There is something incredibly fulfilling about opening eyes and mind to the experiences and things that are outside of my comfort zone. And as someone who is a homebody and a comfort lover, this trip to Navajo Nation to explore Antelope Canyons was definitely an out-of-my-comfort-zone kind of adventure that made me feel excited and so alive!
Okay, if you are looking for a luxurious travel experience, this is definitely not the place to go. But if you are up for a quick adventure in the desert, you are in for a treat! I made a video Antelope Canyon: Wonders Of The American Southwest, to share my experiences with you. So please check it out (I hope you will have fun watching it!), and please subscribe to my channel!!
AM, Horseshoe Bend
This is a spectacular and unique site of Colorado river, and truly, taking a 3/4 mile dusty hike to see the bend (not very difficult), is absolutely worth the effort. Just be prepared. Wear hiking shoes, a hat, tons of sunscreen, and hydrate!
Horseshoe Bend used to be a hidden gem of Grand Canyon, but now, it is a fast growing tourist destination. However, besides the viewing platform and a small area that is guarded by rails, there is no protection, and you should approach the edge at your own risk. The hight is thrilling, so hold on to your kids (and as long as they stay on the viewing platform, it is safe) and don’t risk your life for selfies!
Horseshoe Bend is is best to see late morning when the river is out of shadow. The entire trip from the shuttle parking and back takes about 60-90 minutes.
PM, Lower Antelope Canyon Tour
The canyon is located in the lands of Navajo Nation. It is a secret place for Navajo people, and you can only see it via a tour guide. There are two canyon sites, upper and lower. I only had time to visit the lower Antelope Canyon, but I expect that the upper one is just as amazing and if you have more time, you can see both.
Afternoons are the best time to tour the Antelope Canyon because sun is the sole source of light and you want it up and high.
From the surface, you cannot see the canyons. It is a dry and dusty desert all around you. The legend is that the canyons were discovered by a Sheppard girl whose sheep wandered off, and as she was looking for her sheep, the girl heard the sheep cry from below. Following the sound of cry, she discovered the canyon. Locals here say that they often find animals in the canyons, some fall in, some hide there to find a refuge from the sun and heat.
These canyons were formed by powerful rushing waters which often come without warning and sweep away everything and everyone on its way. The last powerful storm hit in 1997 and killed 12 people. And for ages, Navajo elders warn of entering the canyons, and at the beginning of every season, they do a ceremonial prayer to ensure everyone’s safety.
*tours are the only way to see the canyon, and it is very advisable to book tours in advance, especially during the tourist season.
AM, The waterside of Antelope Canyon:
Kayaking on the tranquil water that reflects blue sky and heavy sandstone walls is an absolutely breathtaking experience. If you close your eyes, you can almost feel the presence of these walls towering over you. It is hard not to be in awe when witnessing this million years old creation.
If you are doing it on your own, you can make it an entire day experience. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in this gorgeous place, park your kayaks and go for a hike. Make sure you pack lots of water and sunscreen. Roundtrip without a hike should take about three hours.
If you are short on time or don’t want to do the work, you can also take an hour long boat tour.
What to wear:
Okay, hiking boots, white shirts, big hats, sun glasses, tons of moisturizers, hand creams, and sunscreen, are a must. The rest is optional. As always, I packed a big suitcase to have options of dresses, jeans and tees, sandals, cowboy boots, and hiking boots. And as always, did not wear 90% of the things I brought.
Where to eat:
Bird House (707 N. Navajo Dr. Page, AZ)
Big John’s Texas BBQ (153 Lake Powell Blvd. Page, AZ)
El Tapatio (25 Lake Powell Blvd, Page AZ)
State 48 Tavern (614 N. Navajo Dr. Page, AZ)
*If you are vegan or vegetarian, your choices are quite limited. This is definitely a meat eater country!
Where to stay:
We staid at Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell, and being a hotel snob, I was pretty happy with the choice!