On Tuesday I shared my experience at Grand Canyon with you and today I am writing about a canyon in the opposite extreme. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon outside of Page, AZ. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from the South Rim of Grand Canyon and just south of the Utah border.
Unlike Grand Canyon, at Antelope Canyon you are at the bottom of the canyon and the rim is a couple hundred feet above you. It is really cool because you enter Antelope Canyon from the base of a cliff and basically walk into a crack. The sandstone has been eroded away in a narrow, twisting, short canyon. Inside the light plays down from the top, the sandstone is different shades of red, and the canyon turns this way and that making for some amazing photo opportunities. That is the good news.
The bad news is that Antelope Canyon is on Navajo tribal land and the only way into the Canyon is on a guided tour for $60. Even worse is the fact that the price does not stop anyone and this tiny slot canyon is crammed packed with people. Everyone is pushing, shoving, and snapping that you are in their way. Even the tour guides are yelling at each other to keep their group back and in line. It was so bad I asked our guide if we could leave, because……
Now that I have given you the good and bad news of Antelope Canyon, let me give you some tips. First, as crowded as the main canyon is there is a canyon just like it a couple hundred feet to the right of the entrance that is completely empty. This is why I wanted to leave the crowded canyon, so we could check this one out. Now we were in this one I was able to get photos of the canyon from top to bottom without anyone in the pictures. Just a gorgeous, narrow, sandy floored canyon in all its glory. The second tip I have for you is the difference between the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. The upper canyon is where I went and has the narrower rim. The lower one is less crowded and more open up top. Which one is better is a personal preference, but I REALLY like the side canyon we did second and glad I did the upper canyon for this reason.
One thing to be aware of is that due to the distance to other cities and all the tribal land around Page, AZ there is not a lot of choices in hotel rooms and they are on the pricier side. In fact, when I was there they started at $150 for a basic room and went up from there. Just a FYI for you. While you are in Page, AZ you might want to check out Lake Mead, the dam (2nd tallest in the US and tours are available), and Horseshoe Bend, which I will write about next time.