36 hours in Arizona – Road trip Day One: Antelope Canyon

Whenever I don’t travel for a couple of weeks and don’t have a trip in sight I get  antsy. It’s like this mosquito bite that itches and no matter how much you scratch or put anti-itch on it, it won’t stop bugging you. That is when I usually come up with some spontaneous last minute getaway. These trips aren’t really planned or budgeted for, they just kind of happen. A few miles, a destination of interest and boum, there is your potential adventure.

This particular one lead us to Arizona. We landed in Phoenix late at night, ready to start our adventure early next morning. We were heading North, way North. Our destination: Antelope Canyon.

arizona, sunrise, highway 17, saguaro, aavtravelWe drove North along Highway 17 and later on State Road 89. It is amazing how the landscape and colors change along the way.  Desert isn’t just desert, it has its own atmosphere and color scheme. Some people say the desert is boring. However, I find it highly exciting and full of diversity, and there is something special about driving along a desert road, the promise of freedom. Wherever you can see, vast space, mile after mile, nothing other than the skyline, some hills, rock formations, sand, gravel, tumbleweed and saguaros. Highway 71 Phoenix to Flagstaff Arizona desert Highway 71The drive from Phoenix to Page takes about 5 hours. We stopped in Flagstaff to get ready for what lay ahead. The local supermarket was perfect to stock up on water and supplies before heading North on State Route 89 towards Page. Once you leave Flagstaff, you are pretty much in the wild. Better head out there with a filled tank of gas, water and food.

Route 89 Flagstaff to Page Arizona Route 89Most everybody has seen images of the amazing rock formations and light displays at Antelope Canyon. It is located on Navajo land, not far from Page, AZ, managed by the Navajo Indians. It is a slot canyon, meaning it is much deeper than wide. Antelope Canyon is a baby in terms of age, especially in comparison to the nearby Grand Canyon. When you arrive at the canyon entrance there is not much to see. The entrance is through a narrow crevice somewhere in the reddish rock.

Lower Antelope CanyonThere is a Lower and an Upper Antelope Canyon, both spectacular. Since our time was limited we decided to visit Lower Antelope Canyon. Both canyons have to be visited with a guide and tours are best booked in advance, especially during high-season, or if you are on a tight traveling schedule. We really wanted to visit the canyon on our own but unless you are a legitimate photographer with the adequate equipment as proof, you will have to go with the group. Although a bit disappointed, we quickly realized that it really didn’t matter. There are groups all over the canyon and you are never really alone as they come passing through.

Lower Antelope Canyon EntranceIn order to enter the canyon you will have to go down some steep steps and ladders.

Lower Antelope Canyon Lower Antelope Canyon Lower Antelope Canyon Lower Antelope CanyonAntelope Canyon is hands down one of my favorite places ever. It is simply incredible. Once we emerged from its beautiful depth, we headed towards Lake Powell where we spent the rest of the day enjoying a wonderful picnic overlooking the lake.

Lake Powell ArizonaThe sun set fairly early and it got pitch black very fast. The starry sky incredible. We didn’t mind the early night as we had planned a whole other adventure for the next day.

Written by AAV Travel’s Owner

stefanie pichonnat aavtravelSTEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the owner of AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating customized travel itineraries. Having personally traveled to many destinations worldwide, she can help you create a wonderful vacation experience. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com




One thought on “36 hours in Arizona – Road trip Day One: Antelope Canyon

  1. Pingback: 36 hours in Arizona – Road trip Day Two: The Grand Canyon without the Crowds | AAV Explorations

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