Antelope Canyon (and a short drive through Monument Valley)

Written by Lisa. Published on Wednesday, 27th May 2015
Our surprisingly pretty stop off at Page for a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon plus driving through Monument Valley on the way.

It was time for us to leave Utah and head back into Arizona to mainly see the Grand Canyon and drive part of old Route 66. Before we got there however we decided to stop and see Antelope Canyon; something you may recognise from old school Windows backgrounds!

Monument Valley

The way to Antelope Canyon took us through Monument Valley. We didn't actually drive in the valley proper as it requires a fee (to the Navajo nation) and is a dirt road for miles which we didn't really fancy.

We got some classic 'Wild West' views on the drive however which satisfied us.

Antelope Canyon; which tour to choose

The first thing to know is that you can't just turn up and walk the canyons yourself, it is Native American land and so you have to go on a guided tour.

There are two canyon options: the Lower and Upper Canyons. The Upper Canyon is more popular as it is flat and requires very little effort to walk. Due to this there are 6 tour operators all taking groups into to 1/4 mile space. The Lower Canyon however only has 2 tour operators that can visit the 1/2 mile long canyon. The formations are apparently similar and formed in the same way but the downside is that you need to be a little bit fitter given the five flights of quite steep steps down and then the climb up out of the canyon again.

Our tour of Lower Antelope Canyon

We chose Ken's Tours as it had good reviews and was cheap compared to the other options and took a tour into Lower Canyon. Because of the proximity of the canyon to Utah and a few timezone discrepancies between the website and email we got a bit confused about the time we were expected to arrive. We decided our best bet was to turn up at the earliest possible time it could be and ask. Turned out we were very early for our tour but they had space on one leaving in 5 minutes which they put us on instead!

Our guide was great; He helped people with camera settings, pointed out good photo spots and took pictures of people at the best bits for that time of day.

I'm not going to say anymore but just post a bunch of photos so that you can try to get a sense of what it was like!

A side trip

We also realised that close to Page where were were staying was another quite famous viewpoint; Horsehoe Bend in Colorado river. The viewpoint is about 20 minutes from a car park on a sandy path with the return journey being a little more strenuous - all uphill.

There are no barriers on the edge so you can walk right up and look over the canyon to see the classic horseshoe bend in the colourful Colorado River.

In my opinion it is worth the trip if you are in the area!

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