Just located outside of Page, Arizona, lies the Antelope Canyon; which is listed as one of more the world’s most beautiful places to see before you die
These slot canyons were formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding during the monsoon season. Antelope Canyon is visited through guided tours exclusively. The roads to Antelope Canyon is gated by Navajo Nation and hence the entry is restricted to guided tours by authorized guides; just in case you were thinking of taking this tour all by yourself.
Antelope Canyon is divided into upper and lower canyon. It is the same canyon but there are two separate points where you visit. Upper Antelope Canyon is the most popular one. It is wider and more accessible being at ground level. The lower Canyon is narrower and steeper and also the visitors have to go down several stairs.
The guided tours are usually slotted for about 90mins which give you ample time to use your photography skills and put your camera to get the best pictures of the lifetime.
The tour guides are helpful enough and will help you to get the right settings on your phone or camera in case you are not an experienced photographer. During my visit I realized that just having an I-phone might be a better option than a fancy DSLR; (as I had both)and to my surprise pictures were taken from an I-phone turned out better than DSLR.
Just ensure before you reach there you have your 100% of your battery on the phone as you do not want to miss out on even a single moment without capturing and then regret.
For professional photographers, there is a special photography tour as well which is for about 160mins as this tour focused towards serious photographers. I quite sure, this place would be a dream of many professional photographers to be once there in the lifetime. Hence this the time when you do not want to join the group without your SLR.
Usually, the guided tours have many slots in a day starting at around 7.00 am, however, the best slot would be something in the afternoon 1:30 pm or 3:30 pm as the sun is it at its peak thus making the sun beams exceedingly dramatic for getting exceptional photographs. The mid-day hours are usually the busiest so keep in mind to book well in advance.
Visiting Antelope Canyon is not quite expensive as the guide tours range from $20-$40 per person along with an additional $8.00 fee to be paid for Navajo Tribal Park. However, the view you get is worth spending for this beauty.
One very important point that I would like to bring to your attention is, Navajo territory follows Day Light Saving during summer, unlike most Arizona areas. Please be careful and coordinate the time accordingly.
So, whenever you are next in Vegas/Phoenix try to keep a day for this. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
I am very confident that once you are there you will be in total awe of this beauty on earth.
• Drive from Vegas to Antelope Canyon: Approx 4 1/2 – 5 hr (depending on how fast you drive)
• Drive from Phoenix to Antelope Canyon: Approx 4 1/2 – 5 hr (Again, depending on how fast you drive)
• Public Transport: Almost nil. There is a scheduled air service to Page from Phoenix by Great Lakes Airlines. The flight is approx. 1hr 15 mins
• Tour Operators in Page for Antelope Canyon: http://www.antelopeslotcanyon.com/ (Keep in mind the mid-day slots are usually sold out, hence book well in advance. So, if you are planning to arrive straight from Vegas, you need to start early)
• Parking: You will be able to park your car at the tour operators meeting point. Be careful, as the National Park area is pretty restricted and do not try to be too smart to enter the area with the guided tour. You might land up in trouble. They will take you to the location in their Jeep.
• Food & Drinks: You will be able to carry water bottles for sure as it can get pretty hot there and may be some packed snacks (e.g cookies etc.) as it is not a place for a picnic. Also, you don’t want to spend your time eating rather capturing the amazing moments you get there in the short span of 90 mins.
*Please note: all images above are taken from an I-Phone*