How to make the most out of your Antelope Canyon visit

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Lower Antelope Canyon, May 2016

Antelope Canyon is the photographer’s dream- It is the most photographed place in all of Arizona. This is a very special place, for sure, but, this is not a trip where you would want to just “wing it.” Here are some things you should know before going:

  1. Book a tour guide

    This canyon is located in the middle of an Indian reservation, and thus you must tour the area with a Navajo Tour Guide.  These guides must be reserved in advanced.  The upper canyon you’re looking at a $32-40 entrance fee, and the lower canyon is $20.  There is a $5 parking fee, per person (NOT VEHICLE!) and it is transferable between the two canyons.

    I went to the lower canyon, and from experience, it doesn’t matter which tour company you choose.  They all go through the same places and cost exactly the same amount.

  1. Upper VS Lower Canyon

    The upper and lower canyons are two separate canyons and you must book to see them separately.  They are run by different companies.

    The lower canyon is generally less populated, is a longer tour (1 hour), cheaper, and the spaces are much tighter against the walls.  There is minimal physical activity to get to this canyon.

    The upper canyon is famous for its light beams.  This is the most important difference.  While you can experience these light beams at the lower canyon as well, it’s almost guaranteed at the upper canyon.

    Either way, it is impossible to capture a bad photograph no matter what canyon you choose.  Overall, I think the deciding factors is mobility (how physically active you want to be)  and how much you desire to shoot light beams.

  2. Know what time to go

    The best time for tours are in the morning before noon.  You can go on a normal tour, or you can take the photography tour for double the price.  For the lower canyon, the photography tour is 2 hours long and only professional cameras are allowed.

Have you been to Antelope Canyon?  I have only lived to tell the tale of the Lower Canyon, have you been to the Upper Canyon?

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