Denver to Antelope Canyon and back - Itinerary

Discussion in 'Travel' started by mbwakali, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Ok guys, here's the deal. A couple of days ago I decided, impromptu, to take a trip down to Page, AZ and photograph Antelope Canyon, something I've wanted to do for a while.
    Well now I've started looking at other state parks and sights "along the way" and am thinking of making a few other stops there and back. I'm getting curious about Kodachrome Basin, Grand Staircase Escalante, Monument Valley, specifically.
    I was initially thinking I'd only go for a few days, but now I'm thinking longer, especially since I am pretty flexible with time. So, my question is this, are there must see places? Things I should consider? A route that would be most convenient? When I should travel so I can get the best light at destinations? Pretty much any advice is welcome here :)
  2. Most all of it is appealing, dry, quiet, meditative. I haven't been to Monument, but I hear it is packed with people and RVs. Even Zion, you can scramble up into areas way away from people. But the other places you won't see a soul. Plan on a backpack with a couple lenses, topo map, polarizer, tripod, battery, gallon or more of water if you're really heading out to nowhere. Plan on carrying at least 30 pounds. You may be walking a lot on sand, which can freeze up your calves the next day. I prefer rock. Strap on your bike. Ideal time of year, just go!
  3. I've been to all of those places. I've been to Monument Valley in both April and July. The drive through the Valley is not that crowded. I'd see about 1 car every 2-3 minutes unlike the bumper to bumper traffic in some Nat. Parks.
    I suggest buying a Rand McNally US Atlas and look at all the green areas and red squares with text which indicate Nat Parks and Nat. Monuments. You could drive west, go to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, west to Col. Nat Mon, Arches and Canyonlands near Moab, then southwest to Glen Canyon, Grand Staircase, Page, AZ, then east to Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, east to the Great Sand Dunes, then back north to Denver. In Utah north of Grand Staircase are Bryce, Goblin Valley St Park, Capitol Reef. All of them are beautiful in their own way. I've probably spent about a total of 3 months exploring these places.
    Seriously, atlases and maps are your friend.
  4. Paul,
    For speed you could take I-70 west to U.S. 191 in Utah and then south past Arches, Canyonlands and Mon. Valley and then to Kayenta where you would pick up U.S. 160 into Page. Moab has a few traffic lights Monticello, Bluff, Blanding and Mexican are very small and traffic flows quickly this time of year.
    Good places to eat in Moab, Golden Stake has good homemade soup and truck stop food. There is also Mexican and good coffee downtown. Tom Till's Landscape gallery will inspire you.
    Bluff has the Twin Rocks Cafe, also with excellent food. Blanding and Monticello not so much. Kayenta has a Sonic and a Micky D's.
    You could come through Colorado but it is still winter in most places.
    This is a good time for cross lighting morning shot on the Monument Valley sand dunes below Totem Pole. It will cost you a Navaho guide to get there though. Also the Mittens Shadow occurs near the end of the month, a twice a year event. It is still too early for heavy RV traffic.
    Much to shoot in Page. You could drive out to Paria Contact Station and sign up for the Wave or other attraction hikes such as Buckskin Gulch. After the lottery there is still time to drive back for slot canyon stuff. The shaft of light will be visible in upper. There is also Horseshoe Bend at morning or evening. Don't fall in it is 700 feet to the bottom. Allstrom Point, Cottonwood Canyon, Hoo Doos.
    good luck,

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