After a 4 hour car drive to Page, we drove to the Upper Antelope Canyon’s entrance. Six cars deep, we waited to talk to the parking attendant managing the parking lot. The cars’ drivers ahead of us took turns speaking to the attendant and then did U-turns, leaving the park.
Finally, it was our turn.
“Park is closed indefinitely ‘cuz of the monsoon last night. Come back later this afternoon.” – Navajo Indian woman attendant, who seemed far from enthusiastic about her job.
The Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons don’t post closures online –
We really didn’t come this far to turn around, did we?
Preferring to photograph Lower Antelope Canyon, we drove to that entrance.
A traffic jam and a closed gate indicated the lower canyon was closed, too. We drove further up the road. The road ended at a security gate. The security officer warned, “wrong way, you can’t get to Page this way – you have to turn around. The lower canyon will be closed all day since they are pumping out water from last night’s monsoon, but you might be able to access the upper canyon this afternoon.”
We did a U-turn and drove to Page, stopping for lunch at the River’s End Cafe. Great lunch.
After lunch, we decided to head back to the Upper Antelope Canyon to see if the park had opened.
The expressionless attendant, as if programmed on repeat, said, “Lower canyon is closed and upper canyon is only accepting 4 o’clock reservations, no guarantees. A monsoon is on its way. Come back tomorrow morning at 8.”
This is a long way to come for a U-turn.
So now what? Do we try to get a room in Page and return at 8? Do we go to Flagstaff? Should we try to see something while we’re here?
We decided to visit Horseshoe Bend, even though it was high noon, the worst time for photography. It’s a long way to come for a day hike in Arizona’s noon heat, but we didn’t feel like overnighting in Page and taking another chance on the canyons’ openings. We’d write this adventure off as a long way to go for a workout and try not to be disappointed.
We parked at Horseshoe Bend’s trailhead, hiked over a hill and down a valley to the Horseshoe Bend’s edge, and may I say, the the shape in the earth, carved by the Colorado River, was the perfect representation of a day full of U-turns when things don’t always go as planned.
“all around us, nature patiently teaches us that change is normal, natural, predictable and necessary.” –
Spirit of Purpose