In Pursuit of the Light

Light Beam in Antelope CanyonLight Beam in Antelope CanyonThe next morning we slept in a little, there was no need to rush out the door and get back on the road, for we had a scheduled tour for later in the morning.  I have been seeing, for as long as I can remember, gorgeous, stunning photos of beams of light in a canyon.  When I started planning this roadtrip, I stumbled upon another of these pictures and started looking into where this magical canyon was located.  To my delight in was in northern Arizona, just outside the town of Page, along our route to the Grand Canyon.

After a fair amount of googling and viewing tour prices and packages, I decided to go ahead and book the photography tour ($80 a person as opposed to $25-40, dependent on the time of day you choose to go).  The canyon is in the possession of the Navajo Native American tribe.  In order to protect the canyon, a set number of people are allowed per day, and you must go on a guided tour with a Navajo guide.  Normally, I shy away from guided tours, but I just had to see this place.

Drive out to Antelope Canyon

Drive out to Antelope Canyon

Antelope CanyonOur showtime was 11, which gave us time to be briefed by our guide, ride out to the canyon, and get set up for the sunbeams at noon.  At noon, the sun is passing directly over the canyon, shining beams of light into the canyon.  If you’re going to see this canyon, and want to have nice pictures of the light beams without people in them, you absolutely have to cough up the extra money for the photography tour!  Even with the limited amount of people, this is a small canyon, and it is packed full of people (the limited amount seems to be a large amount).  I can’t imagine how those people’s pictures came out…  However, if you’re in the photography tour group, your guide takes you from the beam to beam to beam, has you in place and all set up (you need a tripod in there) just as the light beam appears.  Oh, and all those annoying people?  The guide makes them get out of the way!  They make them move around the next bend in the canyon, and stay there, out of sight and not in your pictures!  If it wasn’t for these tour guides, the nice pictures I came away with would have only been pictures of maybe half a light beam, surrounded with people.

Entrance to Antelope Canyon

Entrance to Antelope Canyon

Light Beam in Antelope CanyonWe did our tour through Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours.  The fellow who was our travel guide was extremely friendly, helpful, and knew exactly where to take the best photographs.  It was 2 hours of mad dashing through a canyon, squeezing by other people in the narrowest of spots, and rushing to set up for a minute of pictures, before dashing on to the next spot.  It flew by, and I had an absolute blast doing it.  However, the only downfall to this whole experience, was due to a guide from a different company’s tour group.  He was extremely rude, and when members of his group were told to move (all of the other company’s understood the photography tour concept and worked together to accomplish it), he essentially told us to go f*** ourselves, despite that we were attempting to stay out of his group’s photos.  I cannot recall which company he was with, but I would seriously just chose the one I used, I could not have been happier with the results.

The Ride out to Antelope Canyon

The Ride out to Antelope Canyon

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