We arrived at 10:00 as the website had requested, an hour before our scheduled departure time. Our transportation from their staging area to the site of the canyon was by way of 1/4T trucks. They had outfitted them with benches on the sides of the boxes and a canopy for shade. We had to drive about 3 miles down the bed of a dry wash to the canyon site. The temp was only in the mid- 50's and with the truck going 30-40 mph it was pretty breezy and cold sitting in the back of the truck. Fingers and ears were numb by the time we arrived. The trucks were outfitted with extra large and under inflated tires and I expect a softened suspension so the ride on the soft sand was bouncy but not jarringly rough. Each truck contained 12 people and there were 9 trucks going for the 11:00 tour plus a special Photography Tour (they had to pay $80. each). There were probably 8 tours each day (only one Photography Tour per day, I think. There are 2 other canyons that they provide tours although I don't think they are as popular. There are also 2 other tour companies, all run by the Navajo band, that provide tours to these 3 canyons. Then there is the Lower Antelope Canyon where a 4th company is the only one providing tours.
Bottom line, a real nice source of cash flow for the Navajo's.
We arrived at the entrance to the canyon, which is actually on the down river side of the wash, where the water exits the canyons during floods.
Flash floods and high winds can result in closing of the canyon. The floor of the wash and canyon is a very fine sand, about the size of grains of salt. All the rocks and canyon walls are sandstone, so basically the same sand as is loose on the ground but compressed and hardened over millions of years into rocks. The unique lines in the rocks have been formed over the years by erosion caused by wind, sand and water.
The sand on the floor of the canyon is deposited or washed out downstream during the periodic flooding. As a result the floor of the canyon can change levels from season to season. A few years ago a flash flood saw the water levels almost fill up the canyon, about 30 feet of water.
The best time to tour the canyons is around noon as the sun is the highest and results in sun beams entering the canyon from gaps in the ceiling. As you can see the results are truly amazing and well worth the cost of admission.