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An Unplanned Gem: Antelope Canyon

Inside Lower Antelope Canyon

One of the best ways Dennis and I have found to discover an unexpected treasure is to listen to what people we meet say their best finds are.  A recent example of this was when Grace and Jake, the couple we hiked The Wave with, told us about their experience doing the Lower Antelope Canyon tour.  Originally, we had not planned to do that short excursion, but once we heard their story we did our own research and decided to make an unscheduled stop in Page, Arizona.  

We choose Dixie Ellis’ Lower Antelope Canyon guide company for our mid-afternoon walk.  You can’t do this outing on the Navajo Reservation on your own, it must be with a local guide.  Our small tour group was ten people and our Navajo guide, Isaac.  It turns out that this season is our equivalent of “spring break” in China, and the other eight people in our group were Chinese. Only a few spoke English. Despite the language barrier, Isaac did a wonderful job of herding us through this amazing slot canyon while telling us all about the history and geology. 

Issac at work

Issac had learned how to speak enough Chinese phrases that he was able to communicate with all the people in the group. I should also mention that he helped all of us take some fabulous pictures.  I can honestly say we all learned something new on that tour.  It seemed to me like the lower canyon is overlooked a bit in the guide books.  It isn’t as popular as the Upper Antelope canyon and it is also not quite as accessible, as there are many stairs and narrow sections, but the rock formations were beautiful to see and it was well worth the stop.

IF You Go: Issac explained to us that Lower Antelope Canyon is mostly “V” shaped–the bottom is narrow and the top wide. Upper Antelope Canyon which is just across the road is “A” shaped with wider paths but narrow openings at the top. Upper Antelope gives you more “shafts of light” shining down into the canyon.

If you can do the tour early or late in the day the lighting will be better for photographs. Try to book well ahead. Both are close to Page, Arizona on the border between Utah and Arizona.

7 thoughts on “An Unplanned Gem: Antelope Canyon”

    1. Southwest is very different from the Pacific Northwest and fascinating. Great break from our Pacific Northwettest winters.

  1. THANKS! I would never have seen any of the pictures of Antelope Canyon
    if you had not visited there and shared! I had never heard of it either.

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