The most photographed slot canyon in the world
There are slot canyons just outside of Page, Arizona that will absolutely blow your mind. A slot canyon is significantly deeper than it is wide and is formed from water rushing through the gaps. Antelope Canyon was formed primarily by erosion from flash floods and strong desert winds. There are two areas of this slot canyon, called Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Both offer absolutely mind blowing beauty, but a general consensus is that the beauty of the lower canyon is unsurpassed. And Antelope Canyon is thought to be one of the most photographed slot canyon in the world. But, in order to see this natural beauty, you must go on a guided tour because the canyon is located on Navajo Land.
Disclaimer: I took all the shots below in RAW on my Canon Rebel, so this is how the colors of canyon actually look. #NOFILTER
This is probably one of the prettiest natural formations I have ever seen in my life. You will see colors range from light peach to dark magenta. And there are multiple formations that mirror various animals, symbols, and people. You will be in awe the whole tour!
How to schedule a tour
Located on sacred Navajo Land, you must have a guided tour scheduled in order to see the Antelope Canyon. We used Ken’s Tours and were very impressed. Our guide was Van. Van is a native Navajo, a highly decorated Marine Vet (two Purple Hearts), and has found some peace from his PTSD by being a tour guide here in the canyon! Most guides are native Navajos, and are very knowledgeable, helpful, and make the experience feel more authentic.
You can schedule a tour ahead of time, which I recommend, but it is also possible to show up without a reservation and jump on the next tour with open spots. The guided groups never add up to be over 15 people, but the different groups do go right after one another. The cost is $28 per person, which includes the $8 fee to get onto the reservation. Cash is preferred. You can also book a Photography Tour that costs a little more, but you get more time in the canyon and can bring a tripod with you. Here is another blogger’s take on Antelope Canyon with the Photography Tour → blog post
Once you are in your group, your guide will lead you to the back of the property towards the slot canyons. The beauty of the lower antelope canyon lies underneath those smalls slots in the picture below. Your guide will explain the rules, share some history, and offer photography tips. Kacie and I both agreed that Van was absolutely excellent! Here is us and Van.
I would personally book ahead of time, choosing a time either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon and make sure you are prepared for hot hot hot! Bring your camera, some water, and be prepared to see one of the most beautiful canyons in the world.
Tips for visiting Antelope Canyon
Book ahead of time! I used Ken’s Tours and chose the lower part of the canyon.
Pay attention to the time! The time zones are wanky here due to time zones and who practices daylight savings and who does not. (Arizona does not practice DST, while the Navajos do) At one point Kacie and I had 4 different times from 4 different electronics… SO I suggest using a watch for telling the correct time while in Arizona.
Bring water! A Camelbak works great and keeps your hands free for picture taking.
Bring your camera! Your guide will give you tips on the best settings to have your cameras and/or phones in.
Make sure the batteries are charged and the memory card is empty! You will take hundreds of pictures here, so be ready!
Sunscreen! Because your skin health matters.
You will need good walking shoes! There are multiple ladders, stairs and the floor beneath you is sand.
Tip your guides! They are incredible and very helpful! Our guide showed us the best spots to take pictures in the canyon and even took pictures of Kacie and I together.
Check the weather prior! Flash floods still happen and your tour will not begin if heavy rain is in the forecast.
Enjoy the natural beauty around you!
Once you get inside, prepare to be blown away by the colors and formations below the Earth’s surface
The holes to the left of the ladder below used to be the only through the canyon. But in the recent years, they have had to add ladders for safety measures.
Sediment from a recent flash flood
Rock formations inside the canyon
Kacie and I near the formation known as the Lion’s Head
This iconic formation is known as the Lady in the Wind
The Heart of the Canyon
This is known as the Eagle
We called this one ‘The Dementor’
These colors though
“Women hold the light of the world”
Our tour guide stopped us along the way, told me to stand here and put my hands out. As he took my picture he said, “here, hold the light, because women hold the light of life and the world.”
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.
Next post is all about our time in Utah at Zion National Park!
Onward & upward,
traveled during June of 2016