Summer Tales – Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

I am recapping the three weeks of fun that I had with my family this summer.
See all related posts under the category:  summer tales.
[Warning this post is even photo-heavier than the previous ones.]

Page, AZ had two more highlights of our trip in store for us. In the morning (8/2) we headed out to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, just a few miles outside of Page right of Hwy 89. The 3/4 mile  hike begins from a large parking area. The wide, easy-to-follow trail leads quickly up a low, sandy hill. Then the trail descends to the rim of the canyon.  As you approach the overlook, sand gives way to bare rock – Navajo sandstone laid down by wind over 15 million years in the early part of the Jurassic Period, some 180 million years ago. The view from the edge of the canyon was simply breath-taking. The overlook is at the top of a steep orange colored cliff several hundreds of feet high. Down below, an emerald green Colorado river makes a horse-shoe shaped bend (hence the name) before rushing towards the Grand Canyon. I really wish I had a wide-angle lens for my camera, because this place would have called for one, but I was able to capture most of the river bend in this picture.





My Mom was clearly concerned when Basti and I were looking for the best spots to take pictures, as there are no guardrails or anything at the overlook. After we had taken all the pictures in the world that we wanted, we headed back up the trail to the car.

After a short quick-stop at the hotel to stock up on drinks and snacks, we headed to the meeting point for our Antelope Canyon Tour. The Antelope Canyon area is administered by the Navajo tribe and can be visited only when accompanied by authorized tour guides.

Our group of about 20 people was put on two 4WD trucks and then we were driven to the entrance of Upper Antelope Canyon. We drove through a wide dry river bed which was covered in red Navajo Sandstone sand. When we entered the river bed, our driver warned us that the ride was about to get a little “bumpy”. The guy was not kidding as we had to hang on to the guardrails to stay in our seats, but it was great fun.


Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, which is very narrow and formed by the wear of water rushing through rock. So the small opening in the rock wall looked like this:


It was really strange to step into the canyon, which is relatively wide at the opening, but gets narrower and narrower the further you go in.

We had booked the 2,5 hour photography tour, which – let me tell you – was a very wise choice. We had a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide. Not only did he provide us with the best spots and angles to capture the sunbeams dancing on the canyon walls, he also  helped us with camera settings and little tricks how to use the canyon walls and floor as a “make-shift” tripod to stabilize the camera. We just had an absolutely amazing time!




















We reached the other end of the canyon in – as it seemed – a blink of an eye and could have spent even more time gazing at the beautiful creations of nature. When we made our way back through the canyon, we could tell how the lighting had been changing over the course of two hours and how different the canyon looked now. The bright orange and yellow colors from earlier had changed to more muted reds and browns. I am still totally mesmerized looking at those pictures and thinking back to this amazing day and we all agreed that this had been an experience of a lifetime!

To top off our amazing experience in Page, we made our way over to  Glen Canyon Dam and the Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell. My Mom and I even dipped our hot feet into the cool waters.







We returned to the hotel around 5:30 p.m. and decided on the Early Dinner Special at  “Bonkers”.




We ended another amazing day with a late night pool visit, before we hit the hay.



More to come, so … stay tuned.

  1. holy crap – those pictures are AMAZING. wow. it really looks like a highlight of the trip! wow.

  2. Goodness, how gorgeous are those photos?! Looks like you had an amazing time, hey :)

  3. Oh i remember our tour of the canyon so vividly! We should have really done the photography tour, but we would have had to book ahead of time, which we didn’t :( It’s such an amazing place! Wise choice, i’m glad you had such a great time!

  4. WOW, those pictures of the canyon are gorgeous! I’m speechless. I’ve never been to a place like that, I hope to go someday!

  5. Wow I knew you were good at taking photos but those were simply amazing – PS I am also glad basti didn’t break his neck!

    Love ya xoxoxox

  6. Amazing pictures!!

  7. Those photos are so stunning!

  8. WOW!! Love the photos! Amazing!! Breath-taking! WOW!!

    What a cute pic of you and your mom!
    Hugs xxx

  9. What an awesome trip, and beautiful pictures!!!

  10. WOW. Those photos are stunning! I’ve never been west of the Mississippi and I’ve never seen rocks and dessert like that. It’s absolutely breathtaking. I’d love to see this someday!

  11. Your photos inside the canyon are absolutely amazing!

    And I’m loving the mini-geology lesson I’m getting from reading about your adventures. My husband is also taking a geology class this summer and I’ve got him hooked on these posts of yours since it seems each time you post one he’s just learned about the rock formations, etc. that you show.

  12. I’m catching up on my blog reading, and OMG these photos are amazing!

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