We descend from the canyon rim down a long flight of metal stairs and step from them onto the sandy floor of the canyon. Here our guide turns left, and we follow him up canyon into the swirly interior of Canyon X.
During our tour of Canyon X, we don’t encounter any other groups. We meander through the hallways of Jurassic Sandstone at our leisure, with our “wows” and ”whoas” echoing around us. We take our time setting up and adjusting our camera angles and exposures, without more photographers arriving behind us pressuring us to take our shots and move along.
The reason for this is that Slot Canyon Hummer Adventures is the only company with a permit to give tours in Canyon X and they don’t bring more than 10 people per tour. This is an important factor in your tour experience, because unlike the more popular – and more crowded – slot canyons, your shots won’t have random strangers standing in them, and you won’t feel rushed which is a very good thing because Canyon X is a beautiful slot canyon. You’ll want to take your time as you move through it.
Our guide was Michael Moore, a 26 year old Page native. When Moore isn’t guiding clients to Canyon X, he likes to spread out some maps of the area surrounding Page and find new spots he hasn’t yet explored. He brings with him a lot of knowledge of the area, the geology we were seeing and the culture of its native inhabitants. He sprinkles this information throughout our conversations as we wind our way through the canyon.
Canyon X is basically a long linear sculpture garden, and Mother Nature is the artist and water is her chisel. Slot canyons such as Canyon X, and its more famous sister Antelope Canyon, started forming many millennia ago. Usually a seismic event creates a crack in the sandstone and water running over the wall starts running into the newly-formed crack, which starts to erode the rock.
As the rock erodes more and more, water then flows into that space, until water that once flowed over the rocks surface is now funneled into the slot. As the water shifts, it starts carving slopes
Stepping into the winding hallways is like stepping into an air-conditioned basement, making it the perfect escape for Page’s spring and summer adventurers.
and swirls, bends and turns, folds and crennelations.
In some places, the canyon walls have the same folds and crennelations as theater curtains. In other places, they resemble sculptures carved with industrial corkscrews. In some places, the light strikes the red rock and it glows like hot iron. In other places, the sandstone is the subtle pink of coral. In the canyon’s deepest spots, it’s so dark that when you enter you have to let your eyes adjust before you move on.
Canyon X’s walls are narrow, and they’re 100-180 feet high, which is more than twice as high as the walls in Antelope Canyon. Because the canyon is so deep, very little direct light finds it ways into the canyon thus keeping it 10 to 20 degrees cooler inside Canyon X than it is up on the rim. Stepping into the winding hallways is like stepping into an air-conditioned basement, making it the perfect escape for Page’s spring and summer adventurers.
Though this slot canyon is called Canyon X, it is, technically speaking, the uppermost Antelope Canyon. If you continued down the drainage through Canyon X, it would eventually lead you to Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons.
Slot Canyon Hummer Adventures gives four trips to Canyon X daily. Each one lasts about two and a half hours, and none of them overlap.
And of course, when exploring Canyon X with Slot Canyon Hummer Adventures getting there in the Hummer is half the fun.
Touring Canyon X with Slot Canyon Hummer Adventures is a great adventure and a photographer’s dream. The canyon’s cool interior is an ideal way to beat the spring and summer heat.
The terrain difficulty is pretty mild. The greatest challenge for tourists entering Canyon X is they will have to descend, and later climb, 129 steps on a stairway that leads from the canyon rim to the canyon floor.
Once inside the canyon, hikers will have to step up and over rocks, ledges and other obstacles but none are too steep, or too high.
Slot Canyon Hummer Tours has been the number one ranked tour company in Page for the last four years, and the locals voted it the Best Land Tour in Page for the Chamber of Commerce’s Best of Awards.