Check out Day 1 of our Western Canyon Tour Live Blog here!
We woke up in Page, AZ, and we were a little jetlagged. We were all up by 6 am and Zack and Lucy were eating “first breakfast” by 6:30. Ramon went for a run, and the scenery was definitely not what he is used to running by and quite a contrast from Eastern Kentucky.
We then had our “second breakfast” at about 8:45 and had the standard hotel fare.
We arrive at Antelope Canyon at 9:45am for our 10:00 am tour with Taadidiin Tours.
When we chose our tour, there were two options. The first was a standard tour in which you spend about 10-15 min in each of the two canyons (North Antelope Canyon and South Antelope Canyon). We chose the “Photography Tour” which gave about 1 hour in each canyon to take photos. We would absolutely recommend this tour, and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Even our kids loved it. We met at the entry point (a tent with a few benches to sit on).
From here, we boarded a van which took us part of the way into the canyon. When we got out of the van, it was raining, which was the first time they have had rain in a month. I thought Ramon was going to hyperventilate because we paid extra for this tour just to get particular photos that required sunlight. He even made sure to ask our guide about the risk of flash flooding due to the rain as going into a slot canyon when raining can be a little risky.
Thankfully, it only rained for about 20 minutes. However, it was still overcast, and Ramon was still worried about getting the picture of the famous “God Rays.” To start off our tour we had to climb down a pretty steep hill to get into the canyon.
The good news is that they had free bottles of water for the guests to drink. The bad news is that they did not have bathrooms, which made me nervous about letting the kids drink water. Our tour was very informal and “go at your own pace”. We were free to roam about the canyon as we pleased and got tons of pics.
Our guide was very nice, and even told Ramon the best angles to get the “God Ray” picture he wanted.
Our guide also did not get annoyed with our children during our 3 hour tour, and he actually complimented us on Zack and Lucy’s behavior. I’m as shocked as you are! Ramon got to take all of the pictures that he wanted to take, and the kids played in the sand most of the time, and this included making sand angels (although Zack did take several breaks from playing in the sand to climb on the rocks).
There was little narration on the tour. I attribute this to the fact that of the three parties on our tour, we were the only ones who spoke english. This did not stop our guide from sharing some of the canyon’s history with me. He made a point to tell me that the canyon was found in the 1920’s by livestock owners. The livestock would come down into the canyon to get the food and water that it provided and their owners followed.
The negative to climbing down a steep hill to get into the canyon is that you have to climb up the same steep hill to get out. One of my favorite moments on the tour happened during this climb out. In true Zack fashion, he ran up the steep hill well ahead of the crowd. He gets to the top and calls down “Kendall, Look! I’m at the top faster than you,” which got a laugh from the other canyon patrons who were still slowly trekking from the bottom. When we all made it to the top, we boarded another van and went back to the entrance point.
If you ever do visit Antelope Canyon, please do yourself a favor and have your entire party empty their shoes before getting into the car. We forgot to take off Lucy’s shoes and dump the sand out. She graciously decided to dump them out all over the car.
After a quick stop at Taco Bell for lunch, we drove 10 minuets to Horseshoe Bend. We are immediately thankful for the overcast skies. This would have been absolutely brutal in the heat. There even signs that said so.
Our plan was to use our all terrain stroller to get Lucy through the mile and a half hike that this site requires. We had watched youtube videos and the sand did not look to deep, and thought the stroller would make it. We started down the trail, and very quickly realized that the sand was to deep to use the stroller. We decided to see if Lucy would walk, and were very impressed that she walked the entire way with no whining. We were prepared for this landmark to have no rails and a very steep drop-off, but part of it had new railing. This was a pleasant surprise as it would harder for our kids to fall off a cliff. In reminded us of Cliffs of Moher in that the majority of Horseshoe Bend remained without railing. We spent about an hour and a half there, and we would absolutely recommend it. The pictures cannot possibly convey the scale and grandeur of this place.
We get in the car, and make the 2 hour and 15 min drive to Hatch, Utah. It is 5 blocks long, and has a total of 5 restaurants. Only 3 of them are open past lunch. We stayed at the Bryce Zion Inn (about 30 minuets from Bryce Canyon).
It’s a pretty spartan hotel, but it get’s the job done.
It was about 8PM when we pull into our hotel. We had not eaten dinner yet, so Ramon goes and picks up a pizza from Hatch Station, one of the 3 places open until 9 while I shower the kids.
The pizza left something to be desired, but options were limited.
Tomorrow we will head to Bryce Canyon! We can’t wait to see what adventures await there!
Check out what we did the next day here.