After Horseshoe Bend, we decided to grab a quick bite at Sonic Drive-In before heading to Antelope Canyon. The food options weren’t as impressive so keep your expectations low if you’re in the area and need to grab a bite to eat. But anyway, Antelope Canyon is just a short drive away from Horseshoe Bend. I highly recommend doing both if you’re in the same area!
After lunch, we headed out to Antelope Canyon. There are two canyons: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Of the two, the former is the most visited hence one of most photographed canyons between the two. I hear that the Lower Antelope Canyon is smaller and has stairs you have to use to get to the slot canyons. We ended up at Upper Antelope Canyon. It’s mandatory to book a tour if you want to visit the canyon. There are several tour companies but we ended up with Navajo Tours since we saw a sign for Upper Antelope Canyon (I didn’t do any previous research beforehand so I just went with whatever we saw first). Keep in mind that the tours are every hour! We had paid $40/person for the tour as well as $8/person for the admission fee. They accept cards but only on the tour. The admission fee had to be paid in cash. You can’t bring any bags in with you but you can bring water and your camera (phone or whatever you use to take photos).
Road to Antelope Canyon
At the time of your tour, you will board a truck with a small group and a tour guide. Our tour guide was Jolene and she was wonderful. She drove us through a dirt road for about 15 or so minutes to the entrance of Antelope Canyon. The drive was pretty dry, dusty, and very bumpy.
Upper Antelope Canyon
Upon entering Antelope Canyon, it is wide with lots of light. As you walk through the canyon, the path starts to narrow and it is vital to keep your eyes peeled so you don’t walk into the walls. First thing that came to mind was how busy the canyon was. I’ve seen so many photos of the canyons and always thought it was an intimate experience. Boy was I wrong; there were tons of groups with their tour guides in there. But Jolene was wonderful as she told us the best spots to take a photo of. She kindly took photos of the groups and whenever an opportunity opens up (such as when a spot in completely people-free) she jumped at the chance to tell us. With that said, despite on how busy it is, it’s still worth it because of how beautiful it is.
As we came here passed noon, we didn’t get the opportunity to see the light beams. During the summer, the sunlight shines through the slot of the canyon forming beams. Because of how beautiful it is, Jolene mentioned that it is the busiest time to be in the canyon.
And if you’re wondering, the story behind these canyons is that over time, flash floods rushed through these canyons and eroded the Navajo sandstones to form what the canyon is now today. The sand (just like the ones at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes) was soft and fine. In certain parts of the canyon, you can see trees that are stuck above you from previous flash floods. Jolene said that the water can go as high as 30 feet hence why they are stuck and inaccessible to remove.
- Bring water and your camera but leave your other belongings in the car.
- The canyon is actually not as hot as outside.
- Wear appropriate footwear; you’ll be walking quite a bit through the canyon and then you will be walking back the same way.
- Speaking of footwear, I wore my new Nikes and they got a bit dirty because of the sand. I highly recommend wearing an older pair of sneakers if you mind having dust on your new sneakers.
- It can get dusty in there as well as the drive to the canyon!
Have a great weekend friends! We have a tropical storm heading our way so not sure if I have anything planned this weekend. See you all on Monday!