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Antelope Canyon

An amazing, short hike in Native America...

Feel like you are on the set of an Indiana Jones movie:

Our first excursion during our month long summer roadtrip was at Upper Antelope Canyon in far north central Arizona. If you visit, you will most likely overnight in the town of Page, AZ which is very small and was actually founded as a home to the builders of Lake Powell Damn. No damn, no Page, go figure.

There are both upper and lower Antelope Canyons and you can tour both but our tour guide from Antelope Slot Canyon Tours by Chief Tsosie told us that the difference is that the upper canyon is pointy overhead and the lower canyon is pointy at the foot, or is shaped like a "V." I've always liked tee pees so why not. You MUST tour the canyon with a guide as a few years ago too many Karens were going it on their own and destroying the natural beauty. Thanks, Karens.

Once you step into the canyon from the open desert the temperature drops about 20F. All the beautiful colors and striation you see are because of natural lighting peeking through the upper crack in the canyon. They say that the monsoons that come through can flood the canyon and change the shape and elevation of the canyon floor (carry in more sand from the outside or wash some of the sand inside back outside.). Our guide showed us some natural debris wedged into the upper canyon slot about 20 feet above us and mentioned that a storm washed that into place a few years ago. Until recently they also hiked SIX FEET higher in the canyon until another lesser storm washed out the sandy floor to the current level.

The short hike (really a walk) is more of a photo op than a work out. You will get a bit of a work out after you exit the canyon at the opposite end from your entry, climb some man made steps up the side of the canyon and hike OVER next to the top of the canyon and back down steps to your tour bus.

The plain and simple promise:

- Spectacular pics of a slot canyon

- Natural beauty

- (Mostly) easy exercise

The surprise:

An understanding of how many of the ideas of Hollywood writers come from real life experiences, they just have to have lived real lives!

If you go:

- Upper Antelope Canyon is in far north central Arizona, close to the Utah border.

- The canyon entrance is located about 8 hours from downtown Palm Springs and 2 hours from Flagstaff

- Open 7 days a week, weather permitting

- No website for this natural wonder located on Navaho Nation land but you can find great info via a web search

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