led through by our Navajo guide, who pointed out rock formations, told us about how the canyon was formed, and instructed us on how to take some great photos. While the hour-long tour was great and the canyon itself was stunning, I won't sugar-coat it — the canyon was CROWDED, full of people snapping photos.
But, despite that, I still think it was worth it. And here's why:
After our tour, we had a lazy day in Page. Around 6 p.m., we made our way out of town and down to Lake Powell, which is a gigantic lake that sits in the basin of Glen Canyon. The lake is designated as a National Recreation Area, and offers just about any type of water sport you can imagine.
We opted for a cruise on the lake through the above-ground portion of Antelope Canyon.
The sun was setting as we sailed between the canyon walls, which painted the tops of them a brilliant gold color.
Page is definitely a place I'd love to return to someday. There's so much to do and see here, and we barely scratched the surface.
Each day, I’ll be cutting together a quick video to show you what we’ve been up to. Here’s Day 8:
Tomorrow, it's on to the Grand Canyon!