When first researching this trip, this was a “must do” on my list. The photos looked absolutely amazing, and I just wanted to see it for myself! For this “excursion,” you had to book a tour with a company. It is located on a Navajo Reservation and there were a bunch of rules that had to be followed. They stressed the importance of making sure you were there on time because the tour would leave without you, make sure you were in correct time zone, wear a mask, etc. I really wanted the morning tour because of the sunlight and heat factor, but they were completely sold out. The 2:00 p.m. was the only one left. The cost was $90 plus tax per person.
What exactly is Antelope Canyon? There are actually two different tours–Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. We toured Upper. The Canyon is a slot canyon, which has been formed by flash floods passing through. The area experiences a monsoon season, and the rainwater causes erosion, and smooths the walls of the canyon. Our tour guide, Sonny, told us that the rainwater comes from dozens of miles away.
We woke up and got on the road about 10 a.m. The drive from the Grand Canyon to Antelope Canyon was about two and a half hours, and of course, the scenery was amazing!
We were supposed to be there to check in a half hour ahead of our tour time, and masks were mandatory inside the building and while on the tour. We checked in and were assigned a color.
Right at 2:00 p.m., the tour guides started shouting out their colors and we were grouped accordingly. We boarded these open air trucks for an approximately 20 minute drive–10 minutes on regular roads, and 10 minutes off road through the sand.
We were matched up with three other groups of people.
The ride was WINDY!
It was HOT! And once we hit the sand, it felt even hotter.
As we were pulling up to the canyon, we could see other tour groups that were just getting ready to leave. These were with a different company. So each company must be given certain time slots to have access to the canyon.
Once out of our truck, we headed to the entrance of the slot canyon. Everything here is ground level, unlike the Lower Antelope Canyon tour where you have to climb up and down ladders within the canyon. It’s also one way “traffic” through the canyon post Covid.
This was the first photo I took once partially inside.
It was at this point that the tour guide took my phone and put it on the correct settings to capture the light correctly. Ha! He also took several of the next photos for me, because he knew exactly at what angle to hold the camera, etc.
This one is called The Bear. You can see it bright in the middle there. It’s just the way the sunlight shines down from above throughout the corridor!
I took well over 200 photos of this entire experience. I’ve narrowed it down to my favorites and will include them below.
It really was AMAZING! Besides looking straight ahead, you had to look up, and behind you, and everywhere! The walk through was short, but our guide stopped every so many feet so we could get pictures and he could tell us more about the canyon. He took as many photos as we wanted. He was great with my girls, and used their phones to take pics too.
Right at the exit of the canyon, we saw this little guy.
To get back to the trucks, we had to hike up and over the top of the canyon. This is a change post-Covid.
This is the exit of the canyon.
Our guide told us they had to construct this walkway in order to keep the tours open, and “traffic” walking through the canyon going one direction.
Thank goodness it was covered, because it was HOT!
You can’t tell, but this is exactly where we had just walked through the canyon! It’s under the ground there.
This is the view looking up at the walkway from the parking area.
If you have mobility issues, this probably isn’t the best tour for you just based upon the exit. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk back to the trucks, but it’s on a slight grade, and large parts of it were not covered so you were fully exposed to the sun and heat. There was one person who they did escort out through the front and didn’t make her walk up and over, but that is definitely not the norm and is not guaranteed.
Overall, WE LOVED THIS DAY! It was the highlight of the entire trip for one of my daughters. It was so magnificent to see and I would highly recommend this tour if you are anywhere in the area.