According to ABC’s 15 news Antelope Canyon is ranked among one of the six most dangerous hikes in Arizona. Why you ask? In 1997 a flash flood swept through and killed 11 out of 12 people. Only the tour guide survived. “That day there was a thunderstorm 17 miles away dumping a huge amount of rain into the drainage. Above the slot canyon, a flash flood filled the wash 10’ deep. All that water suddenly headed for the narrow crack in the ground.” As reported by John Hollenhorst on ksl.com. When I took this tour our guide also told us it was clear skies in the canyon that day. They were not aware of the storm that far away. Welcome to Arizona’s flash floods and monsoons. They can wipe out and destroy anything in its path. So if you’re exploring during monsoons season, always keep that in mind and do your research!
Antelope Canyon is probably by far one of the most spectacular things I’ve been able to see. I wasn’t fond of having to go in a group tour, but I wanted to see it none the less. This canyon is located in Northern Arizona outside of Page. My kids and I were coming back from a trip from Texas and decided to go on a small detour to see this amazing wonder.
Upon arriving you buy a permit to get in which may have been around $8 if I remember right. And then you park and pay for your tickets, and wait for the tour to begin. They take down groups of maybe 10-15. When you get down into it, it’s absolutely stunning. The guide will also set your camera for you if needed but if you have the option to set it to “cloud” option. It literally brings out and intensifies the colors in the walls and reflections. Along the way they point out animal shapes or designs in the walls and some famous shots that have been used for movies or computer programs. Some of the best times to go are during the sunrise and sunsets obviously to see even more colors radiating off every turn and corner. All in all the entire tour takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and twenty minutes. About 10-15 minutes walking to and from the canyon and an hour spent down in it. The longest part is the time people use to take pictures. You’ll see professional photographers down there to your everyday person snapping all kinds of pictures.
For me; besides being down there seeing it all, the next best thing was climbing out and then turning around to see the little crack you just crawled out of. It’s hard to even believe it opens up like that below. It was a truly amazing experience and beautiful thing to see. It was worth the detour we took to see it. There is also an upper canyon to explore but we didn’t get to see that. It will be on next trips list for sure. As well as a kayak trip through the canyons that I will hopefully be writing about by the end of the summer!
Some pointers for this trip:
- I wouldn’t really call this a hike, it was a very easy walk with frequent stops. I’d say ok for any age or fitness level. However, it was hot down there so make sure you carry water.
- The guide mentioned they do monitor neighboring town’s weather as well as their own now to keep an eye on flooding. But again, make sure to do your own research as well. Monsoon season runs from June 15th through September 30th. So if you’re traveling to the area in that time frame try to go on a day nice weather is expected if at all possible.
- You can book tours in advance. We weren’t sure what time we’d be there so we just pulled up and bought our tickets there. They can sell out though so maybe call ahead of time if you’re concerned about that. They have tours run every thirty minutes.
- Some numbers to call ahead of time if needed are 928-645-9102, 928-645-5594 or go to www. Lowerantelope.com
Is this canyons beauty worth the known dangers? I’d say absolutely!! Plan ahead, be wise and knowledgeable about the weather and it’ll be an experience you’ll remember forever!
End of tour. Coming up out of the canyons is hard to believe what you just saw below you.