Saturday, March 25, 2017

Antelope Canyon,and Lake Powell a Top 10 Adventure!


Our main reason for coming to the Page area was to visit the infamous Antelope Canyon. After reviewing the reviews and information from both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons we chose to tour the lower through Dixie Ellis' Tours. From everything we read the tours are in vastly different types of slot canyons and we were prepared to be wowed!
What we weren’t prepared for was being wowed even before got to the canyon. We were told by several RV friends that the Lone Rock camping area was one of their favorites and within minutes of arriving it quickly made it to our top 10 as well!

We were told there was camping right on the beach or a little higher up where the views are just as spectacular. We were warned that if we did dare to take the rig down to the beach area make sure we stayed on the hard packed area or you will find yourself shelling out hundreds of dollars in towing fees. After arriving and seeing how cool the beach camping looked there was no question where we were headed!

We parked the rig up top and scouted the area with the jeep picking our spot and the best route to get there. Our friends were right, stray a few feet off the hard pack and you would be axle deep before you knew it.

We arrived on a Tuesday and enjoyed the afternoon on the beach. The dogs ran and swam for hours loving the freestyle beach life. With rain forecasted the next two days we scheduled our canyon tour for Friday morning.

We were delighted when the sun greeted us the next morning and the rain held off for most of the day. We took advantage of it by breaking out the kayak and spending a few hours on the water. Like many reservoirs, the water was crystal clear and the shorelines were dotted with hidden inlets and canals. Having recently purchased Filmora (video editing software) I took this opportunity to create a 4 minute video of me inflating our kayak and some of our time on the water.  
First stop was Lone Rock....
 Then on to some of the hidden inlets......

View back towards our rig

You can paddle in and around many of the boulders

The waves create weird formations

We also got out to see Horseshoe Bend a famous bend in the Colorado. It is a 1½ mile round trip hike to the rim. There was a steady stream of people as several Asian tour buses were in the parking lot....


Even with these crowds it was definitely worth seeing. No guard rails whatsoever. We were surprised to hear that the last death here was March 2010 when a Greek man fell 600' to the floor.





The rain did come however and with it, the wind. The ensuing sand storm reduced visibility to about ¼ mile. I am guessing the winds were in excess of 40mph rocking the rig relentlessly. We put the dish down and spent the afternoon reading books and watching movies off the DVR.

The next morning we were up early and ready for our tour of Lower Antelope Canyon! The tour itself is $25/person plus $8/person Navajo fee (plus $10 guide tip). We had chosen the 10:30am tour as everything I read said the lighting would be the best this time of morning. They ask you to arrive ½ hour early for check in. Page is located in Arizona which does not recognize daylight savings and we were camping in Utah so there was an hour difference in a matter of 10 miles. We arrived at the tour location promptly at 10am and were told we missed our tour and they follow Utah time! What?!?!? Luckily they had a couple slots for the next tour and we were good to go.
Between Dixie’s and Ken’s they schedule tours every 10 minutes. The tours have anywhere from 30-45 people in each tour…..so you can imagine the number of people. As we approached the entrance to the canyon you could see people lined up waiting to get in.
Approaching the covered entrance
We waited about 30 minutes to climb down the first set of stairs into the slot.
The stairs leading down into the canyon


Once we got in we found ourselves in a large room with more than 100 people standing around taking pictures.  This was going to be a long 1½ hours!
Yikes!
At that point our guide (Savannah) went around to each member of our tour group (14 people) and asked if they needed any help with their cameras. This was one of my biggest concerns going into this tour, what camera settings to use. I went on line and found a lot of information on how to set your camera for the Upper Canyon Photography Tours where you can use tripods where exposures of over 6 seconds are not uncommon. Not possible in the Lower Canyon tours where tripods are not allowed.

She set both our cameras to the same settings; P (Program mode) ISO 400, white balance to “Cloudy” and E/V value to -3.  I will say, what initially looks like chaos toured out to be a quiet and peaceful tour.  Once we left that initial room and started our tour we usually only saw the other 12 people in our tour and at times we lost them and were all by ourselves.
The contours lines and coloring of the sandstone were incredible! It first section had walls 60’-80’, about 1/3rd of the way through we climbed some stairs and the walls were 20’- 40’. We took hundreds of pictures between the two of us. It was difficult to choose which pictures to include. I apologize in advance but this is as few as we could narrow it down to……













See how narrow it gets?


Including some people adds a little perspective


She called this shot The Rocky Mountain Sunset



The guide called this one the Maidens Head


The exit is a VERY narrow passageway out of a crack in the rocks onto the surface.....very cool.

This area around Page and Lake Powell has a lot to offer…. Hiking, boating, the tours and ATV’ing. There were trails leaving right from our camping area and Barb went for a ride into the surrounding hills to take some pictures of our camping area from above.
Our rig is the dark speck right in the middle

View the other direction
The beach camping was great, we arrived on a Tuesday and left on Saturday. Friday night the beach got really crowded. I imagine in the summer it is a zoo! Be warned, do not get into the soft sand! There were a couple of rigs that got stuck while we were there that had to be towed out.

