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Antelope Canyon - Lower, AZ

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Guide 44 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northeast > Hotevilla
4.9 of 5 by 20
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,094 feet
Elevation Gain -98 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.39
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2016-10-05 AZLumberjack
17  2016-10-04 RickVincent
22  2016-03-19 TheNaviG8R
8  2016-03-19 Chriskup
13  2015-05-08 Johnnie
21  2014-10-05 Lucyan
19  2014-10-05 VolcanoCLMBR
14  2014-09-30 AZWanderingBear
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author Randal_Schulhauser
author avatar Guides 71
Routes 98
Photos 9,967
Trips 1,009 map ( 9,248 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Navajo Nation Reservation
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep → NOON
Seasons   Spring to Summer
Sun  6:09am - 6:30pm
0 Alternative
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Tragic Beauty
by Randal_Schulhauser

Likely In-Season!
"Hasdeztwazi" is the Navajo name for "The Corkscrew" - a renowned slot canyon that has attained some notoriety because of the 1997 flash flood that killed several tourist.

The history presents some sobering facts when one visits Antelope Canyon. Maybe the element of danger adds to some of the appeal?

After visiting Upper Antelope Canyon earlier in the day, I cross Hwy 98 and pull into the parking lot located on the north side. It's almost noon on a Sunday in February as I walk up to the admission booth. The Navajo Guide at the booth explains to me that the cost will be $15 plus $5 for a Navajo Lands Permit. Since I purchased the permit earlier in the morning, the cost will be $15. I'm also asked to sign a release form.
2006 $15
2009 $26
2015 $40-$58

I'm guided by Brandon. He explains to me as we walk to the entrance of the slot canyon that I can take as much time as I like provided I leave the canyon by closing time slated for 3:00 pm that afternoon. Brandon explains that there will be series of ladders leading down into the slot canyon. He also explains the layout of the canyon and I can't stop chuckling inside because it reminds me of a Monty Python sketch (the canyon is thin at one end, thick in the middle, and thin again at the other end). I'm sure that's not a theory but it's also the last I see of Brandon today as he heads back to the admission booth. I'm on my own as I wind myself down the series of small ladders and into the narrow labyrinth.

The passage way is a tight squeeze and some of the required maneuvers border on being agile. You alternate between darkness and light. There's a calm stillness within the slot canyon. This is cool!

I soon pass the only people I'll see within the slot canyon - a couple of photographers setting up to capture the famous "Hole-In-Rock" formation. I start to think about the geology lesson given by Delvin, my Upper Antelope Canyon Guide. As I examine the sandstone walls, I can detect evidence as to how this canyon was formed. Unlike ordinary erosion in which rocks of differing composition and hardness are chewed away at various rates forming a V-shaped channel, the uniform sandstone found in this area is removed straight down. Once a channel is first formed, all water will funnel into the channel and continue this downward removal pattern. A single storm is capable of removing a foot or more of sand from the canyon. The Lower Antelope Canyon measures 150 feet high and ranges in width from about 2 to 30 feet. Viewed from above ground, the canyon may only measure a foot or two across.

I soon find the equally famous "Walk-Through-Arch" formation. A series of drop-offs soon follow. Strategically placed ladders allow passage. I snap off photo after photo after photo as I make my way towards the north end of the slot. I spot more ladders heading straight up. Curious and not wanting to leave the canyon just yet, I continue along the slot until I reach an impassable drop-off greater than the advertised 30 feet! Realizing I'm at the end of the canyon, I wander back for some last shots before ascending the ladder up to the surface. I take the surface trail back to the parking lot and admission booth. Heading back up the slot canyon was an option given the lack of traffic on this day.

The "Hasdeztwazi" is another must-see for anyone appreciative of the natural wonders in Arizona. The "Tse bighanilini" located across the highway is unique in its own way. I can't recommend one over the other - they're both spectacular. There's also the haunting history associated with Antelope Canyon can not be conveyed by words, but can only be felt by visiting. Enjoy!

Tour permit info & FAQ link in directions.

