Page, Arizona – The Antelope Canyons

We reach Lower Antelope Canyons in the late morning with optimal light for taking pictures. We pay 6 $ per person for the daily permit and 20 $ for the guide. The tour through the quarter mile long slot canyon takes one to one and a half hours, we are said. You can get a photographer permit for four hours stay and the permission to go without guide when you have a SLR camera and a tripod. That’s without extra charge, but you’ll have to pay the guide anyway. The red-orange slot canyon is beautiful, narrow, entwined, serpentine, and twisting. Unlike past years it is easy to walk there even for unathletic visitors. Several stairs and ladders were installed to avoid inconvenient and exhausting scrambling. In the end of the canyon we find an emergency ladder out of the canyon. Unfortunately that is attributable to the fact that in 1997 eleven mainly European tourists drowned in the canyon as a distant thunderstorm caused a violent flash flood. To make matters worse the only survivor was the then guide from Nevada who wrongly judged the weather.

The Upper Antelope Canyons are few kilometres further. The upper canyon is wider, shorter, and straight. If you visit both Canyons in one day, you’ll have to pay the permit only once. For the Upper Antelope Canyons another 25 $ have to be paid for transport from parking area to the gulch (private vehicles are not allowed) and the guide. Maximum stay is one hour, the light for photos is best around midday or early afternoon. They ask for an additional fee for the photo permit to go without guide. We get the tip that the family directly at the entrance at the upper canyons only takes 20 $. In Page there are many agencies offering trips to the Antelope Canyons, but this is usually even more expensive and you depend on their departure hours.

We skip the Upper Antelope Canyons because we are not sure if they are worth the entrance fee (no question if you don’t visit other gulches). But we have already visited some of these wonderful canyons. We prefer to go back to Horseshoe Bend of Colorado River to take pictures with different light conditions.

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