Continue from Utah -Uncover the Beauty
Antelope Canyons as you all know are gorge-caves (gorgeous ;)) created by Colorado river and its tribuataries many years ago. The land which is surrounded by sand on all sides gets flash floods during monsoon even today. Years of rain and wind have shaped them and left some distinguishable carvings ,shapes and faces as their foot-prints. This was on my bucket-list this year and if you have a little charm for nature and photography, this is the place for you. If you are an adventurer, love taking exquisite shots then spend a day for the hike in “The Grand Staircase Escalante – The Wave“. All it needs is an advance reservation for the permit which would come in the lottery. (The good news is they have reserved 10 spots for online lottery and 10 for walk-in lotteries. So try your luck, if you aim to get a Windows Destop wallpaper shot.)
We have booked two tours (in advance) : one the early morning 7 a.m. with Antelope Slot Canyons and the other at 12:30 p.m. with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo tours for Upper antelope canyons – both were sightseer tours though. Yes the sad news is : That booking a tour is mandatory to get access to the canyons. But the good news is you will get enough time to shoot your favourite pics ,if you plan ahead and get an early morning slot. Not only this, even after visiting it twice, I still couldn’t get enough of it. Such is the beauty of these marvellous canyons.
You will be transported in either monster trucks or huge jeeps to the Canyons entrance with a guide. At the entrance , you will see an elephant carved on the rocks outside. The journey of wonders begin here. Just after entering this dark canyon you will see a Big Candle, the spot of the famous “Phantom(ghost) pic“, followed by Beauty and the Beast. Then you would see the Grizzly Bear with a honey comb, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln all in the first chamber(The Cathedral). The second chamber (which is more narrow than the first) highlights The Mummy, the light shafts, the sand pouring effect, The Antelope in a heart and remnants of flash floods.
Your kids (older than preschoolers) will enjoy this place more than you. Just maintain silence, follow the guide and give space and time to everyone around as courtesy. If you are allergic to sand and dust, cover yourself well with bandanas/scarves before entering the canyons.
You will also not like to miss some historical and monumental places there like The Horseshoe Bend, The Lone Rock (in Glen Canyon National Park), The Glen Canyon Dam , The Wahweap Overlook (Lake Powell Bay) etc. which are among a few nearby places to explore. After our morning visit to the Upper Antelope Canyons (we skipped lower antelope canyons – since they have fewer light shafts), we went to the Horseshoe Bend. This is another eye-tonic landscape. Take water, you will definitely need there. As you hike to the top, you would see a picturesque mountain rising from the bottom of a horseshoe-shape island where you would see people kayaking in the small river (touching its bottom).
After our afternoon tour in Antelope Canyons, we headed towards The Monument Valley in the Colorado Plateau of Utah. This place has been featured by the Director John Ford in 9 movies , it has been the wallpaper of Windows Vista (Beta 2) and is an every tourist’s eye-candy. Moreover, if you love less crowded place , go for it. You can just sit and relax till the sun goes down. Or The four corners State point is just 2 hrs drive to the east of Monument Valley. So have a look at the spot where the four states’ border meet. (We skipped it , since we had to drive back to Page, Arizona to our hotel.)
For Day 4 , please click on Page 2.