Antelope Canyon is one of the places that you see online and through social media and say “wouldn’t it be cool to go there one day!” Well I actually got to and it was amazing! I never thought I would get the chance to visit because I never thought I would end up on a hiking trip in Arizona. Antelope Canyon is in Page, Arizona on the border with Utah. It’s a bit of a drive to get there and once you arrive there really isn’t much there. The whole town is basically centred around tourism for Antelope Canyon. Since it’s on Navajo land the only way to visit the canyons is through a tour with one of the Navajo tour companies or Navajo licensed tour companies.
Antelope Canyon is actually two canyons, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. We visited the former which is the canyon that gets the beautiful light beams in the spring and summer. I was visiting with my mom who isn’t a photographer so we actually went on two separate tours at the same time but mine was longer since I did a photography tour. To participate in a photography tour you have to have a DSLR camera and a tripod otherwise you have to book just a regular sightseeing tour. The benefit of the photography tour is crowd control. The canyons are narrow and there are lots of people! At any time there are at least 3 different tour companies each leading a regular tour, plus there may also be multiple photography tours with a max of 12 people. So with a minimum of 100 people in a narrow slot canyon it can be hard to get those shots without people.
We used Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tour and my guide Cody was amazing! He did such a great job on controlling and clearing the crowds and helping us set up our shots. My mom’s regular tour guide was really good to and it was actually done by the daughter of the woman who originally discovered the slot canyons. On my mom’s tour she got to learn all about the history of the slot canyons but since mine was so focused on photography I didn’t really get to learn about the canyons. My mom also got to go further back into the slot canyon where it is really narrow but on the photography tour you only go into the first three areas.
Be aware that it’s dusty so you may want to bring a handkerchief to cover your face from dust or clean your camera lens. Also where appropriate footwear and clothing, something that you don’t mind getting dusty like hiking clothes.
While you’re in Page you can also visit the famous Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River bends around a rock formation. It’s located just off the main road into town and an easy 15 minute walk from the large parking lot. It’s free to visit and can get very busy. Be careful not to get too close to the edge because you never know what kind of support is beneath you. Also as always wear proper footwear and bring water, it is the desert after all. Also near by is the Glen Canyon Dam. There is a good lookout point but it really isn’t much to see. However, National Park Services does offer tours.
In terms of food in the area there wasn’t much, I found this to be the case in most of Arizona. However, during our 10 day trip the best food I had was in Page at Big John’s Texas BBQ. It was actually really good and they had live music but we didn’t stay because country music isn’t my thing, instead we just took it to go and ate in our hotel room.
Antelope Canyon was definitely one of those bucket list things and I’m so happy I got to see it and take some photographs of this amazing place. You can shop some of my photographs from Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend on my Society6 shop!