We left Prescott, Arizona, Monday amid "Red Flag" wind warnings. As usual, the wind was to get worse (gusts of up to 45 miles an hour) as the day wore on. So we quickly got on the road and headed to our next stop: Lake Powell on the Arizona/Utah border. The wind "shoved" the side of our rig a few times as we drove, but the worst gusts didn't hit until afternoon. By then we were at our campsite at Wahweap Campground at Glen Canyon Recreation Area.
That night we went to a restaurant at the Lake Powell Resort where we watched Wisconsin play Duke in the NCAA finals. It was a very pro-Wisconsin crowd, including us. Guess we didn't cheer loud enough.
But here is what this post is really about: Our Tuesday morning tour of Upper Antelope Slot Canyon on the Navajo Nation just south of Page, Arizona.
We were part of a crowd that drove to a parking lot on the Navajo Nation, bought tickets, were put in groups of 14, assigned a tour guide, and climbed into pickup-truck-type vehicles with bench seats in the beds and tarps on top. Our guide was a Navajo named Lance, who said his grandmother owned the land we were about to tour.
Slot canyons are created when water rushes through rock and wears part of it away. More water, plus wind, sand, and time help complete the job -- which is really never finished as erosion always continues. The day we were there, sand flew through the canyon several times.
It was definitely not a private tour -- people filed in an out a canyon so narrow that sometimes you'd have to step into a groove so people could pass by. And it wasn't cheap -- tickets were $40 each, plus $8 per person for parking. But it was simply gorgeous.
I usually put captions under my photos, but after the first few pictures below, words are not necessary. In all of the captionless photos, I aimed my camera toward the top of the rocks. The colors, the shifting patterns caused by light breaking through from above, and the erosion-caused swirls and grooves were amazing.
|Our Navajo tour guide Lance giving us instructions before he took us on a bumpy ride to the canyon. Hang on tight during the bumpy 3.5 mile ride, he said, and then be kind to the land when you get there.|
|People entering the slot canyon. Lance said a thousand people a day take the tour. Including the ride to and from, the tour took an hour and a half.|