41 comments:

  1. What a great place to boondock! I'm not sure I'd take Scoopy down there, but I might! That area is on our list for next year if all goes as planned. Safe & happy travels!

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    1. After being down there we would do it again. You just need to prescout and watch where you drive.

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  2. Wow, some spectacular light and texture down in the canyon. Very challenging photography situation that you captured very well. I can't wait to go there myself one of these days.

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    1. You would love it. Take the photography tour, they allow tripods and really take their time. The real dilemma is to do the upper canyon, the lower or both????

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  3. Gorgeous photos! We'll have to put this on our list !

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    1. Just as cool as some of the places we saw in Alaska but in to different sort of way.

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  4. Our guide was so familiar with all types of cameras. It really made for some great pictures.

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    1. Ours was as well, she was just grabbing cameras turning dials and pushing buttons. Each guide does anywhere from 3-6 tours a day. That is a lot of cameras to get to know!

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  5. What else can I say but WOW!! Beautiful pictures. This is on my short list.

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    1. Just don't bring a knife, you might find yourself in another knife fight!

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  6. Awesome camp spot and amazing pictures of Antelope Canyon. You are making me rethink my decision to save that for another trip. Decisions, decisions.

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    1. That is the great thing about this lifestyle is that you can change your plans on a whim. I would highly recommend this area, you will not regret it!

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  7. Fantastic Pictures. That place was on our Bucket list back in 2008 but we couldn't get in. You are definitely making us Envious. We'll have to put it on a future winter stopping list.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Thanks, if you are anywhere near Page it is worth stopping by for a day or two.

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  8. Even more excited to hit that area after seeing your pics!! Great pics and great photography tips as well!! You just give, give, give!! :-)

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    1. You think I post all that information for the benefit of the readers? No, I do it for myself. I cannot remember what I did yesterday so at least now I can go back and refresh my memory!

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  9. So glad all went well with your beach camping. It sure is beautiful. I'm not sure why we never took the kayak out while there. Loved the video!! The canyon certainly is spectacular. I do need to see it in person so I can see the actual colors for myself. Your photos turned out beautifully:)

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    1. There is a lot of hiking in the area as well. If you are going to go kayaking make sure you watch the wind!

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  10. Love the Rocky Mountain sunset picture.... the drone view of your camp spot makes me salivate just a little .... I want the whole enchilada.

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    1. Speaking of enchilada's if you are in the Page area and craving Chinese don't buy it there. We had some horrible Chinese while in town.

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  11. Antelope Canyon is high on our list. Thank you for all the great tips!

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  12. Your photos of Antelope Canyon are spectacular! We missed seeing that so now we have to go back.
    Safe travels!

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    1. You will have to put this area in your travel plans for next year!

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  13. Great picture of Antelope Canyon. Wish we could have done that one. We did Lone Rock 4 years ago and loved the beach. We had a fifth wheel then though. Don't know if I would take the 34000 lb motorhome down there.

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    1. Our tour did not involve a jeep ride but you are walking and on your feet for about 2 hours. The total hike is probably less than 1 1/2 miles.

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  14. Wow! Awesome place! Great pics! It's on the list!

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  15. Fantastic images. Your photos have me wanting to head back there now. We are very familiar with those winds. We once camped at Lone Rock waiting out a snow storm - just us and one other crazy RV. Snow was blowing sideways and gusts in excess of 60mph. We camped a little further up from the beach to try and find a little protection. It was an adventure I'd repeat in a heartbeat.

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    1. If you are still in Phoenix you are not that far away! I don't know how strong the winds were just know they were well over 30mph. The sand was blowing sideways and reminded me of snow up north.

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  16. Spectacular pics! Love learning about all the cool places in our vast country. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I did see one dog on the hike so I know non-humans can go on the hike. The owners had to carry the dog as they went up and down the stairs.

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  17. Awesome pictures, looks like we need to return and get some canoeing in.

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    1. Just watch the wind, it can come up suddenly and leave you stuck on the other side of the lake!

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  18. Awesome, beautiful photography! And the kayak fun! Putting on our list.

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    1. It is a great place to get the ATV's out as well!

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  19. Loved the canyon! Wasn't it hard to decide on which ones to delete? Great pics! It was too hot when we were there to stay at the beach. Looked great though as did the paddle!

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    1. We reviewed your blog when deciding which one to go to. Looks like we chose right!

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  20. Wow what a great place!! I was in the Lake Powell area back in the 1970'same and remember it being nice put all your pictures make it look much better than I remember! Did not know about Antelope Canyon will have to add it to my bucket list :) Looks like a great camping spot, but not sure that I would take my big class A down to the beach. Thanks for all the information and great photos. Safe travels Rick R.

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    1. There were several Class A's down on the beach but we did see one get stuck who got out with the help of their friendly neighbor!

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  21. We may have to change our plans and stop there for a while on our way north. Thanks for the great pictures that will help us decide where to go.

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  22. Thank you for posting the specifics of your camera settings. I know Lee will appreciat that

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    1. I could not find any good information on what settings to use in the lower canyon without a tripod so I thought I would pass them along.

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