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2006-03-01 Randal_Schulhauser
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Lower Antelope Canyon

    The Antelope Canyon(s) have been on my radar since almost forever so finally I began working on a plan to visit them and bring home some of those fantastic photos that I keep seeing. I set up my trip for Wednesday traveling to Page, spend one or two nights (depending on my luck at getting a tour without prior registration) and returning Thursday or Friday. I left home at 0230 Wednesday and reached Page at 0730, just in time for the booth's to open their doors. Prior research led me to the lower canyon for the better photos with fewer visitors (yeah right). So I visited Ken's Tours and inquired about a Photographer's Only tour, only to find out that they were booked solid :( Next I went to Dixie Ellis' Lower Antelope Tours and they were able to get me in for the 2:20pm tour :D

    I paid my $40 for the Photographer's Tour, $8.00 for the Navajo land access and went to find a campgrounds. I found a suitable camp at Page, Lake Powell Campground which came to $17.47 for one night. After getting the tent all setup, I took off to tour the Page, AZ area. First stop was Horseshoe Bend (to be covered in a later triplog) and then back to camp for a snack and a well needed nap :zzz:

    I made it back to the tours before 2:00 and checked on my reservation, all was still a go so I asked how many were on this same "Photographer's Only Tour" and was told that I was the only one on the list... :y: and introduced me to Andrea my young Navajo guide. I asked her a few questions about cameras and, to my surprise, she was very knowledgeable, and as it turned out, extremely helpful :o The trail to the canyon entrance was little more than a couple hundred yards then down a steep ladder system to the bottom, about fifty feet below the surface.

    Before reaching the bottom of the ladder system, I knew I had died and gone to heaven!!!! All I could think of was "How am I ever going to describe this awesomeness to someone who has never been here?" I can only hope that my photos can do proper justice to the beauty that confronted me with each turn of my head. As I approached a good photo spot, I set up the camera/tripod and Andrea would clear the area of other tourists so that I could take my shots without having people stumbling around :stop: she was more than helpful, hell she even carried my camera bag for me :D

    As we reached a pre-determined photo op, she would clear the area and explain what we were going to do at this location. Then she would pick up a handful of fine sand and throw it on a rock shelf that drained down through a slot or notch to create a sand-fall, like a waterfall with sand. There was formations that resembled a lions head, or a woman with her hair blowing in the wind, or a snakes head, and on, and on (like I said, she was very helpful). Andrea was also well versed on the geography and geology of the area and explained how the sandstone base was created over centuries of blowing sand containing various minerals that reflect light at different frequencies depending on the angle of the sun.

    After the shortest two hours of my life we reached the stairway leading out of the canyon and back to the surface. Although my tour was over, I knew that I had experienced something that has plagued me for a number of years and now I had the evidence in my camera to show others just how incredible this planet can be :D
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    On our way back from Buckskin our group decided to make a quick stop at Lower Antelope Canyon. We paid 28 bucks and waited for our tour to begin. You start off with a Navajo guide and follow a path to the bottom of the canyon. There are a series of stairs near the bottom. Once inside we slowly made our way up the slot. Our group had 17 people but our guide did a great job keeping everyone together and pushing us forward. We took lots of pics of this stunning slot canyon and everyone in our group was satisfied with the tour. Give this a try if you're in the area and want to see a spectacular slot canyon.
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Last day of our 10-day road trip through the States of the Four Corners. Began the day with the short and beautiful hike through the lower half of Antelope Canyon. The early morning light made for some nice photo opportunities. Sculpted rock, light and shadows -- every photographers dream. Luckily it wasn't too crowded so we got some good snaps and had a great time.
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Wandered thru for photography. T'was warm. T'was crowded ( for Lower that is). NOt too bad but way busier than I have ever seen it before. I suppose everyone that came out for the eclipse had to do something in the afternoon! Evening was the Annular Solar Eclipse @ Horse shoe Bend! :y:
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Just an FYI the admittance fee is now $26 per person but the views are no less gorgeous...It's worth EVERY penny. We arrived at 9:15 AM with the "tour" leaving at 9:30.....HURRY UP MICHELLE!!! I had to show Michelle this canyon since she had never seen it before. We spent 1 1/2 hours down here and to seal the deal was that we saw a snake on the way out. The "Snake Charmer" strikes again! It was a small snake and not a rattlesnake...just a foot long little guy looking for a cool place to hide. Our Navajo Tour guide HATES snakes and disappeared at this point but we four women (me, Michelle and two German tourists) forged on...snake and all!
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This is my second time to this beautiful slot canyon. I LOVE it. This chilly December day there were 3 other people in there so we basically had the entire slot to ourselves. During high tourist season they want you to go in one way and exit at the stairs on the other end but we were told we could spend as much time there as we wanted. SWEET! We made our way down through the corkscrew and had awesome photo ops at every turn. When we got toward the end of the canyon we heard the sweetest music and came upon a young Navajo man who brought his guitar down there and was playing some acoustic guitar down there. He was an amazing guitar player and we hung out for at least 1/2 an hour listening to him play and with his permission we got pictures of him. It was the the highlight of the be in such a beautiful & spiritual place and hear that sweet music. The colors were amazing. When we exited we spent time talking to a Navajo man who was very informative of the area. This was a great trip.
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was a major piece of "eye-candy" during our 1-day, whirl-wind adventure near Page AZ. Jan van der Meer and I drove up to Page Saturday night staying at the local Holiday Inn Express. We caught the Sunday morning sunrise near Wiregrass Canyon as well as the bonus setting of the full moon. Encountered a herd of antelope and continued traveling on to North Coyote Buttes to catch "The Wave". After returning for lunch in Page, we toured Lower Antelope Canyon. On the way back to Phoenix, we stopped at the Horseshoe Bend View and even had time to stop in Flag to take Hannah out for dinner at the local Red Lobster.

