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Thread: Antelope Canyon

  1. #1

    Antelope Canyon

    Our photo group--with Navaho Nation permits--fee's, will be going down Antelope Canyon towards the end of the month with a guide.

    There are rules & regs regarding such--one of which is no tripods----and some other rules are not clear---such as no photo backpacks, shoulder photo bags, waist packs------Are all these not allowed---what is???

    What are your suggestions-----what has been your experience---what are your do's & don'ts

  2. #2
    A.K.A Lucky Bloke ;-)
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Miami Beach, FL, USA

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    I stopped by the last year (lower side) and the guide mentioned they offer separate tours for photography groups, in which tripods are OK. As expected, the light is better close to noon but keep in mind Arizona (as a state) does not observes DST but Navajo nation does. A nearby little town (Page) has increased the hotel capacity in the last few years, if a place to stay is needed.
    Also, it does not hurt to check TripAdvisor.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    Those canyons can be pretty dim, so the notion of wandering without a tripod, or tripping over one another's gear in the middle of a herd doesn't sound like much of an opportunity at all. Might be OK for casual digi snapshooters. And lots of those shots people try to emulate require wide angle lenses that can be relatively dim to focus. Better to pay a little more and get a private guide to a less crowded branch of the canyon, or outside the mob schedulin, unless you're just going to look and not seriously shoot. But the other important thing about local contact is that they're more likely to be aware of when those canyons are safe or not. Personally, I'd rather go somewhere else than Antelope. Slot canyons have become quite a photographic cliche, but they do tend to be magnificent. I've stumbled into a number of them over the years where I've had total solitude. The one thing I dislike about Spring (versus post-flashflood season in the Fall) is that there tend to be a lot of flies in them.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    There are two antelope canyons : upper and lower. Each of these have their own on-site tour companies. They fill up the tours on the first-come basis. Regular tours do not allow tripods. They do run photographer tours during which they encourage tripod use. They have one or two photographers tours per day, so you should order in advance. We also saw tours leaving from Page AZ, so it might make sense to search for them as well.

    Be aware, lower canyon requires climbing over metal ladders and uneven rocks, and has some very narrow passages. Upper canyon is completely flat. You walk on firm flat sand. However, the tour guides drive you to the upper canyon over a very unpaved and uneven road for about 10 mins.

    We were there last summer and took regular tour in the afternoon for both, upper and lower canyons. The tours were about 1.5 hrs each. Both to me were amazing in the literal sense of the word : causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing, startlingly impressive.

    I used digital, here are some of the results :

    (If you go, don't miss the Horseshoe Bend, which is right outside Page AZ)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    Check out Carol Bigthumb's photo tours of the slot canyons. I went out with her group a couple of years ago, did upper and lower antelope canyons as well as a couple of lesser known ones. Tripods not only were allowed but encouraged. I would highly recommend her.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    Definitely go with a Photo-Tour! I did this a couple of years ago...hadn't been back since the mid 1990's and was amazed at how crowded things have gotten - it was a madhouse! But still worth it. At any rate - got these two pix looking straight up (only way to avoid people!) - with tripod legs bunched together and bodily pressed against the canyon wall: Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    and was amazed at how crowded things have gotten - it was a madhouse!
    these were from 2011

    photo tour waiting for the light and 100's of people to wander past
    Click image for larger version. 

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    squishing past the people going the other way
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    Another think not usually mentioned is the amount of sand and dust floating down on you and your camera.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    The canyons in the early 1960's was not nearly so crowded. Hand tacked ladders rather than commercially made. A guide who would stay and camp overnight with you if you wanted.
    Commercialization makes money for the area but has harmed it in more ways.

  9. #9
    JimRadford Jcradford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    I've been in both upper and lower, and they are different, not better. Definitely recommend tripod and a photo pass. I would tend to shoot for walls with slow exposures and plenty of DOF ... Sky can be a killer with huge lighting extremes, so some HDR might be in order, or multiple exposures to include clouds. It's all bout the lines, textures, and light. Don't forget the Horseshoe Bend just south of Page ...a short hike, worth it.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Antelope Canyon

    Thanks for confirming why I never ever want to visit Antelope Canyon. If I was younger with better fingers, I suppose I'd be one of those types rappelling into canyons instead. But as it is, I've managed to squiggle or even mosey into some with no lines, nobody else in sight, any damn tripod and camera that will fit, and no rules (except the universal one - make sure it isn't raining anywhere upstream, tempting a flashflood).

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