The Antelope Canyon: The Crack and the Corkscrew beauties

I’ve been to Arizona once (before this recent trip to Utah - Arizona), and my first time was to visit the mesmerizing beauty of The Grand Canyon (See my Grand Canyon post: #42 Visit the Grand Canyon: A Photo Diary.

Arizona is such a big and beautiful state that visiting once is never gonna be enough. There’s a lot of must-see and must-visit places that one just cannot miss. We were lucky that this time we had the chance to see the wonders of Antelope Canyon. The Antelope canyon is in no way the same as the Grand Canyon, but for sure is equally beautiful and worth the visit.

Antelope Canyon

Basically, Antelope Canyon is divided into two, the upper and lower canyons. And since who knows when the two canyons were formed by Mother Nature on the land of Navajo, east Page, AZ, there has been the never-ending debate on Upper vs. Lower. But we’ll get to that later. ;)

While on tour, (yes, you need to be on tour) our guide demonstrated to us in the simplest of ways how the canyons are formed (still forming and changing). Antelope canyons are “slot canyon” which means that it’s formed by rushing water. In this case, the occasional flash floods, erosion of the Navajo sandstones (which is responsible for the copper colors of the canyons),  plus some sub-aerial processes (really??? well, I’m really just talking about the wind here :P) happen (yes, still happening) one after another over and over again to form the canyons. The canyons are made up of thousands even millions of layers that display unique unrepeatable patterns of spirals, lines, curves and edges. BEA-U-TI-FUL!!! Just look at these photos...

So going back to the demonstration, our guide got a bottled water (flash flood) and poured it to the sand that she formed into a cone (eroded sandstones). She sprinkled and covered the wet sand with more sand, mimicking the wind. Then she just repeated the process over and over. The she carved the surrounding sand, removing the excess and revealing the layered sandstones. It hardens with the heat of the sun. So cool! haha

The Big Debate: Upper or Lower Canyon?

Both of the canyons are very unreal that from the moment you step inside them, you might wouldn’t believe your eyes that such a beautiful thing exist in such an accessible area; which means you don’t have to have a crazy long and difficult hike to get there or ride a space shuttle; although it might even convince you at some point that somehow you managed to leave the earth through a mysterious portal. I might be exaggerating here but you get the point :P

So, upper or lower? Honestly, you can’t just possibly choose one over the other. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to see both of them???
But if you really have to just choose one for some out-of-this-earth reason, then I guess it will all just boil down to personal preference. Here, let me break it down for you.

The Upper Canyon, so-called “The crack”, is known for the “light beams”. Upper Antelope light beams are created as the ray of light coming from the sun is filtered by the little “cracks” of the canyon forming a directional projection of light. It’s like a nature spotlight. Light beams are mostly seen from 10am - 12nn when the sun is fully up. What tourist guides would do is to scatter sand directly into the beam to form a glowing effect. 

Yeah, that's my girl, witwew! hahaha
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see this in person because we weren’t able to book the best time possible. So I suggest booking your trip in advance so you can choose the best schedule. Tours only accommodate certain number of people/group at one time. There’s a lot of time slots throughout the day, you can choose which ever would fit best on your itinerary. I also suggest going there on spring time. Summer is good too but it can be very hot during the day.

C'mon, pose tonio! :))

In terms of terrain, upper canyon requires less or even no hiking skills. There’s no climbing required. The path is wider and very flat. It will give you a lot of space for mobility. The place is very tourist-friendly of all size and ages. The tour is very short though, with all the guide’s insights, photographs and little walking, actual tour inside the “crack” can take less than an hour, give or take. 

Okay, our guide asked us to look up! This is totally staged haha

The Lower Canyon, “The Corkscrew” is formed with a significant depth underground so unlike the upper canyon, light beams are not expected to see here. To get in the lower canyon, people actually need to go down through a man-made steel ladder. The entrance has a little wider pathway but as you go deeper into the canyon, pathways get narrower. Compared to the Upper canyon, the Corkscrew’s landscape is no way near flat. Experiencing the lower antelope canyon requires climbing ladders up and down and passing through narrow walkways. Some areas are too narrow to even fit no more than one person at a time. 

