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Touring Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon Photo, Page, Arizona

Visiting Antelope Canyon is expensive. However, it's worth the price of admission. It is expensive because the canyon resides in Indian reservations and Navajo laws dictates that all visitors to the canyon not only have to pay the $6 per person entrance fee but have to purchase a guided tour from a local tour company, which usually runs for $20, more if you want to visit both the upper and lower canyons. We purchased such tour from an Indian-run company and rode a modified Jeep through a very bumpy ride to the canyon, about 20 minutes outside of Page.

Antelope Canyon is actually different than I had expected. The entrance was nothing but a crack in a giant sandstone rock. However, once we walked into the canyon, it was like walking into a whole other world. With the sunlight working its way down into the twisting canyon, it lighted the inside of the slot canyon into a spectrum of colors: white at the top, pink underneath, then orange, and finally red at the bottom before it lost its radiance. I had worried about the sky being cloudy that day, but our guide said that it was actually perfect weather for visiting the canyon, because on a clear day, unless the sun is right above the canyon, the canyon would otherwise be dark.

As we walked through the canyon, we learned that the canyon is formed by gushing water that runs through it when there are flash floods, While with slow floods sand is deposited within the canyon, with fast floods, sand is actually removed from the canyon. This results in a constantly changing environment in the canyon. We had a good guide who was eager to tell us where to shoot our pictures and what they had named some of the rock formations (the Elvis, the Devil, etc.).

The canyon is just about a quarter-mile long, but it took us near 1 hour to go from the south end to the north end and back, as we stopped in our tracks so frequently to take in the sights and take pictures. In the end, we emerged from the Upper Valley with a personal sense of the beauty of this slot canyon and brought back memories of a lifetime.

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