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“Upper Antelope Canyon - Beautiful location but hit and miss to get a good tour and guide”

Ranked #21 of 47 Outdoor Activities in Page
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 19 December 2017

First of all - there are two canyons at Antelope (ten min drive East of Page, AZ) - Upper and Lower. When you arrive at the crossroads heading towards the Navajo Power generating station (large chimneys the first thing you see as you head into the area) from Page, the left hand turn off Highway 98 down route 222 takes you to the Lower Canyon tours, and the right hand turn at the crossroads takes you to the Upper Antelope canyon tours assembling point. This is the Navajo Tour company that this TripAdvisor entry is for. The lower canyon tours are organised by Ken's Tours and another one whose name I cannot remember, but I can recommend Ken's tour of the lower canyon as I did this in 2015. Of the two canyons I slightly preferred the lower canyon. A little more light seems to get into the lower canyon ironically, and the fact that you have to walk down a steel ladder to get into it makes it feel more dramatic. The Upper Canyon is on ground level - you just walk through the gap in the rock and you're in!
Back to this TA entry - the Antelope Canyon Navajo Tour which is for the Upper Canyon - it is the right hand turn off highway 98. You can see the parking area from the highway. You cannot see the Lower Canyon tour departure points from the highway, they are set further back on the left.
Although you can see the parking lot for the Upper Canyon tour from the highway, to actually reach the Upper Canyon itself you need to board a truck that holds between 8 and 10 people and the guides drive you to the canyon entrance which takes around 7 minutes to arrive at the entrance. It’s a bumpy dusty ride and there are no seatbelts so you need to hold on!
When you arrive you pay the fee (online booking just reserves your space but you have to turn up at least 30 minutes before your slot and pay to guarantee your place on that tour), and they only accept cash so make sure you have some otherwise you’ll need to go to an ATM in nearby Page. Cost wise – this Navajo Upper Canyon tour costs $40 plus a $8 Navajo Nation fee, and Ken’s Lower Canyon tour costs $25 plus the $8 Navajo Nation fee. I guess the Upper Canyon tour costs more because of the truck ride. You can just walk to the Lower Canyon.
For this Upper Canyon tour they call out your name 15 mins before your tour is ready to depart and organize you into groups for each truck. Your tour guide will also be on the truck.
After a bumpy 7ish minute journey across the desert in the truck you join the other trucks and arrive at the Upper Canyon entrance. Yes there will be many tours there before you (unless you get on the first tour of the day – but the light is better around lunchtime obviously) and it is quite busy. I didn’t find this spoil the tour however. I guess I was with a respectful bunch and most of us stayed with our tour guide and followed her instructions as they know how to manage your time through the canyon best. They are also experts at getting the right setting on your cameras (especially phone cameras) to make your photos inside the canyon as good as they can possibly be. The upper canyon is not large and you will spend probably 45 minutes inside it which is enough. The guides know all the best places and angles to get the best photos – make sure you capture ‘The Heart’, ‘The Bear’ and the ‘Arizona Sunrise’ and others. When you come out of the end of the upper canyon you’ll be directed back through it again to meet your truck to take you back to the parking lot. You’ll probably get some more good photos on your way back through, but if you already got great photos from all the angles on your first way through my tip is to try to record a video or ‘time lapse’ on your phone on your way back out of the Canyon.
You have to expect a lot of other people being here, really all the best places to see in the World that are easy to reach are going to be busy. But for most of your photos you’ll be pointing the camera upwards over people’s heads so your only issue is the other people sharing the walking space with you. It really is not much to put up with compared to being inside Antelope Canyon. It is breathtaking!
PS Make sure you also visit Horseshoe Bend while you're in the area, it is just 5 minutes South of Page just off Highway 89.

11  Thank sge31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"camera settings"
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"navajo tour"
in 12 reviews
"take pictures"
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"great tour"
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in 5 reviews
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in 4 reviews
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53 - 57 of 380 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2017

Just like others stated, they pack you in there like cattle. Too many people in one place. People are bumping into you but they could not help it, stopping to take selfies why not they paid to be there too. It's a cluster **. Our guide was very new, not really a people person, but very nice. Not trained well. There were about 200 people in here. One way in, one way out. So the people that got to the end, had to come back past the people entering. Sucked. Had I known all this, I would not have gone. I say there's enough pix of it on the internet, leave the place alone and peaceful to preserve it.

1  Thank nthemermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2017 via mobile

We thought the Canyon was beautiful but it was hard to enjoy it at the speed you are forced to maintain. The emphasis seemed to be on getting us through and out instead of letting us enjoy it. Unfortunately, our group was mainly non-English speaking and only interested in taking selfies. Our guide finally gave up and took the rest of us through and gave us a little history and spoke so reverently about the Canyon. She also showed us where and how to take stunning pictures. The ride to and from is fun in itself - you feel like you are on a movie set flying across the sand with a loud Chevy soundtrack. The crowd is the only reason this isn’t 5 stars.

Thank Deborah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2017

We travelled with One Day Tours from Vegas with David our driver. It was a long journey by comfortable bus where we stopped for lunch at Denny's ( we liked the food). There was a couple of stops to take photos which we good vantage points, but did not prepare us for the fantastic Horseshoe Bend. We really enjoyed taking photos at this location and we're ready for the finale of Antelope Canyon.
It was busy when we arrived with groups in front of us, but while we were waiting we were treated to the ' hoop dance' by one of the native Indians, which was interesting but not our cup of tea. Our group then were introduced to our guide, who was a young native Indian and provided good information for us throughout.. We then had to queue for about 35 minutes before we could descend into the canyon itself. We absolutely loved it and took so many photos, although we would recommend getting your camera settings organised before you go down ( for example if you have an apple phone you should put on the chrome filter for best effect). Although it was a long day from Vegas we would really recommend it as a trip and particularly if you like your photography..

1  Thank Mhari M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 October 2017

Our guide was Lorali, who is the granddaughter of the lady who discovered the Upper Antelope Canyon and ran the tours for many years. Obviously, she was very knowledgeable about the history of the canyon and where one can find all the special camera shots. Throughout the tour, I was using a ten-year-old point-and-shoot camera without realizing that the new Samsung Note 8 I just bought was right in my pocket. (By the way, Galaxy S8 or Note 8 take the best pictures in the canyon.) So when Lorali found out that I have a new Note 8, she offered to retake pictures for me and my family on the way out. She wanted to make sure that we didn't miss any good pictures. In my opinion, she really went out of her way to provide excellent guidance and friendly service. We were so lucky to have had her as our guide.

For those who provide negative reviews need to know that the guides are just doing their jobs in a crowded, dusty and cramped environment. All the rules and regulations are there for a reason, which is to make everyone's experience a good one. So try to see the positives and enjoy the amazing product of Mother Nature!

1  Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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