- By Kevin
- On Mar 21, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
After a travel about Upper Antelope Canyon in Dec 2016, I'd like to share some trip experience about Antelope Canyon with you. I visited the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon National Park with a 2-days bus tour there. I reached the Upper Antelope Canyon firstly, and it’s dark, cramped, crowded, expensive to visit, and wildly over-photographed by professionals and amateurs alike.
So, why bother going to Upper Antelope Canyon, enduring the crush, and adding to the over-flowing of glowing slot canyon images (gorgeous and not)? Is it too facile to say, “Because it is there?” Probably. After all, Disney World is ‘there’ and I have no desire to go … there. No, rather, for the lover of natural beauty, the outdoors, all things desert, and for a photographer, sublime images may be had and, special bonus: they are yours.
First, whether a pro or nay, if you want to be able to photograph the canyon at a less than a herd pace and capture images that can be processed to full advantage, you need to use a tripod. That means you must sign up for the Photography Tour. In fact, I recommend it. Non photography tour members can take neither a tripod nor a backpack. As a member of the ‘elite’ and more importantly, much smaller Photography Tour, you must take a tripod (and SLR) and you may take your backpack (though I recommend foregoing it if you can, as it will likely just get in your way). The photography tour (as offered by Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours) costs twice as much ($80) but it is worth the cost, especially if you get a good guide. Our guide was named Leon and he was good. He parted the waves of humanity in-canyon, held them up for us when we were shooting or in the tight narrows, and pointed out structures and potential shots that we likely would have found ourselves — given enough time and much less people.
Due to the reflected light colors and canyon wall structures this Upper section of Antelope Canyon has a much different personality than the Lower section. I recommend doing both, though not on the same day.
Yes, it would be great to have this canyon to yourself, but that's not possible. Pay the extra for a photography tour, go off-season, and you will have the next best thing. Plus, a lot of gorgeous photographs...hopefully!