Be ready to be amazed by what you see, the only magician here is the sun working its magic on the Navajo Sandstone of the canyons. Sunlight bounce back and forth across the canyon walls creating a dazzling display of color. Welcome to the wondrous Antelope Canyons.
Antelope canyon is a slot canyon located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. It includes both the Upper Antelope canyon or The Crack, and the Lower Antelope canyon or The Corkscrew.
Horseshoe bend is a horseshoe-shaped bend of the Colorado river.
Entry to Antelope canyons is restricted to guided tours only. Here’s a list of tour guides. I would recommend you to book a tour in advance, especially during summer when it gets very busy.
When visiting Antelope canyons the only thing to keep in mind is the tour time. Do not book an early morning tour in winter when sunrise is after 7am, and there is hardly any light penetrating into the canyons. Also, check the weather in advance. Skip the tour on cloudy or rainy days. Remember: these canyons are prone to flash-floods.
Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope canyon is like a cave with an exit; it requires no climbing and the entire length is at ground level. Upper canyon is known for the beams occurring during summer months. We took the tour with Antelope canyon tours. The whole tour was a bit rushed compared to the Lower canyon tours, plus the guide was impatient.
Lower Antelope Canyons
Lower antelope canyons are my favorite. These canyons are somewhat longer than the upper canyons, narrower at certain spots, and requires climbing installed stairways. To get into the canyon you climb down metal stairways. The exit from the canyon is what looks like coming out from a crack in the earth. We took Ken’s tours to tour lower canyons. It was fabulous!
The famous Horseshoe bend is located 4miles southwest of Page. The hike from the parking lot to the cliff is approximately 1.5 miles round trip.
Effective April 2019, visitors to Horseshoe bend will have to pay an entrance fee. Also, parking anywhere other than the designated parking lot is strictly prohibited.
You can get another perspective of the Horseshoe bend by taking a rafting trip. We did a half day smooth water motorized rafting trip in Glen canyon with Colorado River Discovery. There are no rapids.
The trip begins with a 2mile ride down the Glen canyon dam access tunnel. For the half day trip they take you only till the Horseshoe bend. From below the bend you can look up and see the tiny people on the cliff. There is also a brief stop to check out ancient petroglyphs.
While you are in the region, don’t forget to explore the areas around Lake Powell. A short hike (approximately 1 mile round trip) on the Hanging garden trail in the Glen canyon will give you great photography opportunities with access to areas where there’s hardly anybody around.
(We visited Antelope canyons in the last week of November)