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  • Writer's picturethebackpackingblotskes

Horseshoe Bend // Antelope Canyon

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

You can't have one without the other (in our opinion)...

Oh yeah, both are busy thanks to being made "Instagram famous", but should that stop you from visiting these beauties? NO!! As long as you are mentally prepared for a crowd, these hot spots are completely worth your time!

Horseshoe Bend

Day 1

We visited this river bend twice while in the area. The first day we were there in the late afternoon, around 4pm, and stayed till almost sunset. One really cool thing about Horseshoe Bend.. the different times of day really changed the look of it, making it a super fun place to play around with the camera. You will notice that these pictures have several looks, some of it definitely due to editing but most of it due to lighting!

There is a small parking lot located at the trail-head but you'll have to get there pretty early to secure a spot. We arrived in the late afternoon on the first day, ended up parking 5 miles away and caught a bus ($5/person round-trip, kids were free). The hike in is maybe half a mile, and is mostly downhill. Very doable, despite the slight climb you have to make coming out! It was crawling with people on day 1, in the late afternoon. We stayed for about an hour, trying to find our own little spot to enjoy it from, without rubbing elbows with someone else. Weren't having much luck, so we opted to leave and come back for sunrise..

Day 2

We made an excellent decision, in coming back at sunrise! We were able to park in the parking lot and while there were other early morning risers with us, the place was dead compared to the zoo of people on day 1. We highly recommend this approach to Horseshoe Bend, if you are at all considering a visit...

And there you have it -- Horseshoe Bend! Go see it, take all the pictures, post them on Insta.. cause everyone is doing it ha ;)

Antelope Canyon

We almost missed out on this incredibly cool slot canyon. One of the reasons I love Instagram ---- the community of adventurists, travelers and explorers! After posting our itinerary for this trip, we were contacted by a young family that had been in the area and told us to check out Antelope Canyon.. so we did! And we are SO glad we did!

You do have to book a tour (we went through Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours), in order to see the canyon, and you have two options - upper and/or lower Antelope Canyon. It was recommended to us that we do upper canyon with small children. Lower canyon requires you to climb down a ladder, which isn't very easy to do when you are carrying a 10 month old in your arms! Another thing to know for those with little ones.. you are not able to take backpacks or carriers with you into the canyon. The space is very very tight and with the amounts of people in there at once, there is simply no room for anything but the clothes on your back! So with that being said, it's completely doable with an infant, but would be way more enjoyable when your babe can walk. Chet had to hold Bear the entire time (cause I had the camera, duh! haha) and he was super squirmy. Also, mommy fail.. I didn't pack any snacks in our coat pockets! *Insert slap to the forehead here* So don't be me.. stuff your pockets with crackers, applesauce squeeze packets, fruit snacks and extra pacifiers!!!

We were told there are other slot canyons in the area to explore, that are not near as crowded. Had we had more time, you better believe we would've been all up in those canyons! It was such a cool experience, one we would love to have again, when Bearsy-boo can WALK (which he can now!!!)

We'd love to help you plan your Arizona adventure! Shoot us an email - and let's chat! We love making new friends :)

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