Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paradise Found: Part IV - Antelope Canyon

A few miles east of Page on the Navajo Reservations exists the most photographed slot canyons in northern Arizona.  Wayne is not a spelunker -- but these aren't caves, after all, and so he reluctantly agreed to go with me to see one of the dozen or so canyons in the area.

Our first stop was Antelope Point Marina where construction is ongoing. The marine is already complete with boat rentals and courtesy slips, a restaurant, convenience and gift store.  Later plans include a resort village.

The scenery was nice and the picture below became a favorite of mine. 

Antelope Point Marina with pretty good background scenery.

But let's get back to the slot canyon. 

Before the highway, before the dam, before the city of Page was even an idea, spectacular Antelope Canyon was a point of reverence to the Navajo people.

The English name for the slot canyon comes from the herds of pronghorn antelope that used to roam freely in the canyon.

To the Navajo, it is "the place where water runs through rocks" and/or "spiral rock arches"

Wayne with our Navajo guide, Nikki with her native musical instrument which she played during our canyon tour.
Antelope Canyons are on Navajo property and the U.S. National Parks are not involved in their promotion, ticket sales or tour scheduling.  Adult tours run $20 but each ticket requires an $8 individual permit making each just under $30 -- well worth it.  Small groups (less than 20) are led by a Navajo guide.

Entry into the canyon.... complete with steps...
To begin, here are a few pictures of Wayne and me to give an idea of the heights and widths in the canyons. Parts of the canyon were just wide enough to squeeze through.

The remaining photos are mostly without captions or explanation except where needed to appreciate the picture.   Enjoy them.

The bumps are calcium deposits

Tight squeeze to get the best photo for someone.

Sand, small sticks and other debris can blow into the canyon and settle in the little spaces. This one looked like a bowl.

See the two tiny heads at the bottom of the picture.

The people look so little inside the canyon!

Our tour of Antelope Canyon lasted almost two thrilling hours. Finally, we emerged at the other end and snapped another picture or two. Yes, Wayne was really glad he did it.

At the canyon exit.
You can see the other visitors not yet emerged from the canyon.

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