Antelope Canyon is one of those places that you can’t help but be drawn to.  You see all of the pictures online and you start to doze off in to your wonderful dreamland, only to be woken up to the fact that it is truly a racket.

We realized this the hard way.  We spent an extra day in Page, AZ to check one of my bucket list items off only to find out that the only way to visit this place was to go on a guided tour.  A beautiful canyon is now exploiting tourists.  Honestly, I was so upset and discouraged by this fact that I decided to retaliate.  So, instead of marking this destination off of my bucket list, we turned around and kayaked Lone Rock.

lone rock kayaking

I know you are thinking that’s a little dramatic, but I don’t think so, nor do all of the people who submitted to my Facebook poll.  We have visited so many places and the only places that have charged have been National and State Parks, unless you decide you want to do a tour or participate in one of the activities provided.  This was not the case here.  You literally could not enter the canyon without going on a guided tour.

upper antelope canyon

When we pulled in to the parking lot we noticed dozens of people just standing around waiting.  Honestly, before we went we did not do any research.  We just figured it was the same as most of the other places; maybe we paid for parking or to be in the area, but not that we HAD to pay for a tour in order to visit the bucket list destination.  On top of that, the tours were expensive and overcrowded.  They would go every hour, which left you waiting hours in order to go in to the canyons.  We were informed that some places will do reservations which helps with the previous problem but none the less, you would be herded through the canyon with stops at certain “photo opp” destinations.

So, all those beautiful photos you see online are taken either from guides who get to go in at their own time or from people who paid for the tour and took their turn at the famous picture opportunity spots with a dozen other people.

Now, I can understand that us humans are terrible for the environment.  We noticed that the day before at Horseshoe Bend (did not have to pay to visit this magnificent place).  There was litter all over the place. It is truly disheartening to see what humans are doing to such beautiful places as well as our planet.  If you want to read more about that topic, please click here.

With that being said, there are so many other canyons out there that are not being exploited in to a tourist trap.  Why is this one different?  If you research it, you will find out that they are trying to eliminate vandalism.  Again, us humans are becoming a disgrace to our world.  We can’t even walk in to a canyon, admire its true natural beauty and walk out without leaving litter or deciding you need to carve your name in the canyon walls.  That is very sad and embarrassing, but again, that’s a story for another time.  However, even knowing all of this I decided to retaliate.  This place might be a bucket list item that I will never cross off the list.

If you want to read more about the FAQ’s of this place, please visit: https://www.antelopecanyon.com/faq/

Fun Facts:

  • Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon.
  • The curves and hollows can vary from 3.2 feet wide to 164 feet deep.
  • A slot canyon is formed by water rushing through rock making a slot canyon significantly deeper than it is wide.
  • Antelope Canyon got its name from the pronghorn antelope that once grazed the area.
  • It is said to be the most photographed canyon in the world.
  • Flash flooding still happens and can sometimes result in to months of closure for the canyon.