Thursday, October 3, 2013

Antelope Canyon (Wednesday October 2.)

Antelope Canyon has always been on my list of places I've wanted to see in person.  We have had a wonderful large photograph from there on our living room wall for many years.  But I had not planned on going there from our Zion Campground location.  We chose to stay here so we could just hop on the shuttle and explore Zion. However since the park is closed, we decided to drive to Arizona in our car and visit Antelope Canyon because it is on Indian land and not closed.

The 120 mile (one way) drive to the canyon was itself quite impressive.  The road thru Zion National Park was open to traffic, so we were able to see more of it than we had from the shuttle bus on Monday.  We went thru a tunnel to the Eastern entrance of Zion National park. It was built in the 30's and under normal conditions large RVs can go thru with special arrangements.  (They close it from on coming traffic and the large vehicle drives down the middle.) But even that would not be a possibility for us because the Alfa is 13' 1" tall and the limit is 13' 1".  Hit a bump and we would hit our satellite dome!

So because of the closure, we took the drive in the car.

When I include pictures in my posts I try to select ones that help illustrate or tell my story.  They are usually not what one would select for a postcard or calendar.  Between the two of us we took several hundred pictures in our tour through the canyon!  So I have divided this post into two parts. First a little about the canyon, and second a gallery of some of the images we captured.

Antelope Canyon is on Navaho land, and visitors have to pay $6 per person plus are required to have a guide.  The cost of the guide ranges from $20 per person (cash only) for a one hour group tour of the lower canyon, to multiple hour tours that include several areas for almost $200.  We opted for the one hour tour which was no reservation, first come first served. These tours leave every 20 minutes. Even though it was very busy due to the closures, we only waited about a half hour before beginning our tour.

As we waited we looked out over the plateau and wondered where the canyon was.  Everything look very flat.  We did see people coming up a path who were returning from the canyon and wondered how far we would have to walk!

Our guide started the group down a path, and stopped to wait for everyone to gather round.  We noticed a crack in the ground and figured he was going to explain that this is how a slot canyon starts.

But no, instead he said: "follow me."

This is the lady who was in front of us...

The way down was a bit narrow. A wide person might have difficulty.  The first challenge of our descent was a couple of sets of steep metal steps that did not have railings.  

Later steps and ladders had hand holds and were much easier. 

In some places the walls were just wide enough to get through.

The floor of the canyon was sandy.  At all times there was light from above.

This picture of Merikay demonstrates the size of some of the larger spaces we passed thru. No, we don't know whose hand that was!

Photos seem to give the canyon a glow from the sunlight that filters in from above.  This seems to be the case for the pictures we shot as well as most of the professional images I have seen.

This image is a close up of a section of the wall that I think shows the actual color and texture.

We shot a couple hundred images.  Here are five.  Many of the others are just as interesting and it was very hard to choose which ones to share!

We will go back to see the upper canyon someday, but this was a fantastic experience.


  1. Those pictures don't look real. They look like an artist's rendition of a foreign, far away place. Just beautiful.

  2. What an amazing place! Looks like you are on another planet. Thanks for taking us along and sharing your photos.


  3. OMG!! that IS so beautiful!! Have to put that on my list!

  4. Simply amazing. Would love to see more of those pictures.

  5. My brother got through there years ago before they required guides. The pictures he took were surreal, one of these days.

  6. I have never heard of Antelope Canyon...absolutely beautiful! Well worth the fee and $ for the tour guide. I can see why you need one! The colors are sunlight are so cool.

    Can't wait for part 2!

  7. The colors of these rock formations are beautiful.

    I would love to visit this area of the country.

  8. Your pics brought back great memories of my tour of Antelope Canyon. Thanks.

  9. Fantastic pictures, very surrealistic.


  10. Wonderful pictures, would love to take a tour.

  11. Your photos are very good. I hope that I would be able to overcome my claustophobia in order to experience such a place.

  12. Great photos, have to see this sometime.


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