Exploring Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon
If you asked me last year where my photo of Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon was taken, I would probably ignore you. I know it sounds selfish but it’s one of those places that you just want to keep for yourself. Fast forward to this year, these gems are no longer hidden. Aside from the popular tourist attraction, Grand Canyon, Arizona is home to two of the most amazing sights you could ever lay eyes on. When I went last year it was still relatively new to the whole “Instagram scene” (to me, at least). Few people that I follow on Instagram knew where it was and were unwilling to share it. It wasn’t overcrowded when we hiked Horseshoe Bend and at Antelope Canyon just the same. For selfish but good reasons, I think some fear that if it became popular, people won’t respect it and enjoy the place responsibly. Well, hopefully that is not the case.
Moving to Vegas gave us better access to Arizona and Utah. Most of the places we want to visit are only a 7 hour or less drive from our home. So when I found out that Page was only a 4 hour drive, we definitely had to go! Driving to Arizona is always fun for me. Everywhere I look, there’s always a beautiful landscape that catches my eye.
We arrived at Page around 2 pm and Glen Canyon Dam was our first stop. This is a smaller version of the famous Hoover Dam located in Las Vegas. We planned on doing the tour but we missed the last tour of the day so we ended up walking around the Visitor’s Center to take pictures. The bridge on the main road gave us beautiful views of the Colorado River. It has fencing but they strategically placed some gaps where you can take photos without obstruction. I wish we made it to the tour because I read online that it was quite interesting. However, I did find the exhibits in the Visitor’s Center informative and sufficient.
After taking photos, we headed straight to our hotel to get checked in. I like that it is right smack in the middle of Page which made it easy for us to get around. Since Horseshoe Bend was only less than 3 miles away from the hotel, we decided to go for it and hopefully catch sunset. The parking lot/trailhead is located right off U.S. Route 89. The hike wasn’t too bad. It took us probably 20-25 minutes to reach the rim of the canyon. The only nuisance was the sand that kept going inside my shoes. Finally, after struggling to get the sand off my shoes, we reached the steep cliff that boasts beautiful, panoramic views of the Colorado River. Seeing it for the first time was an unbelievable feeling. I kinda forgot for a minute that the cliff I was standing on had a 1000-foot drop.There’s no railing that will prevent me from falling over so I was mindful of that. I took photos nonstop, many in different angles. I tried not to focus too much on the photos but to actually sit down, admire it and just be in the moment. I’m sure you guys are guilty of that too! Fun Fact: Have you guys seen the movie Jumper starring Hayden Christensen? I saw it a long time ago but not till recently I realized that Horseshoe Bend was in that movie. 🙂
I also met this guy! This vulture kept still for about 30 minutes before it flew off to eat something.
The next day, we woke up early to go on a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon. I’ve always wanted to see it ever since I saw it in a calendar somewhere. There’s several tours you can take. Some are specifically for the Upper Antelope Canyon. From what I read online, the Lower Antelope is more beautiful and less crowded. On the other hand, Upper Antelope is more popular because of the easy access. Well, they had me at less crowded. I’d do anything to avoid a crowd. We took the 10 am tour hoping it wasn’t too hot and to get better lighting. We had about 15 people in our group, which wasn’t so bad.
Now I know why they said it wasn’t for people with physical impediments. You have to access the canyons through a flight of stairs that were steep! Also, we had to squeeze through some areas of the canyons and some don’t even have footings. Nonetheless, it was breathtaking. Consisting of navajo sandstones, the canyons are naturally formed by flash flooding and erosion. When the sun finally hit the canyons, all I can see were the vibrant colors and different contrasts that were definitely a sight to behold. I can’t wait to go back!
My eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing and my heart was rejoicing in triumph that I finally checked this two off my bucket list. Hopefully, this blog post inspired you guys to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
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