Sunday
Jul082012

Antelope Canyon

Tour Description: Described as a "Jewel of the Southwest", Antelope Canyon is located near Page, Arizona, 140 miles north of Flagstaff. It is a beautiful slot canyon carved in the 180 million year old Navajo sandstone of Jurassic age. The sandstone is the record a vast desert that occupied what is now southern Utah and northern Arizona. It has beautiful crossbedding typical of desert sand dunes and is stained orange, purple, yellow, and other colors by minerals in the rock. Light reflected off the rock makes for dazzling displays of color and form.  The canyon is divided into two sections: the Upper Canyon, 200 yards long, and the Lower Canyon, 1/4 mile long. Both feature narrow passageways, often only as wide as your extended arms, and walls 140 feet tall. The Lower Canyon requires more agility and has a number of ladders that must be climbed, but is entered by a short walk from the gate. The Upper Canyon has a flat floor and is reached by jeep from the gate. Both require a Navajo guide. Physical abilities of the participants will determine which section the tour will visit.

Following the visit to Antelope Canyon, the tour will go to Glen Canyon Dam, just north of Page. It impounds beauful Lake Powell, which stretches north into Utah. The lake is named for John Wesley Powell, famous geologist who first navigated the Colorado River from northern Utah to near present-day Las Vegas. We will stop at the dam's visitor center and view the dam, lake, and spillway into the Colorado River from various points. On the way to and from Page the highway parallels and then crosses the spectacular Echo Cliffs, a monoclinal uplift of rocks of Mesozoic age. Beyond Echo Cliffs on the return to Flagstaff, the tour will stop at the Indian Trading Post in Cameron, Arizona, for examples of typical Navajo and Hopi handicrafts.

Recommended Length: The drive to and from Page takes approximately 2 hours each way so the tour is best done as a full day trip.

Price Range: Tour rates for a full day are $250 for a group of up to 4 people and $300 for larger groups. Not included is the cost of transportation, which can be arranged. Antelope Canyon is in the Navajo Park system so the park entrance fee is $6 per person with an additional $20 per person for entrance to the canyon. These fees are not included in the tour. Meals are available at restaurants in Page.