Antelope Canyon is the biggest draw for folks headed east from BaseCamp37°. Unlike The Wave, Antelope just requires a reservation, a credit card, and the fortitude to deal with the chaotic nature of large crowds all wanting to share the same, spectacular passage.
This post is about an alternative, namely avoiding the masses and having the time to explore the inner sanctum of an amazing slot canyon carved by wind and water over the course of several millon years.
Located just south of Page on the private property of a family with a rich and storied history in this corner of Arizona.
Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours runs the only tour into this gem, and we can assure you that all tours are not created equal. About the only hustle and bustle you will find on this tour is the parking lot where you meet up, adjacent to the Subway on US 89 just south of the junction with Lake Powell Blvd.
Our guide, Chance was fantastic, giving us quick history lesson of his family’s land, and then allowing us ample time to admire the formations and colors while setting up photos of Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon.
Two points worth making, Antelope Canyon is incredible, but the nature of the tour just isn’t for everyone, thus, we like Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon as an alternative. Secondly, all of these canyons are on private property, thus tours are the only way to experience many of these treasures. Lastly, regardless of which tour you take, take advantage of Lake Powell and one of the great swimming holes to wash off the dust and cool down. Look for the hiking sign just east of the Glen Canyon Bridge on US 89, follow the gravel road north from 89 for about a half mile, park in the lower lot and scramble down the shore. It’s a perfect end to a great afternoon.