I am continuing with my highlights of 2017 with the amazing Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in the Grand Canyon. I shared our SEDONA experience already and this was our next stop. On our drive from SEDONA to Zion National Park we planned to tour Antelope Canyon. I stumbled across pictures on PINTEREST and it was a must see for us. I am going to share all my tips below…
I also saw pics of Horseshoe Bend and didn’t add it to the list because I thought we weren’t going to be near the Grand Canyon. So as we were bombing along on Highway 89 just a couple miles from Page AZ where Antelope Canyon is located, I saw a sign that said Horseshoe Bend. I might have left tire marks as I turned in to the parking lot. It was a 3/4 mile hike on a wide pink dirt path. Is this a good time to mention that it was raining? I could see nothing on the horizon until the very end when I got to the edge of the pink rock cliff and then this view took my breath away.
We were soaked but it was so worth it. Being able to sneak this in was a happy surprise. So seeing Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon in the same day is totally doable.
We toured Upper Antelope Canyon and it is considered one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the world.
Touring the Antelope Canyon was an adventure in itself, but before I tell you all about it I wanted to show you the pictures. It was very impressive with the swirling layers in the rocks and the wavy walls of orange, reds, browns and pinks. Then the sunlight would stream in and highlight the tan sand floor and make the colors of the rocks seem to glow. Plus it was sprinkling the whole time and the rain drops that could get through were visible in the streams of light. It was truly beautiful. Granted it was a minor miracle to get these shots without any people in them.
Scroll down for my tips on touring Antelope Canyon, especially if you are planning to go as a photography opportunity.
I did not receive compensation for this post and all ideas and opinions are my own. I do use affiliate links and if you were to buy something I would receive a small commission but your price stays the same.
SHOP my camera HERE
The rain drops…
The tour guide showed us a few images visible in the rocks like this mummy face…
And this heart…
I loved these sweet faces as we were leaving…
Tips For Touring Antelope Canyon:
- Make advance reservations
- Expect it to be crowded
- Budget at least $50 per person
- Reserve 1.5 hours
- Plan for weather changes
- Get the photography tour if your purpose for going is taking photos, then budget $100 per person
Let me explain..
You cannot see this without a tour guide. It is on Indian land and restricted to public use. The ride to the opening of the slot canyon requires a four wheel drive and is at least a few miles. I read some blogs in advance and wasn’t as surprised by the experience. It is very crowded pretty much year round. You stay with your tour guide and the narrow canyon is filled with many groups. The groups take turns seeing an area. So you have to wait for your turn in each spot and then your group has less than 5 minutes in each spot. Then you have to move out of the way as the groups make their way back through the canyon… 2-way traffic. The lighting is very tricky and to get a clear shot you really need a tripod if using a DSLR camera. Plus being in such a hurry through the whole thing doesn’t allow extra time to adjust settings, especially for me as a beginner. I couldn’t understand why anyone would need to pay double for the photography tour, but after experiencing it I realize that it is necessary. The weather can be unpredictable and there are no facilities so bring a sweater, water and use the facilities before leaving. There are many tour groups available and most are the same price. I say to make advance reservations because we had to kill about an hour waiting for an available spot, and many we called were sold out. That made a difference because we still had a long drive to get to Zion. It was still worth it and I loved seeing it. You just have to have realistic expectations.
I will be back with our experience hiking Zion…in the rain!!