Antelope Canyon: 10 Must-See Highlights -

Antelope Canyon

A unique canyon with beautiful light

Antelope Canyon near Page in the United States has long been a secret. But due to social media, it is now a very well known divide among travellers. Especially with nature lovers and photographers, who can indulge themselves here.

This natural attraction consists of so-called slot canyons. These are narrow gorges where water has carved all kinds of channels in the soft rocks. You could say this is the beginning of a big rift as the erosion continues. And the holes in the sand are getting bigger and bigger.

Antelope Canyon is a wonderful natural phenomenon. The sun provides special light every day, which falls in. Often in a long line of sunbeams. That is nice to see and challenges photographers. Antelope Canyon is owned by the Navajo Indians, who also control access.

There are three gorges, of which Lower Antelope Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon are the most famous. But there is also a Canyon X. All three are well worth a visit, although the Upper Canyon is often seen as the most beautiful. And the busiest. These are my tips for Antelope Canyon.

Upper Antelope Canyon

Sand in the Upper Antelope Canyon.

The Upper Antelope Canyon is considered the most beautiful. But this is also the most popular, so you should book here in advance so as not to be disappointed. Or you should take the gamble and hope there is room on a tour on site.

This gorge is about 150 meters long, while the walls are about 40 meters high. The top is narrower than the bottom, like the letter A. While the Lower Antelope Canyon is more of a V.

In the Upper Antelope Canyon, the sun's rays enter through several narrow openings, which gives a special effect. In any case, you have soft light everywhere, which gives the gorge a magically beautiful effect.

How does a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon look like?

You can only visit this gorge with a guide. The bottom is flat and consists of sand. Walking is easy, so you got plenty of time to look around. The entrance is a large hole in the rocks, after which you look into the gorge.

Lower Antelope Canyon

The beauty of Lower Antelope Canyon.

This gap is wider, but also narrower. And here you don't see any rays of the sun falling in. There are various height differences in the gorge, so you have to take a staircase from time to time. So that you have a new view after every corner. You also sometimes have to climb through a narrow crevice.

What is the tour of Lower Antelope Canyon like?Here too you have to go out with a guide. Where you get a lot of explanation about the origin as well as how to take the best photos.

The entrance to Lower Antelope Canyon is a crack in the ground, into which you climb with a set of stairs. This gorge is no less than 400 meters long.

Canyon X

Canyon X is much less known. This is partly because it is further away, but you also need a special guide if you have permission from the Navajo people. If you want to get away from the tourists, but still want to experience Antelope Canyon, you should really take this excursion. The name, according to stories, comes from the shape of the cleft (an X) at the entrance.

How does a tour of Canyon X look like?

You drive with the guide to the entrance of the gorge. The gorge is about 150 meters long; it consists of a part of 100 meters and one of another 50 meters. This canyon is strikingly different. It is almost 50 meters high in some places, and has dark red rocks in certain places. Note the various fault lines, which create their own atmosphere.

Differences between Lower, Upper Antelope Canyon and Canyon X

Most tourists visit one gorge and therefore make a choice in advance which gorge they visit. It depends on your time, but also your money and interests. These are the differences of the three gorges in Antelope Canyon..

A tour in Antelope Canyon.

The length

Lower Antelope Canyon is the longest; about 400 meters. The other two are about 150 meters long.

The sunbeams

The Upper Antelope Canyon has rays of sunlight pouring in. The Lower Antelope Canyon does not have the sun's rays. Canyon X does, but only at certain times of the day.

The many tourists

Upper Antelope Canyon is the most popular, so tours often sell out fast in peak season. This also applies to the weekends in the spring. Canyon X is the least popular, although that is rapidly changing.

Entrance fees

An excursion to the Lower Antelope Canyon as well as to Canyon X is cheaper than the Upper Antelope Canyon, so if you don't care much about the sunbeams, this is the best option.

Making photos in Antelope Canyon

The rays of the sun in the Upper Antelope Canyon are unique, but the walls of the Lower Canyon find many photographers much more beautiful and varied.

So you also see a striking number of photos of Lower Canyon on social media. You won't find much of Canyon X on the internet, so you can go there yourself. The choice is yours.

Excursions Antelope Canyon

Photography tour or the regular tour in Antelope Canyon?

"Regular" tours and photography tours are offered in the Upper Antelope Canyon. This also applies to Canyon X. The regular tour lasts an hour to an hour and a half, the photo tours are two hours (or longer). So the photo tours are longer, but also much more expensive.

The advantage is that you really get the time to take pictures. You will mainly have to do this with your tripod, so that takes time. Only regular tours are offered in the Lower Antelope Canyon. The idea is that photographers prefer to go to the Upper Antelope Canyon or to Canyon X.

It is not a gorge like the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon, where erosion has washed away sand for centuries and the gorge remains. But these three are the most beautiful gorges in the US. And so all three are worth it.

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