If you're a photographer, it's almost like a rite of passage to photograph Antelope Canyon. In fact, the most expensive photograph ever sold was taken here by Peter Lik. It sold for $6.5 million.
So, if you ever find yourself near the northern border of Arizona, a side trip to Antelope Canyon is a must-do if you're searching to experience some of the best slot canyons the U.S. has to offer. We made sure to add this spot to our itinerary while road tripping through southern Utah last fall and must say, we're very happy we did. (Our trip also included The Narrows, Monument Valley and this place.)
Located near Page, AZ just up the road from Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon is split into two sections: upper and lower. Lower Antelope Canyon is the more popular of the two and also the one we opted to explore. With just the right combination of depth, width, length, color and ambient light, the narrow passage feels sort of like it was brushed with a little magic all those centuries ago, even with all the tourists.
To visit this stunning spot, you'll need to join a tour group of some kind, as Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation. While there are several groups to choose from, many are friendly with one another and will show you the same or similar experiences for roughly the same cost.
Matt and I booked a photography tour with Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours, which came in at about $80 per person. A word of advice if you're thinking about whether to reserve a spot on a photo tour - the tour groups are much smaller (depending on when and what time you elect to go) and the guides hold other tourists back so you can get your perfect tourist-free shot. In our opinion, it's well worth the extra money if a solid photo is what you're looking for.
Antelope Canyon Photography Advice
If there is any single piece of advice we can give you it's this: know your camera well.
Tours book up very quickly and Lower Antelope Canyon gets packed with visitors, particularly just before high noon when it's the best time to catch a strong beam of light coming through the canyon. On a photo tour, your guide will hold non-photographers back so you can capture what looks like a relatively empty slot canyon, if only briefly. The pressure will be on to record that moment right the first or second time only. Then it'll be time to move on.
Second, you'll need a tripod. The Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours do not allow photographers without a tripod to join their photography tours. And besides, this is long exposure, people! Just listen to us and bring one. We promise you won't be sorry.