Grand Antelope Canyons

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The absolutely best reason to visit Page, Arizona, is the Antelope Canyons. Ruth & I went back this year just to see them, and it was completely worth it. There are two canyons and they are rare phenomena.

Called slot or slit canyons, the Antelopes are in a Navajo Tribal Park, and the Navajo overseers used to let people wander alone. This led to vandalism and trash.  Therefore, visitors now must go into the canyons accompanied by a Navajo guide.  This is actually fine.  We had an excellent one named Tim who gave us extra time and lots of information.  He even told me where to get the best photos.

Sunlight penetrates into slot canyons and creates truly beautiful sights.  The sandstone walls carved by wind and rain swirl with vivid colors that range from yellow to orange to rose to blue depending on the time of day.  The best time to see them is 9 to 11:30 am, but the afternoons are stunning too as long as it isn’t cloudy or threatening rain.   Because these are narrow corridors, flash flooding occurs quickly.  In July of 1997, 13 people died in an unexpected flood. However, this is quite rare.

There are differences between the upper and lower Antelope Canyons.  The upper is A-shaped, and because its top is narrower and closer to the surface there are more impressive light shafts.  Tour-takers simply walk into the upper. The lower is V-shaped, deeper, and requires descending and ascending ladder-like stairs and negotiating some narrow passages, but the quartz in combination with the Navajo sandstone created incredible colors that made Ruth & me often gasp in awe.

There are several Navajo entrepreneurs giving tours.  These can be relatively expensive, but they’re worth it.  A photographers’ tour is more costly than a basic sightseers’ tour and requires a tripod.  I recommend Ken’s Tour.  These are the oldest and, from what I was able to determine, the best.  To get to Ken’s requires specific directions.  Ask the staff at the Page Visitor Center for help if you run into trouble.

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Hank

 

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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