Tuesday, June 10, 2014

antelope canyon, page, arizona



antelope canyon, a sandstone slot canyon located outside of page, arizona, is one of the most beautiful and stunning places i've ever been to. although the canyons were formed through erosion and flash floods, not necessarily a positive thing environmentally, the result is absolutely breathtaking. the ripples and waves the canyon's known for are caused each year during monsoon season as the rain collects above antelope canyon and rushes downhill collecting sand as it flows towards lake powell. consequently, the navajo call the upper canyon "the place where water runs through rocks". 

to visit antelope canyon you have to sign up for a tour; the canyon sits on land owned by the navajo nation and they want to preserve it as best as possible, so there is no wandering around unattended and no climbing on the rocks. but the guides are phenomenal -- our guide even told me what settings to use to best capture the lights and colors of the canyon. 

 

the picture on the left was taken using the landscape setting while the picture on the right was taken with the guide's recommended settings: P mode, 1600 ISO, white balance set to cloudy. doesn't it make an amazing difference? the picture on the right is a much more realistic representation of the incredibly beauty of the canyon, although visiting in person is really the best way to view it. 




as the guide walks you through the canyon, they stop around every curve to show the best spots to take pictures. at the end of the tour everyone's camera roll looks like a professional photographer stole their camera! 

a couple other photography tips: don't shoot all the way up to the sky, it'll wash out your picture, don't ever use the flash, and bring a tripod or camera stick, some pictures may be blurry without it.



 


like this tumbleweed, debris can be brought into and deposited in the canyon during floods, waiting for the next flood to wash it out again.

 


  



 


when you walk all the way through upper antelope canyon this is your view as you exit. you have to turn around and go back the way you came, but it's pretty cool how the canyon seems to rise out of nothing and return to nothing.  




this is the view from wahweap campground: lake powell in the foreground and utah in the background!

there are many tour guides to choose from,
this is the one we used: antelope canyon tours
tours cost $37 adults and $27 children (8-12yo)
tour times: 7am, 8am, 930am, 130pm, 330pm, 430pm
prime time tours (at 1130am) cost $48 adults and $37 children

for lodging we recommend staying at the wahweap campground
$15 fee per car to enter the glen canyon recreation area
and campsites are $26 a night