- By Kevin
- On Jun 1, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
You are only allowed into Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide, but you can just go to the parking lot and pay one there. They will drive you up the wash to the entrance. You do not need to get a tour in Page, just go when it is convenient for you. Having a bright sunny day is most important although many will tell you that noon is best, but there will probably be more people there at noon.
Just drive east on Rt 98 past the trading post in the direction of the power plant. You'll see a sign on the right side for the parking lot.
Just go into the parking lot (and pay the parking fee of course). Then you pay for the "guide". Thye'll drive you to the entrance and depending upon how knowledgable the guide is he/she will tell you some stories and point out good photographic sights.
You want to be there on a sunny day when the sun is high in the sky so that you get the sun bouncing off the canyon walls to get those amazing colors.
When I was there a fair number of people were also there. Everybody cooperated to get out of the way of others taking photos.
You are also very near a couple of other sights.
If you drive back west on Rt 98 to Rt 89 and turn north (right) and go until you see a sign on the left (west side) that says Scenic Road you'll come to the Best Dam View that gives you a straight on view of the Glen Canyon Dam.
If you go south (left) on Rt 89 about a mile, you'll see a sign on the right (west) for Horseshoe Bend. Parking is free and it's a 3/4 mile hike to Horseshoe Bend. There are no screens, fences or barriers so if you are with kids watch them carefully as it's about 1,000 feet down. Great view of the Colorado River bending like a horshoe.
I’m not going to lie, dealing with the light down there is not easy. The metering is tough and the dynamic range is often times impossible. If you’re not shooting multiple exposures (or even if you are) make sure that you underexpose about a stop and a half.
One article I read before going recommended using a polarizer to deal with reflections on the canyon walls. I asked our guide if others use the filters and he said nobody ever does and recommended I don’t. Of course, I ignored his advice and tried out the polarizer for a little while to see for myself. After a few shots, I decided it wasn’t doing much for me and quickly ditched it. For me, a polarizer just doesn’t seem necessary but there’s nothing wrong with giving it a try depending on the lighting conditions, especially if you are in the brighter Lower Antelope Canyon.