Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona is by far one of the most beautiful destinations in America. Dynamic erosions and flooding have caused this place to be upon one of the most photographed areas around.
I hope you are planning your visit soon so let me help you get started. First off, you must know that there are two separate canyons: Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon (upper seems to be more popular). I asked the guide what the main difference was and he said “one of the canyons are shaped like a V while the other is shaped like an A”. Keep in mind, visiting the lower canyon is a little more difficult to navigate through because you are required to go up and down steep steps. It is mandatory that you visit either canyon with a Navajo tour guide!
I reserved my ‘lower’ antelope slot tour with Kens Tours & I believe there may be 2 other tours available to go thru.
$40 for general tour or $80 for deluxe tour. They no longer offer photography tours as you may have seen on some blogs.
I did the general tour in the lower canyon, but I highly recommend the deluxe tour if you want a better/longer experience.
Reserve your spot as far in advanced as possible. Slots fill up quick and it’s almost impossible to book the sooner you want to visit. Although the canyon is already beautiful, try to choose slots as early as possible. Sometime around 8am gives the best lighting. We went at 3pm and the guide said we were lucky to get good lighting because the group before us didn’t get it as well.
Once you reserve online, you will get a confirmation email as well as another follow up email 36 hours in advance.
You pay in cash on site only!
WHAT TO BRING:
NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING!
You’re already NOT allowed to carry bags/purses/camera bags/tripods/go pros etc. so it’s best not to bring anything.
You are allowed to carry a fanny pack or camelback (which will carry any extra stuff you may need), but you honestly don’t need it. It’s not much of a hike and temperatures are cooler so you won’t need water while inside.
HOW IT WORKS:
Each guide is responsible for a group of 10 people. There are about 4/5 guides that all go thru at the same time. Your guide will give you a brief history and show you the different designs found in the walls. You have 0.8 seconds to snap a photo of what they show you before the group behind you is ready to tumble you over. Seriously, you are so rushed inside the canyon you don’t want to carry anything on you except a camera, and maybe a phone as long as you don’t mind it in your photos! There’s nowhere to put anything down. Imagine walking on an airport moving sidewalk, you just keep moving and people will bump or walk right over you. The older people don’t need 1000 photos like you, so they are just going to keep walking-ughhhh photo bombers. There’s barely any time to get your camera settings perfect because the guides behind you are yelling “keep moving”. I personally hated the experience as far as taking pics.
The best way to make this work is:
- Don’t bring anything except a camera or phone!
- Have a 2-person buddy system. I take yours, you take mine. It’s too fast paced for everyone in the group to try to take each other’s photos.
- Ask your guide in advance to help you with your photo settings.
- Try to be the last group to walk in. I’m assuming they have a little more time and the best shots because no one is behind to photobomb them.
What to wear:
Anything is acceptable! Just keep in mind if you are visiting lower antelope, you will be climbing stairs; steep stairs. I wore my favorite romper and I was stepping on it so much trying to climb up and down the stairs. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is a short skirt for the ladies. Also be mindful of your shoes, it is dusty, and sand does get hot out there.
Be mindful of time!
As you arrive, the time zones continue to switch back and forth so your time may be an hour off. Looking at your watch can be pretty dangerous there, so just pay attention to clocks nearby.
The only available restrooms are outside the entrance of the ticket area. It’s pretty similar to a port-a-potty. They do not have running water (nor a sink) so bring your own hand sanitizer. There was no toilet tissue available, so I would highly recommend bringing your own tissue or wipes. Once you’re done, I suggest putting everything back in the car.
Despite it all, the tour is absolutely worth it and I would do it all again (of course I would be more prepared).
It is easiest to fly into Page, Arizona (airport code: PGA) which is less than 20 minutes away.
The next nearest airports would be Flagstaff- 2 hours and 15 min away (Flagstaff airport code: FLG)……or Phoenix Airport- 5 hours away (Phoenix airport code: PHX)
What are you waiting for? Book your tour today!