    How's that for packing in a full day?

    PS. Antelope Canyon was a full blown United Nations session in progress! Counted 15 tripod set-ups and said "hello" and "excuse me" in half a dozen different languages... Don't take this the wrong way, it was still great fun! Travel was blocked at the extreme north end of the canyon due to water and mud. You couldn't access the north end stairs and have to retrace your steps back out the south entrance.
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5 about a slot canyon! Very different than upper canyon ( the famous cousin!) but lower is very very cool ..Its tight and you feel the canyon. There are a few photo ops but to me it was all about the tight canyon, slithering/sliding your way along, near vertical stairs.

    We dropped into a tiny fissure in the Sandstone and make our way down many flights of stairs as we descended down the canyon. At one point we saw a predator soar overhead and cast a shadow in to the canyon ...way cool. My camera was too slow so this will remain in my mind's eye forever...There was a raven's nest up high and I watched the mother feed 3 screaming chicks ...(Darn "Pro" photographer who was hogging the only spot you could get a shot of the next and the screeming chicks ...Rude :x )

    There is one dramatic spot along the way where it colors up like the Upper Antelope and it was quite nice not to have to share the spot. I watched the light change on the walls for a bit and then moved on. The canyon at spots narrows down and you barely have space to wedge a foot as you step forward.

    We go over and peer down a 30ft dropdown and turn around...and climb up a long flight of stairs to get out. As we walk back on the surface we peer over the edge at the slots -- its amazing to see the deep fissure and sobering to see the boxes (with rope/ladders) mounted along the edge to provide escape routes in case of a flash flood ('97 saw the demise of a bunch of young people that got caught in a flash flood and got killed).

    We met some very friendly Navajo's at the stations both here and at Upper Antelope :D Looks like Waterholes will become a commercial venture soon ....
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Completed a 986.7 mile round trip to Navajo Lands this past weekend. Journey included a series of mini-hikes to Navajo National Monument (Betatakin), Mystery Valley, Monument Valley, Upper Antelope Canyon, and Lower Antelope Canyon. Some had the required Navajo Guides (many thanks to Rosie, Delvin, and Brandon for their excellent insight and commentary!).

    Paid $15 for a self-guided tour. Saved receipt for $5 Navajo Lands Permit from Upper Antelope Canyon. Brandon took me to the entrance and pointed out some features on my map. Fantastic experience and highly recommended. Environment is somewhat "surreal" with the nearby Navajo Generating Station belching out white smoke, a tangle of high voltage transmission lines crossing the grounds, then you decend into the ground and you're in a magical world.

    Have to thank Darrell (AZ-OUTDOORSMAN) and Suzie (SUZAZ) for their tips preparing for this trip...
    Antelope Canyon - Lower
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    My wife and I "hiked" it on a beautiful spring day when there were very few tourists crowding the canyon. We probably spent at least three hours in the canyon and I think I shot about 8 rolls of slide film (Velvia). With exposures up to 15 seconds, a tripod was mandatory to create excellent images. It is so surreal inside the slot, like being in a cathedral to where you find yourself whispering just to appreciate the beauty. It's intimate beauty contrasted nicely with the Grand Canyon's overwhelming beauty.

    The Navajo tribe manning the pay station were cordial and deserve every penny that they charge for entry. If you want Disneyland, go there. if you want a little undersground heaven, visit Antelope Canyon.

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Navajo Park Entrance $8 + Tour Fee
    Note: most if not all fees are cash

    Tour Companies

    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From Phoenix: Take Hwy I-17 north 146 miles to Flagstaff. From Flagstaff, take Hwy 89 north 133 miles to Page. From Page, take Hwy 98 east 3.3 miles to the intersection with Antelope Point Road (GPS coordinates 36o 53.848'N, 111o 24.363'W). Turn north onto Antelope Point Road and the parking lot for the Lower Antelope Slot Canyon will be on the west side (north side of Hwy 98). If you pass the Navajo Generating Station, you've traveled too far!

    My GPS noted 296.8 miles traveled from my home in Ahwatukee to the Lower Antelope Canyon trail head parking. Travel time was just over 5 hours. GPS coordinates for the entrance of "The Corkscrew" are 36o 53.865'N, 111o 24.373'W.
    1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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