Years ago when our family vacation was in Page, Arizona I remember seeing the brochures for Antelope Canyon tours. The photos were gorgeous and I wanted to see it, but it was August. And that means that the temperature mirrored the surface of Venus or the Sun. Why would anyone venture into a canyon the desert in such extremes temps?
Years later, I found the perfect solution. Visit the desert in the winter.
I could wear jeans and a sweatshirt. And best of all, it was chilly enough to have my winter hat on down in the canyon.
There were about 12 people in the group when the guide finally gathered us. We entered the canyon at the far end. The tour started with the terrifying part. Climbing down five kinda flights of stairs.
I don’t do well with heights. I once cried for a solid 30 minutes at summer camp attempting to do a zip line. Finally, they convinced me that the only way down was to jump. So I jumped. I had so much fun, I climbed back up to do it again and promptly cried for another ten minutes.
But I digress.
Looking at the five flights of stairs down to the bottom of the canyon brought my fear of heights back to the surface. A couple sets were more like stairs, a couple were more like ladders. I’m pretty sure my knuckles were white as I hung on for dear life.
Once we were down on solid ground, the interior of the slot canyon was impressive, to say the least. The walls have been carved from thousands of years of wind and water erosion.
As we made our way up through the canyon, the guide told us stories and pointed out formations. There were so many photo opportunities. I was the only one in the group with a DSLR and the guide was so helpful in showing me what settings to use in manual mode.
By the time we climbed out the end of the canyon. I was disappointed it was over. I have wished I could have spent more time in the canyon.
The canyon is only accessible if you are with a registered Navajo guide. The canyon can be hazardous without a guide or tour company. Rain and storms can cause flash flooding in the slot canyon.
There are two types of tours offered; regular or photographic. The regular tours last about an hour and fifteen minutes. You are allowed to bring any type of photographic device with you, but no tripods.
For the photographic tour (it sounded too long and boring for me) you are required to have a tripod. You can rent one from the tour company if you don’t have one. The photo tour lasts about two hours and is significantly more expensive than the regular tour.
On the regular tour, I managed to get plenty of stunning photos and save a lot of money.