Grand Canyon to Zion National Park - Upper Antelope Canyon, AZ
Temps in Flagstaff dropped to about 19 degrees overnight, and when we woke up all of my limbs were frozen. But excitement over a new day of exploring thawed things and we snapped a few final shots at our darling A-Frame cabin before hitting the road.
Sadly we didn’t spot any wildlife in our back yard, but our neighbors had horses and roosters for us to peek at. Gosh I really miss this place.
On our way out of Arizona, we made some time to stop at the famous Antelope Canyons on Navajo Land. In order to protect both the sacred land and visitors, you can only access the canyons as part of a tour group. I cannot stress enough how important it is to book your spot on a tour before hand because they fill up. We did a lot of research and went with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours.
During November when the sun is tilted closer to the southern hemisphere, it’s harder to get that beaming natural light in the canyons. So we went with the 12:30 tour to get as much of that mid-day sun as possible. And we definitely were not disappointed.
But first… we had some time to kill while waiting to meet our guide. Fortunately there’s another iconic spot just down the road.
Horseshoe Bend! There’s a nice and large parking lot (with restrooms FYI), and then about a .75 mile hike to the overlook.
And that’s about it! There’s a nearby Horseshoe Bend Park that probably has some hiking, but this was very convenient to see while we had some time to kill.
After checking in with our guide, we’re ready to hit the road!
We boarded the army truck for a bumpy ride to the upper canyon entrance.
It was straight out of a Mad Max scene out here.
We pulled up to the site and got some photography tips from our wonderful and knowledgable guide.
And then they set us free to walk through the canyon.
I was not at all prepared for how gorgeous this place is.
The canyon was formed by many many years’ erosion from flash floods. This is all sandstone and the water created this passageway on its own. There’s an opening on either end where you can enter and exit. Our guide took us all the way through, and then turned us around and back through the canyon to exit the way we came in.
There were a lot of other groups in there at the same time as us, but for the most part people were considerate about staying out of each other’s photos.
To say we were all dumbfounded is an understatement.
This was truly a bucket list spot and I’m so happy to got to check it off with these ladies.
When we emerged out through the end of the canyon, it felt like we had stumbled our way onto Mars.
Endless thanks to the Navajo Tribe for letting us see this very special place. Definitely add this as a stop during your time in NE Arizona and southern Utah. Just check for flash flood warnings that are no joke. About 20 years ago 11 tourists died when a force of rain water came pummeling through the canyon. And just in 2010 a group of people had to be rescued from flood waters in the upper canyon.
Fun fact: The world’s most expensive photograph was taken here. Peter Lik’s ‘Ghost’ sold for $6.5 million dollars in 2014.
Back on the truck and time to roll! After this breathtaking pit stop, we continue north into Utah and Zion National Park. Stay tuned…