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Tour One of the Most Beautiful Landmarks in the USA

Arizona

Tour One of the Most Beautiful Landmarks in the USA

Jimmy Daly
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  • States:
    Arizona

A natural wonder tucked into the Earth

About 180 kilometers northeast of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona, one of the United States of America’s greatest natural treasures is just underfoot. Antelope Canyon, one of the world’s most photogenic landmarks, is nestled more than 36 meters below ground level.

Navigating the Canyons

Antelope Canyon is made up of two slot canyons — upper and lower — each formed by the rushing waters of the late-summer monsoons. The region’s native Navajo tribes regard it as sacred ground and limit access to the canyons to protect the fragile sandstone formations. Tour guides are mandatory and will help you navigate the canyon’s craggy crevices.

Upper Antelope Canyon is the more popular of the two because it doesn’t require any strenuous hiking or climbing. Lower Antelope Canyon (pictured here), on the other hand, requires visitors to descend and scale a series of stairs and ladders. And without a knowledgeable guide, it’s unlikely any visitor would ever find the entrance — a narrow crack in the Earth — let alone enter.

Each canyon is easily accessible from nearby Page, Arizona, located about 440 kilometers north of Phoenix near the Utah border. This small town serves as a base for adventurers seeking the beauty of the slot canyons, Horseshoe Bend and the infamous Wave of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Head east on route 98 to route 222 intersection. Lower Antelope Canyon is on the left and Upper Antelope Canyon is on the right. Page is also home to several tour companies.

Guided tours are typically about 90 minutes, so both canyons could be visited in a single day. However, most operators do not provide tours of both, so you may have to book tours separately for Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon.

The striated rock of the Antelope Canyon glows in pastel hues.

The striated rock of the Antelope Canyon glows in pastel hues.
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Jimmy Daly

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