Exploring Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona

Hi! We’re Candy and Crystal. We’re sisters who grew up as military brats and spent the first half of our lives in Japan. The majority of our family resides in Japan, but we ventured out and have spent the second half of our lives mainly in the United States. We both love traveling and have always documented our travels, so we decided it was time to share our travel experiences with the rest of the world.

Visiting Antelope Canyon has been a dream of mine for quite some time. Since my friends and I were taking a girls trip to Las Vegas over an extended weekend, I thought it was the perfect time to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon on this trip.

As I started researching how to visit Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, I was surprised to discover that you cannot visit the canyons unless you take a guided tour. The canyons are protected by the Navajo Parks and Recreation and only authorized tour companies can take visitors to the canyon. Safety and preventing vandalism is the main reasons why everyone needs a guided tour; the canyon became unavailable to the public in 1997.

There are two types of tours you can do: the Lower Antelope Canyon and the Upper Antelope Canyon. The Upper Antelope Canyon tours are for the photographers that want to take that perfect picture without too many tourists around. The cost is at least $100 and it sounded a little too hardcore for me and the girls, so we went with the Lower Antelope Canyon tour. Dixie Ellis' Lower Antelope Canyon Tours sounded like the one to go with since it had many great reviews. Most of the articles I read online suggested visiting the canyons around 10 in the morning to get the sunlight coming through the slots. I booked the 9:30 AM tour ($35 with entrance fee included) and was all set to go.

Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

Before heading to Antelope Canyon, we visited Horseshoe Bend to catch the sunrise. Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River. Many visitors suggested visiting Horseshoe Bend at sunrise instead of sunset because the sunset causes a harsh shadow and the sun will be directly in your eyes.