Upper Antelope and Horseshoe Bend

Adam and I don’t travel as often as we like. We tend to take one long trip during the summer, he takes a few snowboarding trips in the winter, we attempt to visit NYC at least once a year, and then we plan some spur-of-the-moment trips, like our trip to Sedona, Arizona this Thanksgiving. Sometimes, I research and plan a few things I’d like to do during the days; other times, I let our whims take us. This was one of those whimsical times; we arrived in Sedona with one tour planned: Upper Antelope and Horseshoe Bend.

Now this was only the second day of our five day trip to Sedona. The first one was just a travel day and, since we got in so late that first evening, we explored the resort: L’Auberge de Sedona. During times that we do get in late, this is what we tend to do. Tired after a long and germ-filled morning, afternoon, and (sometimes) evening, all we want to do is shower and eat a nice dinner.

After a bit of relaxing, and sometimes some napping due to jet lag or an early wake up call, we feel better and are prepped for an exciting, fun-filled adventure. So, let’s get to our first adventure in Sedona, Arizona.

UPPER ANTELOPE

After a relaxing evening, Adam and I were prepped for an exciting day with Zeus M Tours. After following tons of travel bloggers and influencers and seeing snaps of Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, I knew we had to visit those two places. Adam was kind enough to do some research and found this tour with Zeus.

One of the reasons we opted to work with Zeus was the fact that the tour was private. No big group to follow around. We got to hang out with our tour guide, who did an excellent job of ensuring that our time with him was tailored to our wants and needs.

We started the morning driving through scenic Arizona along the way to Page, where we ended up at Upper Antelope Canyon. We met our Navajo guide, a wonderful and kind-hearted woman who showed us the secrets of the canyon. The beautiful landscape, carved from both water and wind, twisted along, meandering through the landscape. We got to see some illusions that the elements created, such as the chamber that looks like an anatomical heart or the weird one that looks like Abraham Lincoln! In some chambers, high above our heads, driftwood hung, stuck there because of the many flash floods that have ripped through the canyons.

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After our morning at Upper Antelope, our tour guide took us to an overlook, for a scenic viewing of Lake Powell. At first, I didn’t really know what to expect but, when I got out of the car, I was pleasantly surprised.

Lake Powell was something special. We walked around for a bit, taking some snaps before a large group of people came over. It was a nice, quiet spot, for a while – which was a nice change from Upper Antelope, which was super crowded. One tip for Upper Antelope? Get in the back of the tour group sometimes. You’ll be able to get those shots – you know, the ones that make it look like it’s just you in there.

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After we got back in the car, we headed over to a small place called Dam Bar and Grille for lunch, before we headed over to Horseshoe Bend. It was serving a Thanksgiving feast for lunch (a late lunch), which was nice since it was Thanksgiving Day and we did take our tour guide from his family – a shoutout to our excellent guide!

After lunch, he was kind enough to take us over the bridge so that we could see Glen Canyon Dam. Adam and I didn’t ask him to stop (when he offered), because we were beginning to get excited. I mean, the one place that I begged Adam to go to was next. What else is a girl supposed to do?

HORSESHOE BEND

When we got to Horseshoe Bend, I could tell it was going to be crowded. People were parking all along the street and all over the parking lot (there appeared to be some construction to the other parking lot). I even leaned over and whispered to Adam, wondering if this would be the Disney World of Arizona.

But all of those thoughts flew out of my mind when I first set eyes on Horseshoe Bend. That beautiful place felt like pure magic when I first saw it. While part of me was glad that the hike wasn’t difficult, I do admit that the view would have been worth a tougher hike for sure.

Regardless of how we got there, the view was one of the most spectacular ones I have ever seen. I felt small, a minuscule pinprick in the universe when I stood there, watching the sun fall over the horizon. Adam ran around, jumping from ledge to ledge while I followed behind, quite clumsily I might add.

I guess I should add that I’m quite afraid of falling – not heights, so much, but falling because I’m quite uncoordinated.  I took some shots near the edge (my parents – and his – would state that I was a little too close), despite my fear. How did I get there? I sat down and scooted toward the edge; then, Adam had to help me back up.

But, sometimes, we’ve got to do it for the ‘gram. And I totally did.

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Due to some recent falls at Horseshoe Bend, there was a large section with concrete and a railing. It took me just a few moments to see that the concrete was blocking me from that all-too-perfect Instagram shot that I’ve seen on some of my favorite influencers feeds.

Nonetheless, I found someplace else – someplace safer, I might add – and I couldn’t have been happier. I probably could have stayed there all day. But we couldn’t. The drive back to Sedona wasn’t a short one, so we couldn’t stay too long.

Although our tour guide was kind enough to ask if we needed to take bathroom breaks, Adam and I were tired. We didn’t end up getting back to the hotel until after 7:00 or so, so we did what we would do on a regular, long day. We ordered room service and hung out, watching some football because, after all, it was Thanksgiving Day.

Even though we didn’t hang out with our families – and even took our tour guide from his – the day was absolutely perfect. I would totally recommend taking a day trip to Page, Arizona to visit Upper Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. If you’re looking for a great private tour, check our Zeus M. Tours. They really were fantastic.

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Vicki

    You got so much closer to the edge than I did! I was so scared!!!

    • jsmithBlogger

      I was shocked I got that close but I felt totally safe!

  2. kyle

    Hey there! Stumbled upon your page when researching sedona. Im flying into Phoenix on a friday evening and flying back home on Monday evening. This gives me all day Saturday, Sunday, and a good chunk of time monday. We were planning on leaving phoenix really early saturday to start the drive north. If you were me, would you spend the time in Sedona and maybe the grand canyon or do you think a drive all the way to antelope/horseshoe is worth it? I was even thinking about only doing Sedona and doing a helicopter tour of teh grand canyon as to not spend too much time driving

    • jsmithBlogger

      Hi Kyle! We had three full days in Sedona and I truly loved visiting Horseshoe. I think that it’s worth it. You could visit one of the other slot canyons in Page (v. going to Upper Antelope), as I hear they aren’t as crowded. We ended up booking a private tour (so we didn’t have to drive the winding roads) and learned a lot about Arizona with the tour guide. I loved the Grand Canyon, and I do think it’s important to see since it’s a world wonder, however, there will be nothing that matches the feelings I felt when seeing Horseshoe Bend. I hope that helps!

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