One week ago my friend Emma and I did a short (as in two days, definitely not in length) road trip all around the Grand Canyon, USA. Unfortunately, while driving into the South Rim a snow storm struck resulting in that we did not see a single thing. Luckily, prior to that day we stopped in Page, AZ and visited two other gems: the Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon.
Antelope Canyon is situated in Najavo land, second largest U.S tribe territory, just outside of Page in Arizona. It consist of two separate slot canyons; the Upper and the Lower. Lower Antelope Canyon is the place most people visit, so during the summers the canyon can get pretty crowded. Nevertheless, January is the off-season and throughout our visit it was just me, Emma and a guy from Colorado climbing down together with our guide John from Ken’s Tours ($25 adult, $8 park entrance fee). Due to the risk of flash floods and other numerous safety reasons, visitors must go trough authorized tour operators.
Walking upstream this narrow canyon was a fantastic experience and I’m afraid you’ll have to experience it for yourself because my photos doesn’t do the place justice. The Najavo Sandstone shifts in color depending on the amount of sunlight crossing the edge, so you’ll be able to spot shades in the spectrum from bright orange and gold to dark reds. Due to the various hours of light throughout the year, John said that the canyon will look very different from season to season, but that it also varies within the day. In the summer the sun will of course bright the place up in gold during most of the day, but you won’t be able take pictures without another group interfering your shot by stepping into the frame.
The slot canyon does not only consist of just sandstone. As you walk along you’ll also find small parts of conglomerate, as well bigger rocks transported there from previous floods or sandstone segment eroded down by water and wind. Further, small pits found in the sandstone are all impressions of natural occurring chemical reactions.
The walk through is 1,335 feet/407 m long, which took us about an hour. The hike is easy and accessible for anyone who has the courage to climb down and a steady pair of sneakers or boots. John was also very keen on us taking our time enjoying the place, as well being able to get some great shots. He would constantly pick out the best spots as well help with camera settings if needed.
For those of you interested in anthropology, once exiting you’ll be able to see a set of dinosaur tracks. I can’t remember which kind, but it sure was a neat ending to an amazing tour.