Road Trip Day 8 – Adventures in Antelope Canyon

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Have you heard of Antelope Canyon before? Chances are probably about 50/50 that you have. But the odds increase substantially that you've seen photos of the slot canyon before, even if you didn't know it.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona, has become a bit of a mecca for photographers, owing to the famous light beams that shine down into the narrow canyon during certains times of the day.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

When planning this road trip, I knew Antelope Canyon had to make it into our itinerary somehow. I knew it would be too good to miss.

And I think I was right.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

The slot canyon portion of Antelope Canyon can be accessed in two different spots, across the road from one another — Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Upper is the more famous of the two (because of those light beams), and is therefore much more crowded. Lower, by contrast, is much less-visited. It is also a more adventurous canyon, with more hiking and climbing involved within it.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Inside Upper Antelope Canyon.

As much as we would have liked to visit both sections of Antelope Canyon, we only made it to Upper. We started out there at about 11 a.m., hoping to catch the light beams before they started disappearing once the sun rose to the middle of the sky just past noon.

Since Antelope Canyon is owned by the Navajo Nation, it requires an entry fee, and a paid guide. The Upper canyon cost $31 per person total, which included a $25 fee for the guided canyon tour, as well as a $6 Navajo fee. In my opinion, it was worth the entrance fee.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

We arrived at the Upper canyon around 11 a.m., but it was so crowded that we missed out on the 11 .m. tour and were booked on the noon one instead. About 15 minutes before noon, we were all piled into modified pick-up trucks and taken on a (very bumpy) 15-minute ride to the slot canyon. I would NOT recommend this for anyone with a bad back…

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

After arriving at the canyon, our group of 12 was led through by our Navajo guide, who pointed out rock formations, told us about how the canyon was formed, and instructed us on how to take some great photos. While the hour-long tour was great and the canyon itself was stunning, I won't sugar-coat it — the canyon was CROWDED, full of people snapping photos.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Our guided explaining how the slot canyon was formed by flash floods.

But, despite that, I still think it was worth it. And here's why:

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, Arizona

After our tour, we had a lazy day in Page. Around 6 p.m., we made our way out of town and down to Lake Powell, which is a gigantic lake that sits in the basin of Glen Canyon. The lake is designated as a National Recreation Area, and offers just about any type of water sport you can imagine.

Lake Powell, Arizona

We opted for a cruise on the lake through the above-ground portion of Antelope Canyon.

Lake Powell, Arizona
Lake Powell, Arizona

Lake Powell, Arizona

The sun was setting as we sailed between the canyon walls, which painted the tops of them a brilliant gold color.

Lake Powell, Arizona
Lake Powell, Arizona
Navajo Tapestry
This is called a “Navajo Tapestry,” and is “painted” naturally by water and minerals running down the canyon walls.

Page is definitely a place I'd love to return to someday. There's so much to do and see here, and we barely scratched the surface.

Lake Powell, Arizona

Each day, I’ll be cutting together a quick video to show you what we’ve been up to. Here’s Day 8:

Tomorrow, it's on to the Grand Canyon!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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31 Comments on “Road Trip Day 8 – Adventures in Antelope Canyon

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  1. The antelope canyon looks amazing! Mindblowing!

    Waiting eagerly for Grand Canyon!

      “Mindblowing” is definitely a good word for it! Being inside it was absolutely stunning – and I’m not exaggerating!

    You did some incredible pictures! I didn’t know about the Antelope Canyon till now, so thanks for the info. Looking forward for the Grand Canyon ones.

      Antelope Canyon (and, actually, the city of Page in general) is well worth a side trip if you’re planning to be anywhere around the Grand Canyon. It’s only a couple of hours from both rims of the Grand Canyon, yet it has so much to offer on its own!

    I’d say it’s worth the $31 after looking at your pictures. I appreciate the honesty about the crowds. Always good to know before you go.

    Are you skipping Mexican Hat and that area?

