Right next to the exit of Page, Arizona, the nature created a spectacular slot canyon, called Antelope Canyon. I discovered this attraction when I was preparing the road trip to Grand Canyon. Seeing on the internet the spectacular photos from there, I thought I must definitely visit this place, if I’m in the area.
Antelope Canyon has formed through the erosion of the rocks, due to the flooding and other processes of underground air moving currents. The rainwater drains rapidly, especially during the monsoon season, entering in the extended basin above the canyon sections. Over time, the waterways have eroded, making the corridors deeper and smoother the hard edges, so that they have in time taken characteristic “flowing” shapes into the rock.
There are still floods in the canyon, which can be a real danger to visitors. On August 12, 1997, eleven tourists lost their lives in Lower Antelope Canyon, being surprised by a flood. That is why access to the park is possible only with authorized guides.
Antelope Canyon is actually made up of two canyons with different access ways. The Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon are on Navajo Nation Land, an old tribe that manages the park. Access to the park is subject to a $ 8 fee. To get into the canyons, you have to pay separate tickets. The canyons can be visited only with authorized guides, most of them being members of the Navajo tribe.
Many people want to know which of the two canyons is nicer, so below I will make a comparison between them.
Lower Antelope Canyon
- Lower Antelope Canyon is cheaper, the entrance ticket costs $ 33.
- To get into the canyon, you have to walk for about 10 minutes to the entrance. There is a queue of at least 30 minutes.
- Entrance to the canyon is set up with steep ladders.
- It is longer and smoother, the spaces being narrower.
- The duration of the tour is 1.5 hours.
- It is less crowded, with only one way.
- The light penetrates less than the Upper Antelope, where at noon you can see the rays of light coming down.
Upper Antelope Canyon
- It is more expensive, the entrance ticket is $ 60.
- To get into the canyon, you have to go for 10 minutes by car, then the entrance is easy, being at the same level.
- The spots are wider and the light penetrates spectacularly down.
- It is busier.
- Here was also shot the most expensive photo in the world. Named “Phantom”, the photography was made by the Australian photographer Peter Link and was sold in November 2014, with the fabulous sum of 6.5 million dollars to a private collector.
Because we did not have to much time to visit both canyons, we chose to visit only the Lower Antelope Canyon. This tour was a really unique and amazing experience. I felt I was in the most original photo studio ever made. We chose Dixie Ellis Tours agency, from where we bought the tickets online. More information can be found here.
So if you plan a roadtrip to the Grand Canyon, you have to stop and visit at least one of the two Antelope Canyons, the landscape being unforgettable.