Although, not properly captured, there's a ladder behind us to climb up

This particular part produces a drum sound when you knock on it

I'm even tall enough to be slouch hahaha :P

Taking a picture for the three of us has to be like this because there's very little space :P
Lower canyon might not be for people who are not into climbing/ little hiking and/or who are claustrophobic. However, this might be preferable and more enjoyable over the upper canyon for adventure-seekers.

Coming out from the lower antelope in this little hole...

Yey! Jump shot!

I’m glad I got to visit the out-of-this-world beauty of the Antelope canyons and I wouldn’t pick one. Yes, I know haha, but you can’t force me :P 

The Tours

Just to give you an idea on the tours that we booked, I summarized the following for you. You may want to check them out: (You’re welcome :P)

Upper Antelope Canyon

Entrance to Upper Antelope

Tour Upper Antelope Scenic Tour
Check-In At 55 S Lake Powell Blvd Page, AZ 86040
Phone - Cell (424) 522-9410

Per Adult:
Base Rate: $34.81
Sales tax: $3.45 (9.90%)
Navajo Tax : $1.74 (5.00%)
Navajo Permit Fee: $8 

Total : $48 / person

From their site:
Tour Cancellation Policy
  • Reservations cancelled more than 24-hours prior to the start of the tour are refunded 100%.
  • All cancellations within 24-hour period prior to the start of the tour will be charged 50% of the tour rate.
  • There is no refund for missing the reserved tour time. However, at our discretion, we may allow you to take a tour, with space available, departing at a later time or date for no additional fee.
  • In case of incliment weather, the tour will be canceled. If canceled, we will either refund or reschedule based upon our availability and your preferences.
  • You need to check in 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time. If you have not checked in prior to 5 minutes before scheduled depareture time, your seat(s) will be sold to someone else. Departures will not be delayed for people who have not shown up. If the seats were sold to someone else, you will be offered a refund. If there is space available on a later departure, you can choose to reschedule. If not, you forfeit your reservation.
A portion of the tour is "off road" and can be washboarded and quite bumpy. Pregnant women, people with back problems, or people who have recently had surgery are advised to not take this tour. You will be walking about one half mile in sandy and rocky terrain. Customers going on this tour accept ALL liability for their own health issues.

Lower Antelope  Canyon

While waiting for the tour to start
Tour General Guided Tour
Phone - Cell (424) 522-9410

Per Adult:
Base Rate: $23.81
Sales tax: 0.00
Navajo Tax : $1.19 (5.00%)

Sub-Total : $25 / person

***Bring cash because once you get there you have to pay for a separate Navajo Permit Fee for $8 / head***

Total: $33 / person

From their site:
Tour Cancellation Policy

You will have to pay an ADDITIONAL $8.00 per person (in cash only) at the Navajo entrance booth before you get to the parking lot! This entrance fee is NOT included in the prices quoted for this tour.
Please have cash on hand for payment at Ken’s Tour.

NOTICE: Please be aware July, August, September, and early October is our MONSOON Season and we maybe closed without notice. Please keep an eye on the weather and PLEASE confirm the day before to see if we are open. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Tips are Appreciated for Tour Guides.

If cancellations are made at least 48 hours prior to the confirmed tour time, the tour fee will be 100% refundable. For cancellations, made within 48 hours, fees are non-refundable. For tour groups of 10 or more people, cancellations need to be made 72 hours prior to tour date for a complete refund.

Please include a mobile/cell phone number, so we can call (or text) you if we have to close due to weather. For more information please go to (also for map and directions). Duration is 1 hour and 15 minutes (all walking).

So, yeah! That’s all for now folks! I hope you find this short blog post helpful in anyway if you plan to visit the beauties of Antelope Canyon :)

Please visit my blog again for my next posts! 
Thanks, loves!

Lloyd xoxo

[Photo and Video: Kristine Doctor]