The Vermillion Cliffs

Utah is famous for it's many spectacular national parks, but this visit with my brother was to the Vermillion Cliffs area, which is split between Utah and Arizona, and is roughly between the towns of Kanab, UT, and Page, AZ, and is served by US highway 89 and 89A. Most of it is a national monument and parts of it are wilderness. The Vermillion Cliffs are the southern-most "step" in the Grand Staircase. The region has many features, but is known for some of the best slot canyons anywhere.


Wire Pass

Wire Pass is one of the narrowest of slot canyons and I assume the name derives from the physique that you must have to pass through.

Upper Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is one of the iconic places in this region and elsewhere. It is very near to Page and there are two separate canyons: Upper and Lower. It is on Navajo Nation land and you must join a tour to visit the canyons. This canyon is also famous for one spot where a shaft of light penetrates the canyon in the right conditions, which we didn't have.

Lower Antelope Canyon

The lower canyon is across the road from upper and requires a separate tour. While the upper canyon is flat walking, lower has stairs and rocky terrain. I did not strongly favor one over the other. The difference between the gray shots and the color is the lighting. If the canyon opening above is wide, allowing lots of light in, the color gets washed out. When the opening above is narrower than the canyon, the shadows bring out the colors.

The Colorado River and Lees Ferry

Lees Ferry is the farthest extension of Grand Canyon National Park and is where many rafters start their trip. The Spencer Trail climbs to the rim above the river and Cathedral Wash is a canyon hike between the highway and the Colorado River. We camped at the Lees Ferry Campground for our last night.