Arizona Part 1: Marble Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon

My first big hiking trip is in the books, 9 days 3 cities and countless hikes. It was truly an amazing experience and really forced me to test myself!

Day 1

We landed Friday night and the adventure began, we landed at 11 pm so we stayed in a hotel near the Phoenix airport.  Clearly, the adventure started here, as it took them 3 tries before they found us a room where the key pads on the door actually worked, so we didn’t get to bed until around 2 am

Day 2

Saturday we woke up, had breakfast, and we started the drive up north to Page, Arizona!!!!

The entire drive north my eyes were glued to the landscape. Arizona had everything Red Rocks, Snowy mountain tops, Canyons, Cactus, and even cattle (the western term for cows)!

As we got closer to the amazing Red Rocks we were stoping every five mins to take photos. We may have annoyed some of the locals, and gotten honked at one point…whoops.

On the way to Page we decided to take a detour and visit Marble Canyon. We stopped at the Navajo Bridge where we saw two huge California Condors sharing lunch!

 

 

As we still had daylight after our nearly 5 hour drive, we decided to do a hike! Initially I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want to be sore for the Grand Canyon, but we had a day to rest before so why not?

We did the Lees Ferry and Spencer trail lookout, 3.5 miles and 1,614 ft of elevation gain.  The hike was a switch back filled trail, but throughout the entire trail you have an amazing view of the Colorado River which really keeps you going!

When you get to the top you have incredible views of not only the Colorado River but the Vermillion Cliffs.

 

After the hike, we checked into our hotel and got some delicious BBQ food.  We went to bed early because the next morning we wanted to catch the sunrise over Horseshoe Bend.

Day 3 Page Arizona!

5:30 wake up call, to make it to Horseshoe Bend for the sunrise. Horseshoe Bend is a 270 degree turn in the Colorado River.  The hike in is about 1/2 mile and doable for people of all fitness levels.  While Horseshoe bend is an incredible place, and I highly recommend visiting, it is extremely important that you get there early to beat the crowds and ensure parking. We were one of the first people there at 6:45, but within an hour the parking lot was filled and there were tons of people everywhere.

 

Next stop Lower Antelope Canyon! Lower antelope is a slot canyon. The colors are constantly changing due to the amount of sunlight coming in.  We had a 10 am tour and the colors were just beautiful!  I’ve seen pictures before and thought they were probably enhanced … nope, they’re real.

In order to do the Antelope Canyon you need to book a tour, we decided to take a private tour with Kens tours! It was a little bit more money to do the private tour, but in my opinion totally worth it! Our tour guide, Roc, was amazing and knew all the best spots to take photos!

 

The tour starts with a stair case down into the canyon, and proceeds for about a mile through the canyon. The canyon is shaped like a V, narrow at the bottom wider at the top, so some areas are a little narrower as your walking through.  This however adds to the unique shapes and colors you get when you walk through it.

 

Now to explore Upper Antelope Canyon! Again, you need a tour for this.  We used Antelope Slot Tours by Chief Tsosie. This tour is a little different, as you have to get on a bus a drive to the canyons.

While lower antelope is shaped like a V, upper is shaped like an A, wider at the bottom narrower at the top. So you get some nice light beams coming in from the top.

 

After visiting both, I personally enjoyed lower Antelope more; it is a longer tour, more colorful, and less crowded.  But honestly both slot canyons are really amazing!

Now back in the car to head to THE GRAND CANYON!!!!! But First Strawberry thick shakes from Sonic!

Stay tuned for my next blog posting … my hike down and up the Grand Canyon

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