Upper Antelope Canyon
$48 per person ($8 of it is cash only… entrance fee)
My mom had come to visit me, and it only seemed appropriate we did a photo outing. Page is the most “Arizona” place I can think of in Arizona for a visiting photographer so we packed up the car and made the 4.5hr drive from Phoenix. We arrived at the canyons early, about an hour before they opened. Which was a good idea, as the lower canyons already had a 20+ car line. Seeing this we headed back up the road to the upper one which oddly only had about 4 cars in line. Once the gates opened we were greeted with a little sticker shock. It was $8 a person just to get in the gate, cash only. And then the mandatory tour was 40 dollars a person. None the less, this is a bucket list item for people living in Arizona and especially for people who are just traveling there. The crowds werent bad when we arrived, but when we left, there were busloads of people. Oddly mostly Asian people it seemed. I’m not up on my Mandarin but it sounded like they were mostly from China. Once you had your tickets you wait in line for the next tour. Then they load everyone up on these offroad modified trucks and head down a massive wash to the entrance of the canyon. Riding out there was like a scene from Mad Max. Dozens of tour operators running the sand at high speeds.
After about 3 miles into the wash you arrive at the entrance
Initial differeces between the upper and lower? The upper has much higher walls. lenses with apertures f4.5 and above will struggle here
Looking up seems to be the best source of images. But if you have a wide enough lens, it all looks pretty amazing. I took a fixed 28mm f2 with me and it didnt dissapoint.
Some places were much darker than others, so dark that a cell phone wouldnt be able to make anything of it. I had to push my ISO to 3200 in some spots, like this image above. Even with that I was getting 1/20th of a second max.
Another difference between the upper and lower canyon is the upper one is much wider.
The guide kept telling people to not shoot into the light and try to keep the sun at an angle. Yeah… nope.
Our group of adventurers
Its a tough call on which of the antelope canyons to visit. With the crowds getting so bad, Id say try Canyon X. Theres only one tour operator there so less busy. But the upper and lower are also fantastic. Well worth seeing in person regardless of the crowds. Thanks for reading!america, antelope canyon, arizona, az, bucketlist, canyon, page, roadtrip, slot, slot canyon, southwest, travel, united states, upper antelope canyon, usa, winslow