Location: Page, AZ
Entrance Fee: $20/pp tour (Ken’s Tours) + $8/pp Navajo tribal land fee
Must-see: Lower Canyon, Horseshoe Bend
Situated below ground on a piece of Navajo tribal land lies a slot canyon so magnificent, I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I was able to experience it. Through the power of water, this spot was carved into the earth and now awaits visitors with its deep shades of burnt orange and vermillion. Seriously. This place is magic. You’d be a fool to skip it.
Ok, so there are two locations that you can choose from and its all very confusing: there’s Upper Antelope Canyon and there’s Lower Antelope Canyon. Seeing as they are directly across the road from each other, it is extremely difficult to choose. We toured the Lower Canyon and here’s why: its less crowded, cheaper and just at brilliantly gorgeous as its more famous counterpart.
Upper Antelope Canyon is known for its lightbeams that shine down into the canyon around noon each day as well as being slightly more accessible (entering Lower Canyon includes a steep 5 story staircase). Personally, I’m afraid of heights and didn’t see a single lightbeam and I have #noragrets. The stunning views more than made up for a silly stream of light and the peaceful atmosphere created from far fewer photo-snapping tourists was an important part of the experience for us.This is really the only difference between the two canyons in my opinion (not to mention you’ll save a pretty penny). In regards to the accessibility issue, if you are physically able, then you should have no issues at either location.
Less crowds also meant more hands-on assistance from our tour guide Desert Dezi (S/O to him). He showed us each individually how to make the most of the photography device we chose to bring along (in my case an iPhone 6 and a Nikon SLR), including exposure settings, filters and angles. The guys and gals at Ken’s Tours really know their stuff, and they’re funny as hell. After an hour-long tour through the canyon with Dezi, I left with hundreds of professional-quality photos and a great deal more inner peace from the good vibes surrounding these Navajo lands. That was worth every penny.
Side note: If you have the time (and you should, considering the tour of the canyon only takes about an hour), then you have to drive 10 minutes down the road and make a stop at Horseshoe Bend. This is the official start of the Grand Canyon and its most photographed part. The Colorado River makes a dramatic bend here and the bright green and turquoise water makes it worth a stop. While its not for the faint-of-heart, adrenaline-seekers will love the fence-free view from the cliff overlooking the river. Those less brave adventurers can still get a great view from a few feet back, so no worries. Park at the entrance and the overlook is a little less than a mile hike away.
As always, comment with questions.
Bye, Bye Bye,