MY DREAM CAME TRUE!
Reviews of bucket-list-worthy things to do all over the world

A Celebrity Slot Canyon and a Famous Bend in a River

 
Photos taken during our tour of Lower Antelope Canyon
(The first pic was taken with my friend's cellphone set to the settings recommended by our guide. The second pic was taken with my point-and-shoot camera on automatic settings.)
 
Page, Arizona, was a pit stop on a six-day/five-night mid-June whirlwind road trip that my friend and I took to see some of the most incredible national parks in the USA. We'd already spent two nights at the Grand Canyon and made a quick detour to visit to Monument Valley. Our next stops would be Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but we spent a night in Page, because we wanted to check out Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

Antelope Canyon

          You've probably seen at least one image of Antelope Canyon with its red-pink, wave-like, otherworldly walls, maybe on a screensaver. I had, and I wanted to see the Canyon in person.
          There are two portions of Antelope Canyon: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Touring Lower Antelope Canyon is a more adventurous experience (requiring climbing stairs and maneuvering around bends) than touring Upper Antelope Canyon, and so Lower Antelope Canyon held more appeal for us. Self-guided visits to Antelope Canyon are not allowed, and so, at the recommendation of a fellow blogger, I reserved a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon with Ken's Tours.
          Because I wasn't sure how late we'd arrive in Page the night before our tour, I avoided booking an early morning tour, even though numerous online reviews recommended the early tour times, especially in the hot, busy summer months, because the temperatures are cooler and the canyon less crowded.
          On the day of our tour, our internal alarm clocks got us up much too early for the 10:00 AM tour we'd booked. We indulged in a leisurely breakfast (free with our pleasant stay at the modern Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell, a brand-new hotel that opened in 2018). (Other hotels in Page that opened in 2018 include Baymont by Windham Page Lake Powell, Hyatt Place Page / Lake Powell, and Country Inn & Suites, Page, AZ.) After breakfast, we took a drive to Ken's Tours to see whether they could accommodate us on an earlier tour.
 
Ken's Tours
 
          We arrived at the reception area for Ken's Tours at 7:45 AM and politely asked if they had any earlier openings. As luck would have it, there'd been a last-minute cancellation. We were immediately switched to a 8:00 AM tour time!
          After a quick stop at the pit toilets beside the tour building, we met our guide, Will. A few minutes after 8:00 AM, Will led us down steep metal staircases into the slot canyon.
 
Looking down toward the staircases leading into Lower Antelope Canyon
 
Staircases leading into Lower Antelope Canyon
 
           There was only one tour group ahead of us and one group behind us. Once the dozen or so people in our group were all safely on the canyon floor, we moved through at a relaxed pace, with plenty of time to take all the photos we wanted.
 
Our tour group and guide
 
          It was easy to capture photos that didn't include anyone but us, and there were even quiet moments when we felt like we were the only people there, exploring the pristine environment as if we were the first people to discover it.
 
 
In most of our photos, it looked like we were the only ones in the canyon.
 
          Our tour guide pointed out some areas of the canyon that reminded people of familiar shapes.
 
 
The shape of the rock in the center of the first photo reminds some people of a figurehead on the bow of a ship or a woman with long hair blowing in the wind. When photographed from just the right angle, the area of canyon in the second photo seems to frame the shape of a seahorse.
 
          As promised, there was a bit of stair climbing and maneuvering through slightly-narrow bends.
 
 
Climbing through the canyon
 
          We made our final climb out of the canyon at about 9:00 AM, feeling extremely satisfied with our experience. When we looked back toward the crack in the earth from which we'd emerged, it was hard to believe that so much beauty exists just below it.
 
The exit of Lower Antelope Canyon as viewed from above
 
 Horseshoe Bend

         After we thanked our Antelope Canyon guide, we jumped back in our car to head to Horseshoe Bend. When we arrived in the large parking lot, it was just after 9:30 AM, and the oppressive heat of the day had already begun to descend.
         The hike to the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint is only 1.5 miles round trip, but it involves a moderately-strenuous climb up and down a hill made of soft sand, both on the way in and on the way out. We saw many people huffing and puffing and stopping to rest along the way.
 
The ascent
 
The descent (the arrow shows the location of Horseshoe Bend)
 
          The exertion under the blazing sun was worth it, though, when we found ourselves marveling at a blue-green curve of the Colorado River, miles below the canyon rim.
 
Horseshoe Bend
 
Fellow tourists on the rim around Horseshoe bend
 
         By the time you read this, it is likely that those who are reluctant to stand on the rim without a railing to protect them from falling will have a viewing platform to enjoy. During our visit, the platform was under construction, but it is slated to open in Summer 2018.
 
The viewing platform was under construction during our visit, but it is slated to open in Summer 2018.
 
           At about 10:30 AM, we arrived back at our car, pleased with our visit to Page, Arizona, and excited for our next adventure: Zion National Park.

I did this in mid June 2018 in Page, Arizona

Jen (California, USA)
 
You might also enjoy these reviews of the other stops on our whirlwind road trip:

Grand Canyon
Monument Valley
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park