Padilla Vacation Out West
Part III: Antelope Canyon
Well it’s been six months since my last post about our vacation last summer. I had decided not to finish it but one of my best friends is heading out to Zion National Park soon and has asked me to finish my series (hi, Meredith!). Since Spring Break is upon us and summer is just around the corner, hopefully this will help some of you with travel plans and will be entertaining to others of you.
I ended Part II by saying that we checked out of our hotel in Page, Arizona and went to Antelope Canyon. The canyon had been closed much during COVID, and I felt fortunate that they opened up in time for our trip. I made our booking online as soon as I could—many places had filled up already—with Dixie’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. This was the one tour that our 10 year old begged us to do. It was more expensive but definitely worth the money.
We decided to do the lower canyon instead of the upper canyon. I had read that the lower canyon was a little more challenging but perhaps even more beautiful. This can be challenging for those who are not in good health, overweight, very old or very young. However, the tour was not too challenging for any of us. The challenge with the tour is climbing down quite a few ladders and being in tight spaces at times (see the following photos).
Down one of the ladders:
Some of the tight spaces:
At that time, the Navajo Nation required masks. Since these canyons are on Navajo lands, masks were required.
The earlier or later you can do the canyon tours, I hear the light is better. Also, if you go in the summer, it’s not as hot in the morning. However, the canon is truly beautiful no matter the time of day. Keep in mind that if there is any threat of rain or if it’s raining, they will close the tour. The canyon floods easily. When we were there this summer, it rained almost every late afternoon/early evening. This is another reason to go earlier in the day if possible.
If I remember correctly, the tour was about an hour but you had to arrive at least 30 minutes before. I also believe remembering you can’t take anything with you but a water bottle and a phone/keys—no backpack. When you book your tour, you will receive instructions regarding arrival time, what is expected, etc. What I loved about this tour is that they take you in small groups. We were placed with another family of four, so there were just two families on our tour. Our tour guide was great. He often took photos of each family with our phones. He knew the best spots for photos and the best settings to use on our iPhone cameras for optimized photos. He didn’t rush us and frequently pointed out photo opps within the canyon.
There was another lower canyon tour right next door to ours. We were told that they were owned by a brother and sister, which means they’d give you about the same experience if you cannot book with Dixie’s. Ok, here are a lot of photos!
After the tour, we headed to a BBQ place and picked up sandwiches and chips. Philip and I had gone to the grocery in town early that morning to get some more supplies (breakfast, snacks, drinks, etc) before heading on to Zion. As we drove out of town on our way to Zion, we pulled into the Lake Powell Park and drove up to a covered bench/lookout over the lake to eat our lunch. We loved watching the boats on the water.
Ok. I’ll stop here and do at least one more post (maybe two) about Zion.