      We knew to expect crowds at Antelope Canyon, so it didn’t really bother me too much, to be honest. The tour guides were all really good about making sure people got their photos, and everyone inside the canyon was generally pretty accommodating about staying out of your close-up shots if you asked them to.

      And we only drove through Mexican Hat on our way to Monument Valley. Too little time! It looked like a pretty awesome little town, though!

    Wow! You have some amazing pictures of the Canyon!

      Thanks! I took sooooo many shots there! It was nearly impossible to keep my finger off the shutter button.

    Love landscape, so loving this section of your trip 🙂
    Are you using the same camera for stills and video?

      I love landscape, too, Linda! So perhaps you can tell that I planned out our trip… haha.

      And no, I’m actually using a different camera for stills and video. I’m sure my point-and-shoot would do fine with video, too, but I bought a Kodak Playsport video camera last year, and I use that exclusively for video. It means often carrying around 2 cameras, but they can both fit in my pocket, so I don’t mind! It takes great video for how much I paid for it. Plus, it’s waterproof! Will come in handy in an upcoming video…

    Beautiful photos. I’d agree, it looks like the entrance fee is well worth it.

      Thanks, Alouise! Some people might prefer to try the Lower canyon to avoid the crowds (it’s also $5 cheaper), but I don’t feel bad at all about paying $31 for this experience. Totally worth it in my opinion!

    This is absolutely wonderful, amazing pictures you take! Looking forward to your pictures from the Grand Canyon!

      Thank you, Angela! I’m glad you’re enjoying my road trip posts. Grand Canyon is coming up tomorrow!

    Your photos are really good, love them! You were there at the right time of day when the sunlight came in perfectly 🙂 Antelope Canyon was definitely one of my favorite stops in Arizona, it just looks so amazing.

      Yes, we lucked out with the light beams! I thought we would be too late to see them, since we went on the noon tour. But it ended up working out perfectly!

      I think Antelope Canyon will end up being one of my favorite stops on this trip! At least in the top 10… lol.

    I’d say it was worth it! Stunning pictures to say the least.

      Thanks, Debbie! If you ever get out that way, definitely add this to your itinerary!

    While I’ve never been there, I would have to agree with you just from looking at these pictures that antelope canyon is definitely worth the entry fee – I’d pay it to see something like that in a heartbeat!

    Sara

      A lot of people would probably balk at the entrance fee… it’s not exactly cheap. But yes, I definitely think it’s worth it! So pretty.

    Looks beautiful. I love love having natural light to shoot with! Too bad there were so many people. Do they do sunrise or nighttime tours?

      It was gorgeous. The amount of people there was somewhat annoying, but I don’t think it would deter me from ever going back again. And no, they don’t really do sunrise/sunset tours, because those beams of light only shine down during a few hours of the day.

    i agree with what they said… mind blowing… i hope they could preserve this beautiful place…

      I hope they can preserve it, too, and not let it get any more overrun by tourists like me! Lol. But I think they’ve got it well in-check. The Navajo, while they do like to make money, also are very proud of their land and history. I think it’s a safe bet that they will continue to preserve Antelope Canyon.

    I have seen pictures and heard about Antelope Canyon, but this is the first I have heard about the logistics and prices, so I found the post very helpful for possible future trip planning.

    I travel extensively through-out the Midwest shooting pictures – you two had a great trip and I am glad you were not afraid to try things. Thanks for the videos

      Photographing the Midwest sounds like fun! And yes, we had a great trip – hoping to do something similar again next year!

    […] definitely book ahead. My sister and I made the mistake of waiting too long to book a motel room in Page, Arizona (which is close to both Antelope Canyon and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), and ended up […]

    Just heard about these beautiful canyons, and would love to visit. However not sure how to plan a trip here. Where did you stay and what other places were on your itinerary?

      The best thing to do is to incorporate Antelope Canyon into a larger Southwest road trip. My boyfriend and I just did a 10-day trip in Utah and Arizona in April, visiting a number of national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Grand Canyon, etc.), as well as places like Antelope Canyon. We flew into/out of Las Vegas and rented a car from there. You really need a car to explore this part of the US!

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