My love affair with Antelope Canyon began when I was 12 years old. My family would travel to Las Vegas every Summer for a long weekend so naturally, since I was well below the age of 21, I had to find age appropriate activities to preoccupy my time. Second to pool time, shopping was clearly the answer! My younger cousins and I would spend hours walking the strip, popping into store after store with the end all be all typically being Caesar’s Palace where our favorite shops were. I remember being bored out of my mind as we stumbled across a photography gallery that stuck out to me among many of the retail stores: Peter Lik Gallery. I’ve always had a huge interest in art and photography so decided to pop inside.
I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on a photograph of Antelope Canyon. The way the light and vibrant colors danced throughout the smooth walls of the canyon completely mesmerized me. It looked absolutely breathtaking and like nothing I had ever seen before! I marveled at that fact that this was a real place and one that not many people had actually explored. After speaking with the gallery manager about what Antelope Canyon was and where it was located, I promised myself that one day I would visit this natural beauty in person.
Antelope Canyon is the most photographed slot canyon in the world and was discovered only 24 years ago, in 1994. The land owners didn’t even know it existed until their herd of sheep disappeared one day and they were found seeking shelter inside the canyon. Located 118 feet below ground, Antelope Canyon earned it’s name from the antelope that once called it home. Antelope Canyon was naturally formed by the erosion of sandstone from flash floods and rainwater that would run down from the top, picking up sand and rushing through it’s narrow passageways. How cool is that?!
There is an Upper Canyon and a Lower Canyon. I chose to tour the Lower Canyon as it is typically less crowded. Each day, the canyon only allows 4,000 people max to tour and they turn away an estimated 2,500 people who have not booked reservations in advance. There are two main tour companies that run tours at Lower Antelope Canyon each day: Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis, both of which have fantastic reviews. I toured with Ken’s Tours which was a really great experience. The tour was $50 a person and lasted about an hour and a half. We had a total of about 40 or 50 people on the tour which was a bit overwhelming. If you’re looking to get photos of the canyon without people, it’s pretty difficult so I would suggest being at the very back of the line! If you want great photos, make sure to tour between 10am and noon where the light hits just above the canyon. I hope I can convince you to add this to your bucket list of incredible places. I promise it won’t disappoint!