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Black Streak Tours offers “Local’s Day” on June 15

When Javid Etsitty was a boy, he, his siblings and friends would play hide and seek in the slot canyons in their neighborhood. They would spend hours exploring the canyons near where he grew up. Today, he and his family offer one of the newest slot canyon tours in the Page area, in the very canyons of his childhood.

Michael, one of the guides, talks to a group about the geology, plants and animals of the canyon. Photos by Phil Clark.

When he was younger, Etsitty started encountering tourists asking him about seeing upper Antelope Canyon. He would lead them to the canyon and let them explore. As the canyon’s popularity grew, his uncle later started taking tours into the canyon.

The name “Black Streak” references the name of Etsitty’s first Navajo Clan and a nod to the area he grew up in. Etsitty says he started the company around 16 months ago with other family members to provide tours to people who might want an alternative to Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. The canyons in which his company guides are, in Etsitty’s opinion, more intimate than the Antelope Canyons and tighter passages to hike through and allows guides to take smaller groups and give a more detailed tour without rushing through.

Our guide was Michael. He was very knowledgeable in the area and speaks Navajo, even though he’s a ‘billaganna,’ or member of the “English Clan.” He grew up in nearby LeChe’e for almost four decades. He herded sheep, grew up Dine’ and explored the canyons in the area “before the tours”. Michael provided a captivating tour that included talking about the geology, plants, animals and Navajo culture and traditions. He helps guests set cameras and cell phones to the best setting for photographing in the sometimes dark canyons.

The canyons are narrow, winding gorges of sandstone formed by the erosion of high winds and flash floods. Millions of years ago sand dunes existed along the shores and under ancient oceans and bodies of water. As more layers covered the sand, geologic pressure turned sand into stone. The land was later forced up into what is now called the Colorado Plateau which includes southern Utah and northern Arizona.

While the canyons are considered moderate difficulty and do not require climbing, all three canyons have at least one solid, sturdy steel ladder of varying heights. Guests need to wear appropriate walking or hiking shoes and bring a water bottle. Tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, firearms, pets or bags of any sort are not allowed on any of the tours.

Black Streak tours offers an alternative to the Antelope Canyon hikes that have helped put Page on the map. Just east of Page the entrance to their tour operation is off of the south side of AZ 98, well before the turn to Antelope Point and Upper Antelope Canyon.

On June 15, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Arizona time (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Utah/Navajo Nation time), residents of the Page and Kanab area are welcome to visit the canyon. While not free, the cost will be $20 per person for those people 13 and older and $10 per child 12 and younger; a substantial discount from the regular price. To qualify for the discounted tickets, guests must present proof of residency in the form of a driver’s license, utility bill or other proof of residency in Page, Greenehaven, LeChe’e, Big Water, Church Wells, Paria Estates, Kanab or Fredonia. Local guests will receive complimentary frybread at the event. There will also be a raffle and prizes.

Locals on June 15 will have a choice of Rattlesnake/Owl or Mountain Sheep tours. They will be taken to the entrance of the canyons in a four wheel drive truck, with covered bench seating in the back, a unique experience for many. Locals may choose a discounted ticket for either Rattlesnake/Owl or Mountain Sheep tours, but not both. Each tour lasts around one hour and 45 minutes.

Etsitty says “we want to be a part of cultural tourism and letting people know the Navajo people are still here and want to tell others their story.” To visit the canyons on “Local’s Day” Black Streak staff encouraged to make a reservation by calling (928) 307-8368 or emailing




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