Antelope Canyon is the subject of many photos. Pretty much any art shop, photo gallery or gift store in Arizona will have some photos of the elusive Antelope Canyon. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but as beautiful as it is, it’s not nearly as tranquil as the pictures would make it seem. You have to visit the canyons with a local guide since they are on reservation land, and the guide business is booming! There must’ve been 200 people in this small stretch of the canyon the day we were there, but fortunately the guides to a good job of keeping people out of the pictures.
Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument are just North of Flagstaff on the way to Page. Sunset Crater is whats left of what used to be an active volcano that last erupted around 1065. Wupatki National Monument preserves the many settlement sites scattered throughout the monument that were built by the Ancient Pueblo People, more specifically the Cohonina, Kayenta Anasazi, and Sinagua. Wupatki was first inhabited around 500 AD. Wupatki, which means “Tall House” in the Hopi language, is a multistory Sinagua pueblo dwelling comprising over 100 rooms and a community room and ball court, making it the largest building for nearly 50 miles.
Parker and I camped out in Flagstaff and visited Walnut Canyon with some friends. I love historical sites like this that are so well preserved considering their age. The Sinagua lived here 1,400 years ago and managed until only 700 years ago before moving on. Why this was such a populated area, I dont know, but they definitely left their mark.
On our way back from a karate tournament in Albuquerque, we detoured through the petrified forest. It’s amazing to think this barren land was once a forest. On the way out there was a historical site with remnants of old Native American dwellings and rock art. Our little detour turned our 5 hour drive home into a 12 hour excursion.