The light rays of Antelope Canyon are a famous pilgrimage spot for photographers and I am no different. On my recent road trip through the Southwest, I made it a point to book a tour on the mid-day tour (which is when the light rays are there) and see this for myself. I booked a non-photography tour, the photography tour is double the price and allows you to bring a tripod. I was scared it would be a busy mess and it kind of was, but honestly, it worked for me, so this review is of that tour.
- Must book at least a month in advance for the busy midday tour on a weekend
- Around $50
- Plan to be surrounded with people so bring your patience
- Tours take about 2 hours with the drive and the time in the canyon
- Light comes in from about 10:45 AM – 12:45 PM but make sure to check the weather for clouds as that will stop the rays from coming in.
- It will be dusty so plan accordingly with your gear
- Here is the company I went with
After meeting in downtown Page we were broken into groups of 14 and shuttled via bus type contraptions out to the entrance of the canyon. This takes about 15 minutes and the road is sandy and bumpy so cover your gear as you drive out.
When you arrive at the canyon you will be ushered over to the entrance as you wait for the groups to go in and for it to be your turn. We didn’t have to wait long to enter, but the entire tour is relatively slow-moving as you are waiting for the group ahead of you.
The good thing about the guides is that they know the canyon so they are constantly showing you where to set your camera for the best shot. Ours often took our camera from us to take photos for us while in the canyon.
Like I said before, there is a ton of people in the canyon for this tour. You always have a group ahead of you and a group behind you. The guides do their best to space you out and allow everyone to get a good shot, but it is very tricky. You can only photograph on the way through it, on the way back you have to just walk through without stopping. It is about .25 miles long.
Here are some of things you will see in the canyon:
The Light Rays (weather and time permitting)
The Sand Falls
The Branch Water Brought In
As you can see from the above pictures, you can still get great photos even with other people all around you. I am happy I booked the tour I did, I saw the photography tour in the canyon and it looked like mayhem too. There were 8-10 people all with tripods, tripping over themselves to get a good shot in the small canyon and it seemed stressful. I am sure that weekdays are probably the best time to go if you have the opportunity to do it then.
All in all though, this was a fantastic trip into the canyon and a great way to check off something I have always wanted to do. Ask any questions you have in the comments below and I will answer anything I am able to.