The day started with a quick breakfast including pancakes, toasts, fruits, coffee, and muffins, at our hotel in Williams, Arizona. We commenced our road trip to Antelope Canyon early in morning around 7:00 A.M. The whole trip took around 2 hrs 30 minutes. It includes long empty stretches with no gas stations.
Tip: The whole route is in a desert area with high temperatures even in morning. Make sure you have plenty of water in your car and ample sunscreen for the day.
Antelope Canyons are slot canyons formed due to an erosion of sandstone by flash flooding. Even now in rains, these canyons become flooded and inaccessible. There is an Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, both equally beautiful. Due to a time crunch, we decided to do the upper one.
The entry into Antelope Canyons is restricted only with guides. We singled out Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours for our visit. There are other tours also available which you can check online on trip advisor or google.
The Tours parking lot is located a few minutes away from highway 98. You pay entry fees of around 8$ and park in the spaces provided. Then there is one room tour office surrounded with a sheltered area, where the tour representatives are present. Here you need to register your party and pay the tour fees.
Tip: Keep hold of your entry slip, else you would have to pay again. Also, this slip holds if you plan to visit lower antelope canyon too.
We parked here and paid 40$ each for both of us for a guided sightseeing tour. They also have a photographer tour which costs 120$. Our group had the timing of 1:00 P.M. It was only 10:30 A.M. So we decided to visit Horseshoe Bend in our spare time.
Horseshoe bend is located just off the highway 89, outside of Page, Arizona. It is on your way to Antelope Canyon if you are coming from Williams.
Surprisingly, there are no big markings to identify it’s entry point.
If you don’t pay attention, you might miss the small board directing to the exit towards Horseshoe Bend. The exit is a small dirt road leading toward the parking lot.
Tip: Park the vehicle in the parking area and not on the roadside.
The 1.5 miles, the mostly sandy trail starts from here. The temperature that day was hot and it was very windy. Because of the sand and the unbearable heat, the trail becomes a bit trying at times.You would start feeling dehydrated very soon.
Tip: Make sure you have applied sunscreen and have ample amount of water.
The view of the 270-degree turn off Colorado river formed naturally over thousands of years is absolutely mesmerizing and beautiful. There are a lot of spots to get good photographs. Although you will have to wait for your chance as the view remains packed with visitors almost at all times.
Tip: Watching sunrise or sunset here is recommended if you have the time. At both times, the view is breathtakingly beautiful.
We spent around an hour here and then started back towards Navajo Tour parking lot. At around 12:30 P.M., we were loaded in the vehicle with our group of 10 along with our guide. They drove us to the entrance 3.5 miles away. The ride itself is bumpy, exhilarating and enjoyable. I had to put a scarf over my face because of the dust flying around.
They say the best time is between 11 AM and 1 PM. Although we were late, we experienced some great views.
Our guide was very cheerful and informative. She pointed the best locations to take pictures. Even helped each of us in our group in taking the best photographs.
There were only a few locations left where we were able to see the enigmatic rays reaching through the gaps and lightening up the sandstone into layers and colors.
It felt the tour duration of 1 hour was inadequate. Nonetheless, it was an hour well spent. After this, we were transported back to parking lot. From here, we started back towards Las Vegas to enjoy the last leg of our journey.
This marks the end of this beautiful and engaging trip to Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon.
Hope you enjoyed. Share your experiences of visiting Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in the comments section below.