We got an early start, after breakfast we headed to Upper Antelope Canyon. We were about one person short of getting on the 10am tour so we paid for the 11am tour and went off to check out the other side of the highway. There was a massive queue of people trying to get into the lower canyon for a tour probably due to a guide there being $25 vs the one we bought which was $40 ea plus the $8 ea fee to enter Navajo lands.
We scrambled around at the boat launch area just filling in time really before a quick loo stop and headed back for the tour
We got back just in time to board the last of the 11am tours. It was a ute with covered bench seats on each side. The road was very sandy and bumpy, quite the theme park ride at times lol
The canyon was amazing, the sunlight coming in through openings above us cast light on the multi hued canyon walls. Our Navajo guide was very good, helping by pointing out the best camera angles even advising those with a DSLR which settings worked best where. She had a lot of stories to tell about floods that have run through the canyon reaching almost unbelievable heights. Along the way there are bits of trees left behind when the water subsided. We also found out the reason you have to have a guide now. During one flood event 11 French tourists ignored the canyons being closed, jumped the fence and died in a flash flood.
We took hundreds of photos, hopefully some will convey just how beautiful it was. The tour was supposed to be approx 1.5 hours but we didn't get back to the car park until about 1pm but nobody was complaining. We felt as though we had been sand blasted and suspected we had sand in places sand should never be lol I know my hair was full of it and no amount of water shifted it from our mouth nor blowing from our noses but for all that, it was absolutely worth it.
From that canyon we set off for Marble Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs stopping first at Glen Canyon's famous Horseshoe Bend. It was a massive walk, only 1.3km each way but very steep. Once down to the edge the view was fabulous. The Colorado River bends at that point going almost back on itself. Pete did his usual mountain goat trick scaring the hell out of me. It was well over 30C making the going even tougher but again, so worth the effort.
Marble canyon and the cliffs made for a spectacular drive we stopped at the Navajo bridge to see the river from a lot lower.
Up from the canyons and into the Kaibab National Forest, at 6000' the temps were dropping and got down to around 15C. There's been a fire through much of the forest but it seems to be coming back. Once out of the desert we started to again see some wild life, chipmunks and deer.
From Jacobs Lake we turned down towards the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We saw some signs warning of bison but didn't see any until we were almost back out of the park a couple of hours later. We drove through grassy meadows, very different from other areas we've been through today. There were some cattle and deer along the way.
We did another long walk, again up and down hills to view the north rim. There were some gorgeous views not all of it ideal for photos unfortunately due to where the sun was low in the sky.
On the way back through the forest we saw a lot of deer and were treated to a superb sunset. Traces of the sunset lingered long after it was fully dark leaving the sky looking bruised.
It's been another day with zero phone coverage which makes it hard to find and book accommodation. We enquired at a lodge at Jacobs Lake but they only had hotel rooms, no breakfast, fridge or microwave (they cited it was cos it was a fire risk, WTF?) for $145 plus tax. That made it way too expensive given we'd have to buy dinner and breakfast on top of the room rate. The lodge in the canyon was full so we drove to Kanab and booked into the Days Inn, pricy for what it was but not as bad as some. It's never cheap this close to a tourist destination like Zion Canyon.
We did what we hope is the last round of laundry til we get home, cooked dinner and hit bed. There was a lot of walking today and we were both feeling it.