Lower Antelope Canyon – a summer visit

Antelope Canyon is certainly one of the highlights when traveling through the Southwestern States. Quite conveniently located right out of the little town Page, NV and not far away from Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, thousands of travelers make it here every year. Visiting it in July may be not ideal, however.

Antelope Canyon

 

Summer in the Southwestern States

The Southwestern US observe something which is called monsoon season by the locals. Due to the jet-stream moving north in the summer months, humid air from the Caribbean causes frequent thunderstorms and heavy rain. That usually occurs in the afternoon hours. Hence, flash flooding happens frequently during the summer months. And that certainly is not the ideal weather situation for paying a visit to any slot canyon.

However, traveling from Europe to the US with a family will usually take place in the summer school-vacation period.

And so, there is a huge number of tourists intending to visit the lower and upper Antelope  canyon, despite the sup-optimal season of the year.

Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon

The Antelope Canyon is slot canyon famous for its colors and patterns formed by water, wind, and sand. It is located close to Page, NV on Navajo land. In order to visit it, you need to sign up to a tour with one of the licensed tour agents.

Antelope Canyon

Most of its iconic shapes is actually formed by flash floods transporting huge amounts of sand through the canyon. The sand in combination with the water is the perfect material for eroding the Navajo sandstone.

Antelope Canyon

Visiting Antelope Canyon in summer time

Since flash flood occur most of the times in the summer months, the tour operators have to cancel tours when floods are approaching the canyon. In the high season for floods, the canyon is cramped with visitors in the few hours available for tours.

We spent a couple of days in that region and tried to make a reservation for a special photo tour (few visitors per tour, tripods allowed, and a guide who knows the best spots is accompanying the photographers), but all photo tours got cancelled in order to allow more visitors into the canyon.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Advise

If you are free in planing a visit to the Southwestern States, avoid traveling in the summer months.

In case you have no choice, make your reservation for a tour early, choose a noon-ish time slot which gives you best light conditions in the canyon, and it may not yet rain (hence, lower the risk of a flash flood).

I plan to return to the canyon some time in November and hope to be able to go on a photography tour.

Links

Ken’s Tours (This is not a paid add and I am not affiliated with them. It’s just that we booked the tour with them and were happy)

Check out my blog series about Iceland