I’d been wanting to go to Antelope Canyon ever since I moved to Flagstaff in June, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to finally make the 2 hour drive to Antelope Canyon when Jaime came to visit. Justin and I had made an attempt to go a few months earlier, but it was a failure. Little did we know that while most of Arizona does not adhere to a time change, the Navajo Nation does, and therefore the 1 hour time change from Flagstaff to Page threw us for a loop. We missed the tour time, and were forced to go back home after a brief visit to Horseshoe Bend. Between then and my latest venture, I have learned a few tips for exploring Lower Antelope Canyon I think you should know:
1. This visit was to the Lower Antelope Canyon which I thought was GORGEOUS! It is the ninth wonder of the world and has been photographed time and time again. They have multiple weddings there, and often even magazine photo shoots. Our tour guide, Mouse (yes as in Mickey) said he was the fortunate soul to lead a Maxim magazine tour group. I’m sure the scenery was plentiful that day.
2. The Upper Antelope Canyon REQUIRES a reservation and although it is supposedly better for amazing pictures, it is also completely overcrowded the majority of the time. From what I hear they rush you through, there are too many people to get good photographs, and it’s just a frenzy!
3. As of today, there is ONE tour on the Lower Antelope Canyon which does not require a reservation: http://www.lakepowelllife.com/lower-antelope-canyon-tours/. You DO, HOWEVER, need a tour guide. So don’t be driving over there thinking you can barrel through the canyons on your own you little trailblazer.
4. Lower Antelope Canyon DOES have a fairly steep decline of stairs. If you can’t handle that, you probably should go to the Upper Canyon.
5. This tour did have free water, but there is not much else out there in Page, so plan ahead and eat plenty before you leave. Also, I didn’t happen to see any restrooms at the parking area but maybe I missed the port-a-potty as we jetted out as soon as we rolled in!
Now that we have those out of the way, let’s get to story time! Like I said, there are two different canyons. The upper antelope canyon is the first one you will see when you come into town. If you head further down the road the lower antelope canyon, which is fairly easy to spot, awaits. We caught the 1:00 tour time, which was AMAZING because there were literally only 6 other people in our group. This is very rare! The cost was $28 per person. Our guide Mouse, (yes, like Mickey) had grown up in the area and played in these slot canyons as a child, so he knew every nook and cranny and was very knowledgeable about the canyons. He showed us incredible photography tricks and informed us what speed we should put our cameras on. It was almost a photography lesson and a tour! We were so lucky to have him. After a short walk (probably 3/4 of a mile) to the canyon, we had to walk down some stairs that were fairly inclined. And then, the beauty sunk in. It completely astonishes me that this was made from years of flowing water and winds! Every turn equated to an angle that was even more breathtaking than the last. To be honest, it was hard to take a bad picture!
The tour lasted about 2 hours and was one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen. I was enamored. I wish it was possible to go in the canyon alone, without anyone else around, to feel the spiritual energy inside. I highly recommend going if you are ever in the Arizona area! It was well worth the money from my standpoint.