This is my last post about Arizona. I know, I’m sad too 🙁 . I hope you enjoyed my travel posts and were able to get some helpful tips for your own Arizona journey. Of course, if you decide to go there, please leave me a comment and let me know about your experiences! Today, I will talk about my visit to the breathtaking Antelope Canyon, dubbed by some as the eight wonder of the world. Located on Navajo Nation land, this natural geological formation is owned by the largest Native American tribe federally recognized in the U.S. This post is specifically about the upper canyon, as I did not get a chance to visit the lower one. Maybe next time.
The upper canyon is called “Tse Bighanilini,” which loosely translates to “where the water runs through rocks.” In case you haven’t figured it out already, that’s how the canyon was formed. Flash flooding during heavy monsoon seasons caused water to slip into the cracks of sandstone rock formations. Eventually, the cracks got bigger in size when the water collected debris and sand along the way. As you can see, the gaps are wider towards the bottom but there are still areas that are quite narrow. These sections can only accommodate one person at a time while passing through. Yet, one does not feel claustrophobic in these caves, as natural light beaming in creates a sense of false expanse.
In fact, that’s the main highlight of the upper canyon – the famous sunlight beams. The best time to see them are between 10am-2pm from March to October, when the sun is at its highest. Unfortunately, we were unable to see them due to an imprecise location provided by our first tour company. We ended up booking another tour (at 4pm, the last slot and well after the light beams had passed) with Antelope Canyon Navajo Tour and had an extremely rewarding experience with a well-informed guide (Hi, Leon!). Lastly, I would like to mention that you can only visit this canyon by taking a tour guided by a member of the Navajo tribe. And please, be respectful of the canyon. It broke my heart to see etchings on the wall, destroying the beauty and sanctity of the location.
What to Wear:
- Comfortable and airy clothes – the tour is about 45 mins in desert weather.
- Light sweater – depending on what time you go, portions of the canyon are dark and get a bit chilly. Then again, I’m always cold.
- Sneakers – obviously.
Antelope Canyon is located on the border of Utah and Arizona, both of which have different time zones, so keep an eye out for changing times on your digital watches/phones!