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Lower Antelope Canyon
Had one free day during a work trip and spent the previous night in Kanab, Utah. Drove about 1 hour 15 mins to Page, Arizona for a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon with Ken’s Tours. Make sure you’re aware of the time change: we gained an hour going from Kanab to Page, and lost one when we went back into Utah. We booked the first tour available because we had a very packed day.
There are 2 Antelope Canyons: lower and upper. They’re almost directly across the street from each other. Upper is more “famous,” which translates to more expensive and more crowded. Upper is the one with the pictures of the light beams because it’s shaped like an A – wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. Lower is the opposite: wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. With us going in the morning, that meant there would be more light in the lower canyon. Combine that with the cheaper price and less people and it was an easy decision. There are also more stairs in lower, and I suppose that could be a little concerning if you have a bad fear of heights (no issue for anyone we saw, however).
They say lighting is best between 11 AM and noon for direct beams but we thought it was perfect at 8:15 AM. Our tour guide wasn’t the best, but the one behind us (they took us through in staggered groups of about 5-6 ppl) was excellent. We ended up lagging behind and listening to him, learned a lot about the creation and cool spots in the canyon. Amazing place, definitely worth going out of our way to see it. 1 hour 15 mins for the tour, and we were out of there.
Drove about 12 minutes to Horseshoe Bend, which is a no-brainer if you’re going to Antelope Canyon since they are so close. If Horseshoe Bend was on its own, though, I don’t know if it is worth going out of your way to see. Half mile walk to the viewing area, an hour is plenty here.
Zion National Park
Drove over to Zion (1 hr 45 mins) with a quick stop for lunch back by Kanab. Got a spot at the main lot, took the shuttle into the park and started the Hidden Canyon Trail around 3. It took about 2 hours round-trip and we went all the way back to the arch, which is past the end of the maintained trail. Can’t really say going back to the arch is worth it, but the main trail was great. We’ve hiked a lot of Zion but never this one, and liked it a lot. There are chains and some narrower, exposed parts that would be tough for people with fear of heights. Not nearly as bad as Angel’s Landing, however, since you can always just stay close to the side of the wall.
As of this writing, the Hidden Canyon trail has been closed for years. Check the trail conditions on the Zion NPS site for current info.
Had a fantastic meal and beer as always at Zion Pizza and Noodle, which I was looking forward to almost as much as the hike. Then drove to St. George (1 hr) where we stayed for the night.
Antelope Canyon was definitely the favorite for all 3 of us in the group, and while this trip didn’t make too much sense if you’re looking at a map, it was 100% worth it and we wouldn’t have changed a thing (other than having more time in the area).
Traveled in April 2017