It's embarrassing, but 2016 has flown by so fast, that I am only now getting to editing my ABCD Trip from...September 2015. Corey, Benedetto, and Dana have been bugging me for nearly a year to see my photos, but between my extra travels through Europe, starting a new job, entering a new relationship, and more, it's been hard to find the time to sit down and edit the thousands (literally) of photos that I have on backlog.
Nevertheless, I am absolutely determined to blog all aspects of my travelventures before my memory fades, if only for myself & my own pleasure.
After leaving the Grand Canyon, the four of us drove from the Grand Canyon to Antelope Canyon. While the drive straight through was supposed to be 2 hours and 40 minutes, one of our big regrets was not leaving ourselves enough time to see the Grand Canyon from a different view along the drive. There were so many points that we wanted to stop & just couldn’t because we were trying to make our first tour at 10am in Upper Antelope Canyon. We also naively thought we could just “pop in” to Horseshoe Bend to take a quick look & did not factor in a mini hike to a proper viewpoint.
Nevertheless, this was one of the most incredible parts of our trip! Based off of our research, you have to do a guided tour for both the Upper & Lower portions of the canyon (details below). We did Upper at 9am in the morning, went to Page for lunch, did Lower at 1:30pm and then caught the sunset at Horseshoe Bend around 5pm.
Without a doubt, Antelope Canyon is every photographer’s dream. The way the canyon changes throughout the day, the way the rocks can appear blue, purple, red, or pink just with light and shadows, the way that the entire canyon was carved out of wind and water…it’s all just incredible. This was by far my most photographic-centric part of the trip, especially since the “hikes” themselves were not strenuous at all for our group. I loved how abstract the photos came out & how you can't always tell if you're looking up or through the canyon. The way the light beams would hit the ground below or bounce through certain crevices only made the canyon all the more magical.
If you’re planning your own trip:
- There are a lot of tours that go through Upper & Lower Antelope Canyon. I picked the following based off of some other reviews, but to be honest there is only one “route” through the canyons and therefore I would assume the tours can’t differ too much.
- Upper Antelope Canyon: Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours, $40/person*
- Lower Antelope Canyon: Ken’s Tours, $20/person*
- Navajo Grounds Entrance Fee: $8/person*
- *As of September 2015
- Best Western View of Lake Powell Hotel - a pretty decent hotel! There was a great pool and jacuzzi with a view. Nothing out of this world, but it gets the job done, was decently sized, and clean.
- Big John’s Texas BBQ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/big-johns-texas-bbq-page) - surprising to find a Texas BBQ spot in the middle of Page, but this was legit. We ordered a huge fill of ribs, brisket, sides, and ate to our heart’s content. Incredibly friendly waitstaff too! Definitely the perfect meal in between our tours.
- If you are looking to get some really spectacular shots, keep in mind that the regular tours move pretty quickly through the canyons & you won’t have an opportunity to set up a tripod. Admittedly, I skirted the rules a bit by lingering behind as much as possible on our tours to get certain shots with long exposures (sans tripod), but it was very rushed.
- I noticed that some of the other companies have Photography Tours which cost much more, but unfortunately that would have meant going without my 3 friends which wasn’t really an option.
- Given limits on shutter speed & wanting to use a pretty large depth of field, you’ll certainly need a high ISO. I could get away with shooting at ISO 3200, f/4.0, 1/25 for some of my handheld shots, but other times would have to rely on steadying my camera against a rock of some sort.