One of the most captivating natural areas is located in Northern Arizona. It is filled with expansive vistas, rugged landscapes, and red rock formations that attract visitors and photographers from around the world. In fact, one of the photos from this region sold for a record $6.5 million dollars. It's no wonder, considering that this is one of the most awe inspiring places. For this trip, I used the city of Page as a base and visited the nearby natural sights. The area can feasibly be explored in one day, so check out our proposed itinerary below.
View the behind the scenes video:
Music Credit: Seinabo Sey "Younger (Kygo Remix)" | All videos shot with iPhone 6 | Editing: iMovie & Hyperlapse
1. Upper Antelope Canyon - 8:30am
Antelope Canyon is one of the most iconic southwestern natural wonders. It is split into two sections - Upper Antelope Canyon, which is essentially a cave, and Lower Antelope Canyon, which is an underground slot canyon of sandstone rocks within the Navajo Nation land. Tours are conducted through Navajo Nation in order to protect the environment, ensure safety from flash-flooding, and prevent overcrowding. Plan to book a tour early in the morning for the best lighting. I went during a holiday weekend, which was very crowded and about a windy 20 degrees. I booked in advance with the Navajo Antelope Canyon Tours in order to get a spot during the peak viewing time. They offered two tours- the Photographer Tour (which allows for tripods) and the Walking Tour. I opted for the Walking Tour which was about $46 and lasted one hour.
- Upper Antelope has low light in the Winter, and more light in Summer.
- Accessible via a 4x4 truck and takes about 15 minutes to get to the site.
- Tours are cash only, so bring plenty of cash.
- The rocks create shapes in the cliffs, such as a bear (see below), monument valley, and a heart.
2. Lower Antelope Canyon - 10 am
Lower Antelope is also accessible via guided Navajo Nation tours. The tour was $20 (plus $8 for the Navajo Nation fee if you haven't already purchased that with the Upper Antelope). The Lower Antelope is underground and the opening at the top is wider, allowing for more sun.
- Lower Antelope has more light in Winter, less light in Summer.
- Canyon is accessible via steep stairs (climbing involved).
- The canyon is more narrow on the inside of the canyon. Visitors must pass through single-file in most parts of the canyon.
- Set your DSLR to Manual, add a low ISO and F-Stop, and set the setting to "shade".
- Set iPhone to "Chrome" to bring out the best colors in the rocks.
- Do not bring backpacks or heavy equipment into the canyon. There is not much space inside Lower Antelope Canyon and it is best to be hands-free for climbing stairs.
- The rocks create shapes in the cliffs such as the Arizona sunrise (see below), Abraham Lincoln, buffalo, eagle, and Indian chief.
3. Horseshoe Bend - Noon
Horseshoe Bend is about 10 minutes away from Antelope Canyon. The view is a 360 panorama of the Colorado River, which loops around a large cliff forming a horseshoe, hence the name. The view is one of the most breathtaking in the region.
- Photos taken earlier in the day will have the best lighting. The Horseshoe Bend was back-lit at sunset during winter.
- In order to get the Colorado River in one shot, set your iPhone on Panorama.
- Bring a weather-proof case for your iPhone and backup charger. MyiPhone lost power (despite being fully charged) due to low temperatures draining the lithium ion battery.
- Bring a sturdy tripod. The edge of the cliff has no guard rails, so use your best judgment to determine how close to the edge to place your camera. There is a cliff on the viewing area where photographers can get a bird's-eye view of the scenery.
- The area gets very dusty and windy, so be sure to bring sunglasses and/or eye drops.
4. Colorado River Cruise - 2pm
To get a different perspective of the Horseshoe Bend, try a river cruise.
As always, bring multiple camera cards, backup batteries, and more than one camera on your journey. Enjoy!
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.