Today we had a tour booked for Antelope Canyon at 10:15. We got up early enough to take advantage of the breakfast at our hotel and I had the worst coffee I’ve ever had in my life. We drove to where the Antelope Canyon tours started and checked in. Our tour was with Dixie Ellis Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. I definitely recommend booking ahead and planning on an early tour. They tend to run a bit behind schedule so the earlier the better. We had a little bit of a wait, but we managed to get into the canyon just as the famous light beams were starting.
Unfortunately my photos don’t show the light beams as much as some you see on the internet but it was really cool to see it in person. Since the canyon is located on Navajo land it is mandatory you go with a tour guide. There are only 2 companies that do tours to Lower Antelope Canyon so the tours often sell out. Our guide was pretty helpful and pointed out features of the canyon and helped people take pictures.
They are pretty strict down there but were pretty efficient getting the large amounts of people through the canyon. In total we were probably in there for an hour or so. It was crazy how much texture is in the walls of the canyon and how the direction of the light can change the colour so much.
After we got out of the canyon it was super hot. I definitely recommend visiting in March or April because they close the canyon to tours if it reaches a certain temperature. It would be pretty sad to miss out on visiting Antelope Canyon. It is very touristy but amazing to see for yourself!
After Antelope Canyon we embarked on a mission for proper coffee. We settled for grocery store Starbucks but it was the best coffee I tasted for days! We got back on the road towards Bryce Canyon and made a stop for a quick hike in the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument called the Toadstool Hoodoos.
The Toadstool Hoodoos are about a half an hour drive from Page so it makes for a good stop to stretch your legs if you are driving onto Bryce or Zion. It is right off the main highway just after you cross into Utah. It is pretty easy to miss but worth a quick stop. The hike is very easy and only took about an hour to the first toadstool and back.
I believe the trail goes past this area but we didn’t have a lot of time so we just explored this area. It really feels like you are on another planet in the middle of nowhere.
After our quick hike we got back on the road towards Bryce. We were aiming to get there around 3:00-4:00 so we could drive the scenic road and see the sunset. After driving through the desert we finally arrived at Bryce Canyon. It was still the off season so the shuttles were not running yet for the season so we drove ourselves to the end of the scenic drive to Rainbow Point. Rainbow Point is at about 9000 feet above sea level and there was snow up there! It was crazy since we were walking through the desert and sweating just a few hours before.
Bryce Canyon is a pretty small park so it is a nice place to visit if you only have a day or two. Since we were spending the night just outside the park we decided to do the scenic drive and see all the viewpoints in the evening and then do a hike the next day. April is a nice time to visit Bryce since it is still pretty quiet and the weather is a bit chilly but nice for hiking.
Natural Bridge was definitely one of my favourite stops in Bryce Canyon. It was so quiet and peaceful here until a lady shoved me aside to take a picture. We moved along and headed to Sunset point for sunset.
Sunset Point was probably one of my favourite places in Bryce. We got there a bit late but still got to see the end of the sunset and it was nice and quiet here too.
After watching the sunset we headed to Ruby’s Inn where we would be spending the night. We then came to the realization that there was basically one restaurant open in the whole town. We got some takeout fries for dinner and ate in our room which was not exactly satisfying but we were not in the mood to wait in line to eat dinner after such along day.
Navajo Trail and Kolob Canyons tomorrow!