On the Arizona Forum of the popular travel website, TripAdvisor, one of the most frequently asked questions is “can I visit Indian Tribal Lands and interact with Native Americans?” If your vacation plans include a stop at Lake Powell, in Northern Arizona, the answer is a resounding “yes!” On the Upper Antelope Canyon + Navajo Village Heritage Center combination tour, you’ll experience the Navajo Tribe’s scenic, artistic, and cultural riches, up close and personal.
Your day’s activities get underway from Chief Tsosie’s Antelope Slot Canyon Tours in downtown Page, AZ. Aboard comfortable luxury mini-coaches, modified for the rigors of off-road trekking, you’ll cruise to the outskirts of town to the Navajo Indian Reservation. Following an exciting 2-mile ride down a remote dirt path, you arrive at the entrance to world-famous Upper Antelope Canyon. As enter the chambers of this geological oddity known as a slot canyon, the noise, heat, and pressure of the man-made world fall off your radar, as the cool, surreal confines of this masterpiece of nature welcome you in. Carved over millennia by violent flash floods, then polished by fine grains of sand carried on hot desert whirlwinds, the recesses of Upper Antelope Canyon are a natural light show of subtle earth tones, constantly shifting and morphing into softer or deeper hues as the sun moves overhead. It is a powerful testament to the artistry of wind, water, and time, yet at a mere 100 yards in length, Upper Antelope Canyon can be enjoyed by virtually everyone. Your Navajo guide will give you whatever assistance you require to get excellent photos, even with the most basic cell phone cameras.
Upon returning to Page, AZ, you’ll receive directions to the Navajo Village Heritage Center, where you’ll embark on the “Grand” tour of a living museum, located behind Big Lake Trading Post. After being greeted by a Navajo tribe member, you’ll take a walk through a traditional Navajo home, known as a hogan, set against the backdrop of a sandstone cliff. Constructed of mud, logs, tree bark, and stone, you’ll be amazed at how well-insulated these dwellings are, and learn why the doors of every single one of them faces East. A local weaver will then demonstrate how Navajo rugs are made, and discuss the traditional matriarchal structure of Navajo families. Navajo rugs are one of the most highly sought-after textile art forms on Earth, and have fetched seven figure sums at auctions around the world. Next, you’ll learn the importance of story-telling and oral history in Navajo culture, before enjoying an energetic, uplifting dance performance by local artists in exquisite ceremonial regalia. Wear comfortable shoes, for you may be invited to join in!
After all is said and done, you’ll possess a deeper understanding and affinity for the Navajo people and their traditions than you ever would have with just a quick walk-through of Antelope Canyon. Time and inclination permitting, you might pop into Big Lake Trading Post and view the selection of Native American arts and crafts, such as Navajo rugs, Hopi kachinas, Tohono O’odham basketry, and Santa Clara pottery in the upstairs gallery. If you’re hungry, grab a hearty, hand-made sandwich at the deli counter, or some snacks or beverages at the convenience store, and enjoy an impromptu picnic at the City park or a nearby viewpoint. Upper Antelope Canyon is one of Page, AZ’s most popular attractions, and the ability to add the Navajo Village Heritage Tour in one easy reservation makes it that much more of a “must-do.” Book your seats today!