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Antelope Canyon

Visiting Antelope Canyon


Antelope Canyon picture

Antelope Canyon

© Betsy Malloy 2005
  • Hours: Tour times vary
  • Reservations: Reservations required
  • Cost: Fee charged
  • Location: Near Page, Arizona. See directions below
  • How Long: Most tours last one-and-a-half to two hours
  • Best Time to Visit: Take the first morning tour for the smallest crowds. The often-photographed light beams occur mid-day April through September. August and September are the rainiest months here.
  • See It Now: Photo tour
Antelope Canyon is possibly the most-photographed of northern Arizona's sandstone slot canyons. The glowing orange and purple colors of the wind- and water-carved, narrow fissures in Antelope Canyon feature in many beautiful images.

Antelope Canyon is sometimes called Corkscrew Canyon, for the twisted features inside.

Antelope Canyon Review

Photographs, as beautiful as some of them are, don't do Antelope Canyon justice, and on entering visitors often gasp in wonder. It's a must-see for photographers of all levels, and highly recommended for everyone else.

Antelope is a narrow (but easy to walk through) canyon with fantastic interior shapes created by swirling water and wind. Light enters only at the top, giving the red sandstone a warm glow, and illuminating purple-colored sections of stone.

The trip through Antelope Canyon is an easy walk on a level, sandy path.

Photographing Antelope Canyon

The best time of day to photograph Antelope Canyon depends on the kind of photograph you want to take. These facts may help you pick the best time:
  • You'll find stronger color in summer when the sun is overhead
  • The light beams only penetrate at mid-day. Throwing a little sand into the air makes them stand out more.
  • Get into the shade to take your photos, and keep the sky out of the shot.
  • Take the first tour of the day to minimize crowds, or visit in the spring or fall, avoiding spring break.

Alternative to Antelope Canyon

During peak tourist season, Antelope Canyon gets very crowded, making photography almost impossible.

To get the images without the crowds, visit a different location. Overland Canyon Tours is the only tour company offering photography tours into Canyon X, previously called Rita's. The two slots here are shorter than nearby Antelope, but also less crowded. Overland's 6-hour photography tours offer plenty of time to collect your images, but the hike in and out includes a steep section. Ask the tour operator if you have any concerns about your ability to handle it.

Getting to Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon Website
The road to Antelope Canyon is gated and only tour guides authorized by the Navajo Nation can enter. Several tour operators are licensed to take people into the slot canyons. Antelope Canyon Tours is Navajo owned and run, and uses only Navajo guides. They offer regular tours, special photography tours and one of the earliest tour times. Other companies also offer Antelope Canyon tours.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary tour for the purpose of this review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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