5 Reasons Antelope Canyon Should be on Your Bucket List

When someone mentions Arizona, one of the first images that comes to mind is probably the Grand Canyon, but just a couple hours north in Page, AZ lies a hidden gem in the Arizona desert. You’ve probably even seen pictures of it, although you may not have known what it was.

It’s been named one of the 10 most beautiful slot canyons in the world. The water-worn passageways of Antelope Canyon attract visitors from all over the world every year and we’ve created a list of reasons why you need to see it too. The canyon is divided into Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. We toured Upper Antelope Canyon.

  1. Intimate canyon. The Antelope Canyon tour is an intimate experience. From the moment you enter, you are up close and personal. You see the water warped walls, you feel their texture, you feel the temperature drop and feel the sand displace beneath your feet.

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    Upper Antelope Canyon

  2. Colors change. Depending on the time of day and the time of year you visit the canyon, you will see a different palate of colors. In summer, you’ll see a bright glow of reds, oranges and yellows. In winter, you’ll see more deep purples, blues and pink.

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    Water-worn walls of Antelope Canyon.

  3. Hidden Gem. The entrance to the canyon is not obvious or easy to find. It’s seclusion and secretiveness make you feel like you’ve found the entrance to Narnia or a world from another time.

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    The ‘heart’ of Antelope Canyon.

  4. Artistic Experience. Antelope canyon is natures brushstrokes and carvings at its best, painted with light and carved by water. Then there’s those amazing light beams cast into the canyon by the sun. Late spring and summer are the best time of year to see them.DSC00301
  5. Always Changing. The canyon will flood when it rains, and therefore changes multiple times a year. You’ll never see the same canyon twice.

Antelope Canyon was by far our favorite stop in Arizona. Don’t get us wrong, the Grand Canyon was amazing to see as well, but there’s just something about this little slot canyon that makes us want to visit every year. Our Navajo guide made our experience even better because of his passion for the canyon and his heritage. He shared parts of his culture with us, as well as the geology and history of the canyon.

There’s a few things to keep in mind before your trip to Antelope Canyon.

  • Watch the weather. Flash flooding is a natural occurrence in the area, even if there’s no rain in the immediate area. A storm 10 miles away can cause the canyon to flood. The tour companies watch the weather very closely and will cancel tours last-minute so keep your itinerary flexible.
  • Two Canyons. Antelope Canyon is divided into Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Upper Canyon can be entered at ground level and remains level throughout. Lower Canyon requires climbing stairs to get in and out of the canyon. Both require a guided tour, as you cannot tour them on your own.
  • Book Early! These tours fill up very fast. You will need to make reservations months in advance to assure you get the date and time you want. We used http://navajotours.com, but there are other tour companies available.
  • Consider the time zone. Arizona doesn’t recognize daylight savings time, but the Navajo Reservations do. Most of the tour groups, however, are on Arizona time to cater to confused tourists. Contact your tour group to verify.
  • Bring cash. When we booked our tour, we didn’t realize that we had to pay in cash. Luckily we had enough cash on us and didn’t have to run back into Page.
  • Tip your guide! Our guide was amazing! He was very knowledgeable about cameras and camera phones and was able to help everyone set up their cameras to get the best possible photos. He also brought a hand carved Navajo flute and played it for us inside the canyon so we could hear how the music reverberated off the canyon walls.

We visited the canyon in early March. The weather was cooler and the tour group was smaller than they are in the height of tourist season. We ended up with so many beautiful images from our tour, we’d love to see some of yours and to hear about your experience!


Ultimate Lake Superior Road Trip Guide

If you’ve never been along the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota or Northern Wisconsin, we can’t even begin to explain the beautiful wilderness you’re missing out on. We mean, we’ll do our best to explain it, but you really need to get up there and experience it for yourself. Since we can’t possibly fit everything we want you to know in one single post, we will be dividing it into a 3-day road trip.

Day 1: Duluth

This amazing journey will begin in the port city of Duluth. Head down to Canal Park, see the lift bridge and watch the ships come in. It’s pretty amazing to see how little clearance some of those ships have coming through the canal! The Aerial Lift Bridge (built 1901-1905), which spans the Duluth ship canal, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s only one other bridge in the world that is similar to the bridge and its in Rouen, France.

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A large ship sailing under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth, MN.

While you’re waiting for the ships to come in, check out the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. It’s free and houses a great museum. Check out http://www.lsmma.com for more information.

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Our son admiring a map in the Superior Maritime Visitors Center museum..

The Canal Park area boasts many shops, restaurants and some micro breweries. There are horse drawn carriage rides or you can rent bikes to ride along the canal. The kids will love the candy and ice cream shops!

When you’ve had your fill of shopping head over the William A. Irvin Museum. The SS William A. Irvin is a 610 foot ship, which was used to carry iron ore and coal to ports on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Check out their website for times and fees http://decc.org/william-a-irvin.

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From the cargo hold to the luxury cabins used to carry dignitaries across the lakes, you’ll get an in depth glimpse into the life of the sailors and officers that served her and their distinguished guests. Standing on the bridge, you get to feel what it’s like to be the captain, plus the kids will get a kick out of the technology used to navigate and send messages on the ship back then.

In our next post we’ll be heading up the North Shore. See you soon!

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6 Things We’ve Learned While Traveling

Throughout our years as travelers, we’ve learned a lesson or two and have carried them with us. Now we’d like to share them with you.

  1. Do your research. Get to know your destination before you arrive. Familiarize yourself with the layout of a city. Or research the culture of a country.
  2. Talk to the locals. The locals know their area better than anyone. Ask them where the best places to eat are or where they go to have fun.
  3. Create an itinerary. It’s important to make the most out of your travels, especially if you’re on a time crunch. Make a list of places or activities that you absolutely want to see or do, then plan which days and times work for your schedule.
  4. Be flexible. Even in every day life, we know things don’t always go as planned. Don’t make your itinerary so rigid that one snag will collapse the whole thing. Leave room to explore new places that you happen upon or make alternative plans when life happens.
  5. Take it all in. Go ahead, take a few photos. But then, put the camera away and take in your surroundings. Watch the people, notice the sounds and the smells. Don’t just snap and leave.
  6. Relax and enjoy yourself. This one accompanies #3. Make sure your itinerary isn’t so packed full that you don’t have time to relax. If you don’t, you’ll come home completely exhausted.

Travel educates us in ways nothing else can. What kind of lessons have you learned while traveling?