Another of my weekend getaway trips: My visit to Antelope Canyon was a 'by the way' kind of thing. I was headed to Bryce Canyon National Park and Page happened to be the next big stop after Flagstaff. As I drove with my family, I remembered my Navajo friend Adrian, his home town is Page. Adrian and I, had talked about making a trip to Page some two years ago. That aside, the beautiful images of Antelope Canyon I had seen posted by Travbuddy friend Sven (Svenman99) last year stayed with me. This would be an opportunity to shoot 3 birds with one stone. I decided we would stop in Page, take a tour of Antelope Canyon and enjoy Lake Powell while we are at it.
Getting there: Antelope Canyon located in the Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona, lies just southwest of the town of Page. It consists of two spectacular slot canyons: the upper Antelope which is approximately 200 yards long, and the lower Antelope about quarter of a mile long. To get to the park from US Highway 89, take the Arizona 98 East for 4.5 miles to mile post 299. For the lower Antelope Canyon, you have
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
to turn left about half a mile after the mile post onto Navajo Route 22B at the Antelope Point signage. Past the sign, continue for about half a mile then turn left onto a dirt road. A hand painted sign exists as you approach the Slot Canyon. We took a guided tour with Antelope Canyon Tours and paid a total of $80 for 3 people; $30 per adult and $20 for the child. Navajo tribal regulations require that all visitors hire a guide in order to enter the lower or upper canyons. There is no shortage for tour companies in Page. In fact it looked as if it was the one popular business with so many tour companies on Highway 98. There are some guides at the canyon parking lot from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Inside the canyon you will see soft filtering light through the narrow roof suffuses. The amazing curves of the walls are a marvel. The interactions between light from the sun and the shapes inside the canyon wall make for spectacular light effects. We toured the upper canyon, which I understand is the easier one to tour. The lower canyon is more technical and
requires metal stairs and ladders to make the drop down manageable. The reason why slot canyons are many in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah is because of their development. The slot canyons developed from resistant rock, water and relatively youthful landscape. The formations are believed to have been deposited nearly 178 million years ago. The Navajo sandstone is a legacy of great sea sand that once run all the way to present day State of Wyoming.
Sand dunes are very vulnerable when it comes to the wind; they are always at the wind's mercy. The dunes last as long as the wind keeps blowing in the same direction. A shift in the wind causes a change in the shape of the sand making new dunes and in different directions. I noticed as we were in the canyon, that the wind was pretty strong. Evidence of the wind's damage is all around as you see the many cycles stacked on top of each other on the canyon walls. As we walked through the canyon, I noticed that there was a log stuck up above us. Our guide explained that it was due to the heavy flood rains sweeping debris through
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Me coming out after the tour
the canyon during heavy rains. They are evidence of the huge volumes of water that rush through the canyon during heavy flood.
PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain "Travel is an exciting and adventurous passion, it is quite expensive but the reward outweighs the expense. If you can afford it, do it!"
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You certainly went crazy with your camera Harriett...zillions of wild swirls of rock colour
I could not resist, to say I was excited is to understate it. My daughter joined in the craz of photos and this is what I ended up with. Thanks for looking.