Ok, ok, I know! I am a little late on posting this, but, since my husband just gave me a new camera for my birthday, I still have to figure out how to use it and of course to check every photo and make sure they look awesome before I share with the world. So much for the excuses hahaha, yes, one thing on my bucket list has been to go to the many canyons in Arizona and Utah and especially Antelope Canyon. Seeing the photos on Google mesmerized me all the time and always left me with thoughts, “how can we have this kind of place and not everyone know about it?”, “Is it real or trick photography?”. “Do these rock formations really exist?”. So as my 30-ish birthday getaway, the hubby, our friend and I planned a trip to Arizona and Utah to find out for ourselves.
Antelope Canyon is located near Page Arizona on Navajo Nation land, just outside Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and close to AZ HWY 98 a few miles east of Page.
No stretching, no preparations for me. I had only brought my sneakers and bottled water, dealing with the 100 degree desert weather was not that fun at all. As I got to the spot where we had to wait for our tour guide, I was a little bit disappointed and underwhelmed seeing the entire empty land filled with cactus and desert plants. I was like, “Where the heck are the canyons?!” I totally can’t find a clue where they can be as I was just seeing the entire open space. Was I about to be disappointed by 10 feet of a wall of rock?
As we walked toward the entry area for the canyon, the tour guide was talking about the history, how the Canyons started, yadi yadi yada, I admit I was no longer paying attention (oops, did I just say that?), I just wanted to know, “where are the darn canyons”? After about a 10-15 minutes walk from the parking lot and ticketing area, there was a pathway going down to where there was a big covered waiting area with groups of people with their tour guides lined up and waiting under the scorching summer heat.
Given how hot it was, I was thinking, this must be something special for all these people to be waiting in these temperatures with just a little bit of shade to shield us from the sun. It must have been 110 degrees in the shade! I was surprised at the diversity of age in the group, from Seniors to little toddlers. One couple even brought a baby who was maybe 9-10 months old. Later on, you will see why that might not have been the best idea.
As we went closer to the front line, that’s the time I realized why we were stuck on the shade. There was a steep staircase leading from the waiting area down below to the cave/canyon. My excitement started to level up as I started to see the rock formations and I had to face my fear of heights haha. The stairway is very steep leading down to the canyon and at points, turns into a ladder which required me to go down backwards as you would a ladder. The braver people ventured down facing forward. This tour turned out to be more of a hike than I expected. One thing I was very grateful for is that it’s much cooler down in the canyon which is below ground level and mostly shielded from direct sunlight.
Steep ladders, narrow pathways, sweat and muscle pain are all worth it. Just seeing these formations are overwhelming but honestly, I would love to do it again!
I’m just glad that our bed and breakfast, Debbie’s Hideaway, is so close from the Antelope Canyon.