Antelope Canyon - Page, Az
We were told if you want a peaceful tour, take the earliest time slot. Apparently the tour buses come into the slot canyon area around 10am and it can get a bit congested - and claustrophobic. With that great advice, we woke early, packed our waters and headed for the lower Antelope Canyon. [The kids had enough site-seeing and wanted to sleep in, who were we to argue - 'day date'!]
The Antelope Canyon is special and is featured on almost any “top 25 places to see in the world.” Located in the heart of Navajo Country, just outside of Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is probably the most photographed slot canyon in the world. It has been accessible by permit only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo Tribal Park.
There are two canyons - the upper and the lower. We chose the lower, while we had to be a bit nimble to navigate this slot, we heard it was less popular because of the 'obstacles'. We had to do a little squeezing through some areas and take steps, ladders in other areas, but other than that totally manageable. [Upper is a short, completely level walk that begins and ends with tall walls.] Lower begins at ground level. It's more like you're stepping down into a crack in the earth. There is some elevation change (nothing too hard), because it is closer to the lake.
Once again, upon first sight, we were in view-shock. The curves etched into the sandstone as a result of the flowing waters, looked like the work of a painter's delicate brush strokes. The contrast the sunlight threw upon the walls made you look twice, as the image changed with the slightest turn of your head. Everyone will tell you not to get caught up in the light beams and sand, we had to remember to look up for interesting views as well.
The 411 - Antelope Canyon was formed from over hundreds of years of water running through it's sandstone. It is a sacred site for the Navajo, and a 'have-to-see' destination for tourists from all over the world. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon means “the place where water flows between the rocks.” Centuries ago, herds of pronghorn antelope roamed freely in Antelope Canyon, which explains the canyon’s English name. It is not known exactly when people first discovered Antelope Canyon, but according to local Navajos, who have lived here for generations, the canyon is a place where cattle grazed in winter.
Now you see why we think the canyon may be the most mystifying place we’ve ever visited. We encourage you to put it on your top 25 destination list! Seeing Antelope Canyon is one of the most amazing things we’ve done. Even if your tour gets a little hectic, you’ll still leave that place thoroughly impressed with its natural beauty.