Chances are, you have seen Antelope Canyon through many beautiful photographs from many travel magazines, travel books, pinterest or even on Instagram but if you haven’t yet, well you are about to find out now.
Antelope Canyon is a famous, a must-visit place for not just for photographers but visitors from all over the world. Its sandstone stone canyon are widely known as Corkscrew Canyons or Slot Canyons because of its physical features. These unique canyons were formed and carved out from years of flash floods and droughts.
There are two different areas of Antelope Canyon: Upper and Lower. The Upper Antelope Canyon is most frequently visited because of the high light beams hitting the slots. The Lower Antelope Canyon has more narrow and steep slots along with a lot lesser crowds but less light beams.
So is Antelope Canyon overrated?
My answer is, yes it can be. Don’t get me wrong, it truly is one of the most beautiful, iconic place to visit and it is an amazing experience to be able to enter through this canyon. However, it is hard to appreciate this beauty when you have to deal with a large amount of crowds. If you are just taking pictures with your phone and want to enjoy it leisurely, then it’s okay to visit Antelope Canyon at anytime with a regular tour group. But if you have high expectations and you want to see those sunlight beaming through the slot or want pictures with less people in it, then it will definitely be quite a challenge. To overcome these challenges, I’ve come up with 4 ways to help you have a better experience:
4 Ways to Maximize your Experience with Antelope Canyon:
1. Have Patience
-You cannot see Antelope Canyon without joining a tour. So when you pick a tour group, it is important to have patience. You will be dealing a great deal of crowds, timing, trying to get a good picture, making your way through narrow slots, etc. It can be quite stressful in such a very limited time. So just try your best to take a deep breath and have patience. Remember, you are at one of the amazing wonders on Earth so enjoy the one of the kind views.
2. Make a Plan
-Plan accordingly. The best time to visit Antelope Canyon to catch those beaming lights is through the months of March to September between 10am-12pm but however, that’s also the most expensive and crowded time. If you prefer to avoid the price and the crowd, it is suggest to go for 9am or 1pm.
-Always check the weather especially for this kind of setting. It doesn’t look appealing on a cloudy day and it is not safe to go on a rainy day.
3. Know your camera settings and camera tricks
-If you have a GoPro, DSLR cameras or even a point and shoot cameras, please do your research and know what settings to use to get the best picture qualities. If you do not come prepared, then it is time wasted trying to find the right quality. Most tours take about an hour unless you are able to join the photography tour group, which is 2 hours.
-It is very tricky with the sun lights because it can actually blind your pictures. Try to stay in the shade and capture the lights in the background rather than letting it shine directly to your lens. Don’t be afraid to be creative! Don’t just go look for the sunlight, use your surroundings. There is so much more beauty to this canyon other than the light such as the colors, shades, shapes, etc.
– Don’t rely on autofocus. Again, it is a different surroundings with the lightening. Don’t just point and shoot. Depending on the area, it would be hard to find focus so it is highly suggested to do your own manual focus.
– Take many pictures but don’t rush. This part is hard because the group keeps moving forward through the canyon and you would have to keep up but don’t be afraid to pause a few time and take your pictures or otherwise, the pictures will come out a blur.
4. Invest more in your visit
-Find the right tour group to join. Remember there are two different areas of Antelope Canyon: Upper and Lower. Both areas are beautiful but just keep in mind the differences between the two. If you are okay with less sunlight beams and want less crowd, then be sure to check out the Lower Antelope Canyon. Furthermore, do your research and find any reviews on the tour groups to make sure they are fit to your needs. Also be sure to tip your tour guide if he/she did a great job of helping you.
– If you really want to take great pictures with less interruptions from crowds and with more time, then be sure to invest for those photography tour groups. Sure it may cost even more but it will be worth it. Trust me, you get what you paid for.
– If you will use DSLR camera, then invest in getting a plastic cover because it can be dusty depending on the wind. Even just a spectacle of sand can ruin the lens.
The tour group company we used to see the Upper Antelope Canyon are called Antelope Canyon Navajo Tour. I will be doing a review on this tour group soon so keep an eye out!
That’s it! Here are some more of our shots:
Location: Page, Arizona
Directions will be provided based on what tour groups you sign up for
Hours of Operation: Usually 9am to 4pm
Fee: Tour groups ranged between $20-$80 depending on which type of tour you pick and in addition, $8 for Entry fee into the Navajo property
Best time to visit: March-September between the hours of 10am to 12pm
Have you visit Antelope Canyon yet? If not, would you?