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Thread: Antelope Canyon in November...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    80

    Antelope Canyon in November...

    I've booked an organised photography trip to Bryce and Zion in November but afterwards I'm planning to rent a car and strike out on my own. Tentative plans include the obvious locations (Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, etc.) and also Antelope Canyon. After reading Robert Hitchman's excellent Photograph America guides, I'm having second thoughts about Antelope, given that I'll be there between the 19th and 24th of November.

    Does anyone have any experience of shooting at Antelope this late in the year? Is the sun still high enough in the sky at midday to make it worth the effort? And what about alternatives? I'm keen to get to the famous Wahweap Hoodoos but I'm unsure about what to expect in November.

    Any advice, pointers, etc., gratefully received...

  2. #2
    Doug Dolde
    Guest

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    The weather should still be pretty good. Don't know about the light in Antelope though. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon will likely be closed by then though.

    I think Laurent Martrès books are better than Hitchman's though:

    http://www.phototripusa.com/e_guidebooks.html

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,126

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    joolsb

    That will be a great time of year to see the southwest. I don't know about Antelope. I did go to lower Antelope late one year, but it was before all the tours, etc. and I don't know if you can go where I did. Nonetheless, the biggest problem you will have is to contain your visit to an area that you can 'see'. It is so large and so tempting to go on to the next spot. It is easy to spend your time driving and not photographing. I've been photographing areas out there for 25 years, always thinking I'll get back, but always finding some new spot to spend the days.

    If you are in Zion and have extra time, consider walking the Narrows or Angel's Landing, if you weren't already. As you travel east of the Grand Cyn, the upper part outside the park is very pretty. The river crossing above the Grand cyn and below Zion is very nice.

    Should the weather turn cold, head south to Organ Pipes Nat Monument or Sedona or Tucson. So much to see and so little time.

    Study this website:

    http://www.americansouthwest.net/

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
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    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    Thanks for the replies!

    Eric, I'm already coming to the conclusion that trying to fit everything in is just going to be pointless so I'm trying to limit myself a little. It's just not very easy....

    Hiking the Zion Narrows, from everything I've read, is not an easy proposition - especially for someone used to 'soft' European day-hikes (especially here in Switzerland where there's usually a nice mountain restaurant to head for...) - although I might be tempted to try for The Subway.

    It looks as if it will be a choice between keeping moving from day to day or spending my time in Page and the surrounding area. Unless anyone has a better idea, of course...

  5. #5
    Geos
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    256

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    Lower Antalope Canyon supposedly should be done in the mornings, and therefore may be better with lower angle sunlight. I don't think the lower canyon requires a guide. Try antelopecanyon.com for information and possible reservations on the upper canyon, they're a great tour operator with good flexibility.

    If possible, you should rent a 4WD vehicle and cross the Grand Staricase - Escalante National Monument. It's the most direct route from Bryce to Paige. The North entrance can be found in Cannonville Utah. It takes about two hours (not including photography) to cross (to Hwy 89). Itís a rough ride but great photographically. The crossing can be done in almost any vehicle, but I'd recommend 4WD. Also, if the road is even the least bit wet, the crossing should not be attempted. Wet silt is like ice, and the road will be impassable.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Orange, CA
    Posts
    902

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    I strongly second Doug's suggestion that you purchase Laurent Martres' guidebooks Photographing the Southwest. The first volume (southern Utah) is newly revised and a new second volume (Arizona) has just come out (I received mine last week, see http://www.phototripusa.com/swb_20.htm). The second volume contains a separate, updated chapter on Antelope Canyon. Both upper and lower Antelope are certainly worth visiting in November (just watch out for flash floods!) but you won't get the good light beams present earlier in the year (on the other hand, the canyons should be less crowded and the light is softer).

    According to Martres, visiting upper Antelope in November may be possible only as part of a group tour (probably not good for LF, unless you can make arrangements to be left alone in the canyon between tours). Lower Antelope can be visited independently and is best photographed in the morning. I strongly suggest you purchase the book, though, as it also gives recommendations for booking tours, lists tour operators, etc. It also lists lots of other photo opportunities in Arizona, and has lots of wonderful color photos.

  7. #7

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    Not sure about antelope canyon in november. I've never been there that late in the year, but i would suspect that the sun will probably not get high enough in the sky to give you any "light beams", but nonetheless, you should be able to find some nice reflected light plus it is always exhilarating to be there!! If you are thinking that the Zion Narrows will be too difficult for you, then the Subway is probably not an option. Its a much longer and more difficult hike, but its well worth the effort if you do it(best hike i've ever done, well..... tied with coyote buttes!) As far as the wahweap hoodoos, november is definately too late for any direct light. That late in the year the sun is blocked by nearby canyon walls, but of course, its still a very unique place, tread lightly. Another option would be the coyote buttes area. I think in november you have to get your permits in Kanab since the paria contact station closes. It is a lottery, but that late in the year it shouldnt be too bad, and its a great time to be out there. Dont forget coyote buttes south as well. Wow, this went longer than expected. I second Laurent Martres books, well written, and loads of info. Enjoy!!!

    Adam

  8. #8

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    My apologies for restating some of Eric's points, seems he submitted his reply just before mine, great minds think alike!

    Adam

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    80

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    Thanks everyone! Loads of useful info and it's going to take a while to digest it all.

    Now the really hard part.... waiting until November.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15

    Re: Antelope Canyon in November...

    I recently made a trip through Page and took a tour of upper Antelope. Overall I was impressed, it is a neat place.

    I took an 8am tour due to time constraints and there is colors even that early in the day. So even during November you should get some color, even if you do not get the light beams (but maybe not at 8am in Nov). You may need to go closer to noon then, but you will get color.

    I took a regular tour from a guide in Page. They drive you out, lead you through it in about 20 minutes and then you have about 20 minutes to wander around. Obviously not long enough. A photographer tour is longer (and closer to noon) and gives you more time and that is the one to go for.

    Now, I did a regular tourist tour and if I did that again , I would stop 30 feet in and just start photographing. The canyon is not that long and is all fairly similar. So just set up and photograph. Also, the ends receive good light even early in the day, so they are often good when the rest is still rather dark.

    The canyon is on Navajo land. It is about three miles (5km) up a sandy treeless wash. A guide can drive you up this (you cannot) and personally that cost was worth it just for that convienence. I think you can drive up and hire a truck at the gate too, but I went with a guide from Page. If you go on a Page based tour, try to get a "photographer" tour it gets you a longer time and closer to noon.

    Lastly tend toward over-exposure on your images. The canyon can be dim, so it is pretty hard to actually overexpose, but you get nice colors.

    I say, go for it.

    Enjoy.

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