After spending our night in Page, we had to get up early the next morning. We had booked a tour for the Lower Antelope Canyon. It was a big challenge to get there on time because the Navajo area is on daylight saving time. If you leave this area and go to Arizona you’re back on Mountain Time. We also had a problem with our phones. They couldn’t decide what time we had. (The border was only 10 minutes away.) Fortunately we had wifi so we could check the time online. Because the Lower Antelope canyon is located in the Navajo region, we went there thinking they are on daylight saving time. But as soon as we got there we found out the tour is on Mountain Time. 🙄 Because we didn’t wanna wait in the heat for 1 hour, we decided to join an earlier group. The tour could have been so nice but the group in front of us was really annoying. They stopped on every corner to take a group foto or selfie and climbed up in between the rocks just to get “the most awesome picture”. Not to mention their equipment. They wore shoes like flip flops, slippers with socks (no they were not German) and again shoes with heels. 😳 Here’s proof:
Of course the floor was sandy and uneven. They even carried a toddler (maybe 1 year old) constantly in their arms (maybe someone should’ve told them about the concept of child carriers or a sling). Right at the beginning of the tour, going down into the canyon, we had to go down backwards and take a steep ladder. And they did this while holding their kid in their arms. We almost couldn’t watch it. The kid could have fallen down every second. In our opinion totally irresponsible. Apart from that the canyon was pretty amazing. Even Nate had fun, because it was so narrow he sometimes had to keep his head down so that he would fit through the narrow parts of the canyon in his child carrier. He kept saying : “oh wow, stones…”
Despite the raw beauty of the canyon we left there with mixed feelings. Every day, between 6000 and 8000 people visit/are being driven through Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon.
We are thankful that we had the opportunity to see this canyon in person but we can’t help but wonder if these huge numbers of visitors won’t leave a permanent mark on these canyons at some point. We sometimes felt like a herd of cattle, being driven through gate after gate (the only thing missing were the cattle prods). Maybe the group numbers should be reduced, or the price increased (or both). Other places like „The wave“ only let a set number of people visit. Whatever the solution, maybe this would make it possible for the visitors to actually enjoy the canyons again. Because with group after group pushing through these canyons, it is next to impossible to take in the natural beauty and just enjoy it (at least it felt like this for us).
For the follow night we wanted to stay somewhere else. So we drove to the Lone Rock Campground. This campground is one of the more primitive campgrounds. On the downside, there are some areas without showers and toilets, on the upside you can camp pretty much anywhere you want to. First we wanted to stay close to the beach but because of the sand we were scared we might get stuck and also leveling didn’t work at all. So we decided to drive up the hill, where we came from. From there we at least had a great view of the Lone Rock. Once again our phones couldn’t decide what time we had.
On the next day we drove to Bryce Canyon. On our way there we stopped at a German bakery. We already knew that a lot of Americans love German bread and were wondering when we would see the first German bakery in the US. Unfortunately it was rather disappointing. The bread was way to expensive. We had to pay 6$ for 1 loaf. This is outrageous (our inner Schwabe cried a little). And at noon their counter was already almost empty. They could have done a much better job than this. After having a German-American lunch we went back on the road heading for the Bryce Canyon.
Because we arrived late in the afternoon there wasn’t enough time for a hike. So we drove all the way up to the Rainbow Point. It’s the highest point at the Canyon. We wanted to see the 2 viewpoints (Rainbow and Yovimpa) there. We put Nate on the leash (better safe than sorry cause one side of the hill was a pretty steep cliff) and Noam in the child carrier. The view was stunning.
After that we drove to our Campground, where we planned on staying for the next 2 nights.
The next day we finally did some hiking. First we walked to the Sunrise point. (Nate made it to the General Store with lots of kicking and screaming. That’s where we put him in the child carrier.) At the General store suddenly a group of Asian women discovered us and instantly fell in love with Noam. They got their cellphones out and Noam became the next shooting star. 😊 We then took the Queens Garden Trail down into the canyon and later a part of the Navajo Loop to get back up to the rim. This time to the Sunset Point. All together it was 3,3 ml hike.
Unfortunately the Wall Street part of the Navajo Loop was closed, as a few weeks before some tourist got hit by stones. That’s why we only got a good look at it from the top.
But our part of the trail was quite similar, so it wasn’t a big loss. At the evening it also started to snow. But not for long, which was good so we could still do a BBQ outside.