Sunday, February 19, 2023

Exploring Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Nation - 2022/09/10

Today we're going on a fun adventure that's been on the list for a long time! It's one of those places you see in pictures and are amazed by the beauty. It's the Antelope Canyon in Arizona! Theresa booked this one months in advance to get the date and time slot she wanted. This is a long one with lots of pictures, so buckle up and get ready! 

In a little strip-mall in Page, Arizona, we come to the Antelope Canyon tour office. We were warned to arrive with plenty of time to check-in because when the time comes, they're going with or without you. 

Inside, Theresa gets checked in for our tour. 

Rules and regulations for going on the tour. Additionally, wearing a mask is required inside the canyon, due to it being an enclosed area. Covid hit the Navajo nation hard and the elders have instituted many rules, including these spaces. We knew this going in, but were happy to see that we'd be allowed to drop our masks for pictures when we want. 

And this tour is definitely not cheap. It's a 90 minute tour, but it's $90 each for the adults and Ian, and $72 for Alli. Overall, $370 for us to go see this canyon. This was the whole reason for the overnight trip here though, so let's go see it!

While we waited for our time to arrive, Jacob treated the kids to donuts at a nearby shop. 

Just before noon, lots of people gathered outside the office to meet their guides. 

Blue group meet up here. Turns out there's just two groups here. The five of us, and then a large group of friend celebrating. 

Our transportation to the canyon. 

A pair of benches in the back of a pickup truck. Once we reached the Navajo Nation land, we turned off into a dried up river bed. 

It was dry and sandy. There were places it almost felt like we were going to get stuck. And Jacob and I definitely caught some air while our driver gunned it through the sand. We stayed a few hundred yards behind the truck in front, but we still felt sandblasted in the back. Good thing T and the kids are up front! I wonder how she's doing regarding motion sickness!

I think it was a 20 mph speed limit sign I saw. This is what my phone had us going though. 

Well that was an experience! 

There's at least 6 different trucks here from the Antelope Canyon Tours company, but they're not the only tour company that visits here. From what I heard, at least 6 different companies stagger their start times to funnel people through the canyon. That's why they are leaving with or without you from the tour office. 

Going over a few do's and don't. 

The entrance to the canyon. 

When you look at it from the satellite view, it's not really that long. About 600 feet or so. 

The entranceway. 

Looking up at all the beautiful layers here. 
The reason Theresa booked this tour so far out was to get the noon-day sun, pointing down into the canyon, lighting up the colors. At 120 feet deep, there is only a narrow window for the sun to really shine down here and light this place up. 

Our guide pointed out a section that looked like a girl in a dress. 

Once we entered, our guide kept us moving forward. 

Though we're trying our best to keep our distance from the group in front of us. 
It actually used to be a lot worse. Before Covid, tours would be going both directions, so you'd have people passing each other all the time. Now, it's one-way with a bridge built to get you back to the trucks at the entrance. 

Many of these photos I'll be posting without comment. 

Our guide giving suggestions on camera settings to come away with some good pictures. 

I love the layered look of all this sandstone. 

Our guide explained that the floor-level in here can change dramatically. Water rushes through here and can raise and lower it 6+ feet! 

Smile Ian!

Getting a sense of scale for this canyon and all 120 feet above us. 
We were fortunate that it was just the two parties in this group. We had a better opportunity to get shots of us, instead of waiting for 5-6 parties to cycle through. We had to keep moving too, as there was another group from another company right on our heels. 

Alli playing in the sand. 

There's a few places where things have fallen down into the canyon and gotten stuck between the walls. 


And I guess some animals too. 

The kids asking how the canyons were formed here. 

Our guide explaining how rainwater has flowed through the canyon, and over millions of years, eroded the softer sandstone, carving its way through. 

Thirty minutes later, we emerged on the other side. 

Climbing our way out. 

Looking across the river into the canyon. 

This walkway was installed to make your way back to the trucks. 

Looking over the top of the canyon. Doesn't look like a whole lot from this angle. 

There's the trucks. Actually just a couple of those are ours. Most are from other tour companies. 

Ian wanted to join us in the back of the truck for the ride back to the strip mall. 

You're right, it is like the Indiana Jones ride Ian. 

Goodbye Antelope Canyon! 

It sure was windy getting back. Despite sitting closer to the cab and getting shielded, we still had gritty sand in our eyes, nose, and mouth. 
Overall, we had a good time on the tour. It was beautiful, but I felt it was a bit rushed. I understand trying to get as many people through there as they can. Based on our costs, each truck of 14 people is $1400. Running 6 trucks, 4 tours a day, that's not too bad. 

Time to take the long drive back to the RV in Hurricane Utah. 

See ya Uncle Jacob! It's been fun! Glad you could join us! 

Checking out the game room here. 

And finally playing on the playground before it's time to leave and head to the next site on our travels. 

1 comment:

  1. WOW...GORGEOUS photos inside the canyon...once inside the entrance, the view really set the tone of what was to come...the swirls, grooves, cuts, and shadows were amazing...the noon sunlight (great tour time choice, Theresa!) helped accentuate the features throughout the canyon...the colors were amazingly captured in that one photo with orange-yellow and white swirls...the "girl-in-a-dress" outline was interesting to see. It's unfortunate you couldn't pause long enough to fully absorb the beautiful surroundings within the canyon...that rushed feeling does take something away from an otherwise amazing experience. Ian's description of "Indiana Jones ride" is perfect (I think that's why I only rode that attraction once and said "no more"...couldn't handle that "bumpiness"!)...glad Theresa didn't get motion sick from the truck ride to the canyon, which would have messed up the canyon experience for sure. One would never know the hidden gem of the canyon based on the view outside the canyon! EOM