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Mountain Bike Bill, Get the Dirt on the Dirt

Antelope Canyon near Page Arizona

Antelope Canyon Today was a non-riding travel day back to Phoenix and the end of the trip.  Page, Arizona was just a little bit off our route so we decided to swing by and checkout Antelope Canyon located on Navaho land just on the outskirts of town.  There is both an Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon on either side of Coppermine Rd. (Navajo Route 20) and they are run by two different Navaho families which means you will have to pay two entry fees if you want to see them both.  The upper canyon seems to be the busier of the two, but we were going to the lower canyon.  It cost us about $21 each for the guided tour, but it is well worth.

     As you approach the Canyon, it is almost unnoticeable from even a few feet away. You see only a small crack in the rock at the bottom of a streambed. Our guide pointed us to a small metal ladder descending into the crack.  What followed was a series of ladders and stairs that takes you down into into an exceptionally narrow canyon.

images/Trails/AZ06/AZ06-AntelopeCYN-5AUG06-01.jpg The seasonal rains over the course of millenniums have sculpted the sandstone bedrock of Antelope Canyon into marvelous curves and hollows from a few feet to around 20 feet wide and up to 150 feet or so deep.   This is a photographer's paradise here with the sunlight filtering down from above producing a multitude of soft colors and shadows. It is simply amazing. We were not exactly there at the best time of day for the light, but is was still impressive.  I could have spent days messing around with my camera but after a couple of hours we made our way back to the RV.   images/Trails/AZ06/AZ06-AntelopeCYN-5AUG06-02.jpg
     
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Got Dinosaur Tracks?

     

Some people in this pic

Overall Thoughts

We were soon back on the road and in Phoenix in the early evening.  On the drive back to Phoenix I had plenty of time to think about how off the mark I was about Summers in Arizona.  This was an incredibly awesome place that I could have visited long ago, but let my own misperceptions get in the way of some phenomenal riding.  What other MTB destinations have been writing off that are easily within a day's drive?  Time to reevaluate the MTB To-Do List.  I was up early the morning for the drive back to Southern California and I had about five hours or so of contemplating (intermixed with swilling coffee, and "this amp goes to 11" music levels.) along the road about what an incredible trip experience and I really dig the RV thing.   Cris has really got a great service setup with AZ Nomad Adventures.   By catering to small groups he can provide exceptional attention to ensuring that each person gets both trails and service tailored for them.  The comfort factor of base-camping out an RV is absolutely not to be under estimated as it was a significant factor in being both well-rested and ready for each day of the trip.  If you are looking for an adventure tour with exceptional service to some of the country's finest trails all while "Condo Camping" then AZ Nomad Adventures is it.

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