A guided tour, only possibility when entering Upper Antelope Canyon, was booked at 12 o'clock so we were on the road rather early. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Between 11 to 13 it's the prime time to be in the canyon as it's deep and narrow. At this time of year also only time of day when light beams can reach into it.
The tour we took was dedicated to photographers and lasted 2½ h. That is also the only group that can use tripod. You may ask your self why, and there are two reasons. First, as it take 'long' time to put up a tripod and if you are in the canyon short time and moving with the group there is not much time to put it up. Second, that in this group the guides actually clear the sections of the canyon for couple of min so that photographers get a chance to take a shot lower down in the canyon.
Sounds good in theory, but in reality it's very crowded with probably 200-300 people at any point in the canyon. It also got frustrating by the fast pace of the group, it takes time to compose a picture, use long-time-exposure and at the same time not have somebody back into your tripod.
The canyon itself is 30m deep, has its narrowest point at about 1m and its widest about 5m, try to push 200-300 people through that :)) Even with our group of 8 people, there was no room for everyone to put up their tripods. I usually ended up behind everybody sick of fight to get a shot :))Eventhough I sound very frustrated, it was fun and for sure an experience. It still is a holy place for indians who also were the only guides.
We visited so called Upper Antelope, and there is a lower Canyon, but not as nice but for sure more spacious :)) This is saved for next trip.As you might have heard, it's not safe to go into these kinds of canyons in the desert. Many people have died due to flash floods that happen without warning. Imagine all that rain pass through these narrow canyons. Just since June they had 13 flash floods in that area!
Next post, probably the most amazing place on this trip; Zion NP.