Northeast of the Grand Canyon is Page, Arizona. Just outside of Page is a beauty that is all too easy to miss – the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon. To avoid the crowds, we drove into the parking lot to tour the LOWER canyon. At about $26 per person, this was a costly stop but one we were so happy to have made. We purchased tickets and patiently waited for our guide (in the shade). After trekking out a bit, we were instructed to walk into this unobtrusive crack in the ground. Don’t worry, it’s not as narrow as it looks.
You must climb down an initial set of stairs/ladders to begin the tour. Since most tourists go to the Upper Canyon, we pretty much had the canyon to ourselves with the exception of a few small groups here and there. Also, we somehow happened to join a photographer group which meant that we had a bit more freedom in exploring and taking pictures. While we were all immersed in our awe of the scenery around us, I was shocked to find out that my daughter had been busy squishing several of the caterpillars that were climbing the walls. She said they grossed her out. Uh, kids…
Wow, the way the sandstone had been carved over time was amazing! You could see the contrasting layers of the bright red stone everywhere. It was hard to capture on camera just how beautifully the light entered the canyon. Some of the photographers on the tour gave us hints on how to get the light beams (through some sand in the air just before you shot) and where to stand to get the best vantage points. Still, nothing beats being there and taking it all in personally.
We spent a few hours walking through the slot canyon but that was about 1-1/2 hours more than we should have. You would think we’d pick up on the fact that most others turned around half-way. But, no, we went all the way to the end which got more narrow, was very long, and then we almost couldn’t figure out how to get back after exiting the canyon.
If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend saving up to add Antelope Canyon to your travel plans. The Lower Canyon is much less busy but turn around to go back when the rest of the group does or you will be exhausted. The first half does require going down stairs but is level enough for children and active seniors.