Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyons is definitely one of the most visited and photographed slot canyons in the American Southwest. The canyon is quite small in comparison to the other canyons in the USA National Parks (like Bryce, Grand) and because of that it's always very crowded. You can enter the canyon only with a guided tour which you can book directly near the entrance to the canyon or in Page. Most tours purchased in town are more expensive and include travel time in the tour time. The tours are available the whole year round, weather permitting.
The road to Antelope Canyon is gated by the Navajo Nation and entry is restricted to guided tours led by authorized tour guides. You will need to pay a Navajo Tribal Fee at the entry gate ($6 per person) which you can use for both canyons in one day. If you want to visit the canyons on two different days, you need to pay the fee again.
To get to the Upper Antelope Canyon drive about 11km on highway 98 from Page towards Kaibeto and the entrance will be on your right hand side.
The general admission for guided tours vary depending on the time of the tour. Prime time tours are more expensive. For example 10.30am Quick Tour with the guide is $46 and Photo Tour is $86. The prices could vary with different tour providers. We chose 10.30am tour because you get 5 rays of light in the canyon. Be prepared for huge crowds though. Photo tours , although very expensive, usually have around 15 people per tour. With this amount of people it is almost impossible to set up your tripod in such a narrow space. Keep in mind, that other tours are passing through at the same time. It is very hard to take a good shot without people in your picture.
At 10.30am it was still very dark in some areas of the canyon. You can barely see where you are walking so watch your head and cameras. Cheaper tours are at 12.30am but you only get two rays of light. The Quick Tours last only 1 hour while Photo Tours are usually 2 1/2 hours to give you more time to set up your tripods and cameras. With the Quick Tour there are no tripods allowed and without a tripod it's very hard to take a sharp picture.
Once you park your car, the tours have their own 4WDs which will take you through the deep sand washout to the entrance of the canyon. Be prepared for a bumpy ride which takes about 15 minutes. If you are in an open 4WD, it might be a good idea to protect your face with a scarf and sunglasses as it gets very dusty. Cars can get stuck in the deep sand very easily as we saw on our way to the canyon.