Antelope Canyon, Arizona Photography Hot Spot
Antelope Canyon, Arizona Photography Hot Spot Location
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew. A long time ago, herds of pronghorn antelope roamed freely in Antelope Canyon, which explains the canyon’s English name. It is not known exactly when people first discovered Antelope Canyon. According to local Navajos, who have lived here for some time, the canyon and the LeChee area were places where cattle grazed in winter.
To older Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would probably pause before going in, to be in the right frame of mind and prepare for protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature has to offer and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was and is a spiritual experience.
Antelope Canyon is divided into two (2) main areas: Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 feet above the stream bed. Lower Antelope Canyon, called Hazdistazí, or “spiral rock arches” by the Navajo, is located a few miles away. It is still a more challenging hike than Upper Antelope. Lower Antelope is longer, narrower in spots, and even footing is not always available. In the end, the climb out requires several flights of stairs. Photo Credits: Top middle – Luca Galuzzi. Top Left – By Lucas Löffler.
Photographers come from around to experience Antelope Canyon and do long-exposure photography inside the slot canyon. You can get some amazing abstract shots inside the canyon. It is dark inside, so you will need to bring a tripod. You must go in with a tour guide and pay for the tour. We went in December, so very few people were in our way. If you go at peak season, they have “photography tours” designed for the photographer. It’s longer and more expensive, but they are designed to go slower and do long exposure on your tripod, so if you can afford it, that’s the way to go. There are different tour companies, so I am unsure how they keep the other tour groups from interfering. We liked it in December when we had two people on our tour. We went back in March, and again very few people were around.
You will want to use your tripod on your shots since the location lacks light. Your tour guide will point out all of the good spots for photography. Please don’t listen to a word they say. What does a tour guide know about creating dynamic images? You might find one that is a good photographer, but they all tell you to shoot the same spots. Secondly, When all photographers go to the right, to be creative, go to the left. You have to work harder to get that here since it is one of the most photographed spots in Arizona.
Best Time – (11 am1 pm) between March and October is the best time, so the photography guides told me. The sun is in the right spot shining down into the canyons giving the best colors.
Wide Angle Lens – You will want to use a wide-angle lens here. People go by, and dirt gets in the air. We do not want any particles floating in the air to get into our camera so put your wide angle on before entering.
Tripod – This location is a tripod spot. You cannot do this right without one.
Live View – Use your live view to focus. When you use your live view, your mirror locks up, and you don’t get any movement inside the camera. We want no movement at all for crystal-clear images. Remember, any movement will blur the image. Also, use your 2-second timer or a remote shutter release to avoid vibration again.
Flashlight – Bring a flashlight to focus on a spot, then set your lens to focus manually for this image. It’s dark here, and your camera will not focus on all the shots. Maybe no one will notice that you turned on your flashlight. Well, almost no one. It’s probably a more acceptable practice in photography than the regular tour.
Camera Settings – You will want to shoot in Manual mode and raw. Raw files will capture more information for editing later. If you are not an editing guru or a beginner, you can shoot large jpegs. ISO should be at 100, so less noise will be visible in the image. If you have a moving group and crowds coming through, you probably can’t do a 20-second shot here.
Park and Area Information:
Tours of Antelope Canyon:
Adventurous Antelope Canyon PhotoTours
Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
Antelope Canyon Tours
Grand Circle Adventures
Overland Canyon Tours (Canyon X)
Tse Bighanilini Tours (928)698-3285
General Area – Glen Canyon National Recreation Area:
Entrance Fee: Weekly Passes, Annual Permits and Boating fees.
1-7 Day Vehicle Pass – $15
Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers.
1-7 Day Individual Permit – $7 per person
Admits one individual when entering on foot, or bicycle. Not to exceed $15 vehicle fee. Individuals 15 years of age and younger are admitted free.
Individual Permit (organized non-profit groups) – $7 per person
ONLY applies to organized non-profit groups (service organizations, scouts, religious groups, college/school groups not qualifying for a fee waiver). Individuals under the age of 16 are admitted free.
Glen Canyon NRA Annual Pass – $30
Allows unlimited entry to Glen Canyon for 12 months from date of purchase.
Canyon Colors Bed & Breakfast – $145.00/Night – 225 So. Navajo – Page, AZ 86040 – Phone: 928.640.0647
Canyon Colors Bed & Breakfast is located in Page, Arizona, just 6 miles from the shores of beautiful Lake Powell and the heart of the red orange rock of canyon country.
Upon arrival guests are warmly greeted and treated to refreshments. They are here to serve your every need, whether it’s a recommendation on great local places to dine or to book a canyon, boat or river tour they are happy to help. If you have any special dietary needs, they will be glad to accommodate them. Guests staying for an extended period may arrange to use the laundry facilities for a nominal fee (subject to availability)
Best Western Plus at Lake Powell – $250.00/Night – 208 N Lake Powell Boulevard, Page, AZ 86040 – Phone: 928/645-5988
The Best Western Plus at Lake Powell is walking distance to many local restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. Hotel is a short distance from Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon State at this Page, AZ hotel, which not only offers scenic landscapes, but also offers easy access to many of the area’s photography locations.
Restaurant – (Liz Likes)
Rivers End Café – 130 6th Ave – Page, AZ 86040 – Phone (928) 645-9175
At Rivers End you can eat healthy and vegan. I suggest you try their: Veggi Hummus Sandwich, Veggi Wrap, or selected healthy salads.
Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge – 644 N Navajo Dr – Page, AZ 86040 – Phone (928) 645-0007
The Blue Buddha Lounge is home to a delicious healthy way of eating; a variety of mouth-watering raw fish, select vegetables, rice and mystical seaweed. The Blue Buddha offers an oriental cuisine that will not be soon forgotten.
We will get back to you shortly on the camping information. Liz went on break.
Find the local weather here.