Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

The Antelope Canyon is a natural wonder of stellar magnitude, few miles from Page Arizona, right on beautiful Navajo land.

You can, unfortunately I might add, only visit the site via organized guided tour, so no way to hang out where you want for as long as you want. The canyon is very narrow and there are many visitors every day, so you have to go with the flow and follow the guide’s directions. We almost immediately got yelled at for taking too long before moving to the next chamber. We were trying to wait for one chamber to clear to take a couple of ‘clean shots’. We were told that the photo tour was what we should have signed up for. I guess next time will know…

We arrived on site on a windy and rainy day, the transfer on truck (with no wind protection on the sides) was a little uncomfortable, because of the cold wind. My only concern was the light inside the canyon. Outside of the canyon it was a very grey, stormy day. Inside the light was better than expected. We weren’t able to see the infamous ray of light filtering in from the ceiling, but we were nevertheless treated to a pretty striking spectacle. The biggest problem was undoubtedly the minuscule grains of sand falling from the ceiling right on to the cameras. Nothing too extreme, but I had to take my Nikon D600 in for a professional cleaning right after the trip. Also be prepared to be battling elbow to elbow with fellow visitors, to get good shots.

The canyon is a slot canyon, created by years of water (mainly flash flooding) and wind erosion action on the red Navajo Sandstone;

it features two sections, named Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon.

The Upper Antelope Canyon is named Tsé bighánílíní in Navajo, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.

Flash floods still pose some danger when visiting slot canyons: in 1997 eleven tourist were killed in the lower Antelope canyon during a flash flood. Since then the amateur-built wood ladders that were swept away, have been replaced with bolted on metal ladders, deployable cargo nets have been installed along with alarm horns at the fee booth. Despite all of this, several tourists were stranded on a ledge of the Upper canyon and had to wait hours for the water to recede.

There are a few local companies organizing tours in the canyon. One suggestion is to book the tour, but meet the guide at the entrance of the area (fee booth), instead of downtown Page. This will spare you the most of the truck transport.

  • Entrance Station Hours, Coppermine Rd. (Navajo Route 20). Summer (March-Oct) 8AM-5PM. Station is closed Nov – Feb, but Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon are both open. Office Hours M-F 8AM-5PM. Entry Fees: Adults $6; under 8: free. No camping is allowed in the park. Access is by guided tour only.
  • Antelope Canyon Park Office, (928) 698-2808 voice (928-698-3360 fax, email : ac@navajonationparks.org). The office is located next to the monkey banana House, which is three miles south of Page, Information and permits can be obtained for Water Holes Canyon and the Rainbow Bridge trails.
  • Getting there:

    Address: 5975 Highway 98, Page, AZ 86040

    Phone:(928) 698-2808

    Hours:

    Thursday hours 8:00 am–4:00 pm

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