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Author Topic: Recommendation for tour company-Antelope Canyon  (Read 11450 times)
bellimages
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« on: June 08, 2007, 02:00:23 PM »
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I see that there are four tour companies (listed below). If you have comments/recommendations as to which one is the best, I'd love to hear about it. As with anything, some are probably better than others. I'll be there in October, and want to make the most of the few hours that I'll be allowed in the caynon.

1. Antelope Canyon Adventures
2. Antelope Canyon Tours
3. Chief Tsosle's Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
4. Overland Canyon Tours
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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kdphotography
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2007, 11:13:20 PM »
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I see that there are four tour companies (listed below). If you have comments/recommendations as to which one is the best, I'd love to hear about it. As with anything, some are probably better than others. I'll be there in October, and want to make the most of the few hours that I'll be allowed in the caynon.

1. Antelope Canyon Adventures
2. Antelope Canyon Tours
3. Chief Tsosle's Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
4. Overland Canyon Tours
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121815\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Overland Canyon Tours!
option of Canyon X too.

Photographer friendly and understanding.
www.overlandcanyontours and 928-608-4072

A few of my images from Antelope taken April 2007 can be seen at:  www.internationalhouseoflandscapes.com
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 07:51:10 AM »
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Note that you don't need a guide for Lower Antelope.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2007, 09:18:29 AM »
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There was one with an office in the strip of shops opposite the Best Western in Page, Az, which I used the first day I was there, but the next day I just drove to the entrance. In each case, I went on the photographers tours. Make sure you take this rather than a standard tour - you pay by the hour and are left alone, not ushered through like on the regular tours.

John
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Don Libby
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2007, 08:45:04 PM »
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Like kdphotography I also highly recommend Overland Tours.  I've used them several times now and each time I came away with great images.

Don
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RockySharwell
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 06:41:10 AM »
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Note that you don't need a guide for Lower Antelope.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121897\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure this is till true--I knoaw that it used to be the case but I have been on the Navajo Park Webside and read:

"You must have an authorized guide to Upper and Lower areas of Antelope Canyon. You can contact one of the outfitters below, to make reservations"
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2007, 07:52:51 AM »
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Are you sure this is till true--I knoaw that it used to be the case but I have been on the Navajo Park Webside and read:

"You must have an authorized guide to Upper and Lower areas of Antelope Canyon. You can contact one of the outfitters below, to make reservations"
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122372\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


AFIK - The point with upper is you can't get to it without a guide.  For lower you pay your fee $13? and they "guide" you to the entrance (about 100 feet from the hut), there may be a technical time limit - I saw 4 hours somewhere, but you don't need to go with an organized tour (although some are available).
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RockySharwell
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 07:57:11 AM »
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AFIK - The point with upper is you can't get to it without a guide.  For lower you pay your fee $13? and they "guide" you to the entrance (about 100 feet from the hut), there may be a technical time limit - I saw 4 hours somewhere, but you don't need to go with an organized tour (although some are available).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122388\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is really good to hear--as I have been confused from what I have read online...
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2007, 08:36:36 AM »
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That is really good to hear--as I have been confused from what I have read online...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122389\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think the wording on the website is meant to imply that you have to use one of the Page tour companies, but in fact you can show up at the gate and hire a Navajo guide there. The only catch is that going during the off-season there may not be anyone at the gate, in which case you would need to use a tour company.

We're going in a couple of weeks, at this point I'm thinking we'll probably skip the crowds at the upper canyon and just go to the lower canyon. You can spend more time there anyway, plus it sounds like there's more to explore (it's a longer canyon).
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 09:31:47 AM »
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I think the wording on the website is meant to imply that you have to use one of the Page tour companies, but in fact you can show up at the gate and hire a Navajo guide there. The only catch is that going during the off-season there may not be anyone at the gate, in which case you would need to use a tour company.

We're going in a couple of weeks, at this point I'm thinking we'll probably skip the crowds at the upper canyon and just go to the lower canyon. You can spend more time there anyway, plus it sounds like there's more to explore (it's a longer canyon).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122587\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If there's any was to squeeze in upper, it's worth while - it's very different. One other factor - check at lower about conditions, often there's water in parts, and if so you might want to adjust your footwear to you don't have to turn back.  Also note that you can walk up top to the end then go down and comeback from the end if you want, or don't want to get your feet wet.
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bellimages
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 02:22:55 PM »
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So, what's the difference "subject-wise" from upper to lower? I've seen some beautiful photos from Antelope Canyon. Are they upper or lower? Is there a lot less light in the lower canyon?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2007, 07:55:14 PM »
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Less light in upper.  Here's a link that has some shots from both upper and lower - as indicated.  BTW I suffer from a rare form of dislexia - in addition to not being able to tell left from right, I can't tell up from down - and I suspect that in the captions I've reversed upper for lower.   In any event the second, darker set is where you need a guide to drive you in.  The first, lighter set is where you can roam on you own.

http://www.timgrayphotography.com/gallerie...lope/index.html
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bellimages
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2007, 08:00:28 AM »
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Less light in upper.  Here's a link that has some shots from both upper and lower - as indicated.  BTW I suffer from a rare form of dislexia - in addition to not being able to tell left from right, I can't tell up from down - and I suspect that in the captions I've reversed upper for lower.   In any event the second, darker set is where you need a guide to drive you in.  The first, lighter set is where you can roam on you own.

http://www.timgrayphotography.com/gallerie...lope/index.html
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122711\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


TIM, thanks for that info. Your images of the canyon are some of the best that I've seen. One would think that the upper canyon would get more light than the lower one. I guess lower doesn't refer to being deeper down into the ground ..... but probably lower in terms of "beginning to end" ..... it being towards the end of the canyon.

How did you get images without any dust in the air? So many shots that I've seen show dust (from the crowds of people who pass though).
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."    Charles Mingus
Tim Gray
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2007, 08:10:06 AM »
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TIM, thanks for that info. Your images of the canyon are some of the best that I've seen. One would think that the upper canyon would get more light than the lower one. I guess lower doesn't refer to being deeper down into the ground ..... but probably lower in terms of "beginning to end" ..... it being towards the end of the canyon.

How did you get images without any dust in the air? So many shots that I've seen show dust (from the crowds of people who pass though).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122964\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I was there first week of December a few years ago.... no crowds, but the light wasn't vertical either - so no beams.  I saw one other person in Lower, and went with a group of about 10 in Upper.  I managed to get ahead of the tour going in and followed behind shooting backwards on the way out.  There were a number of what appeared to be private tour operators in the parking lot where you turn off the highway (If you're not taking a tour from town) and I suspect I could have got a private tour with any of them (for a few more bucks).   Also on the drive into upper the guide mentioned "Little Antelope" and "Rattlesnake" - if I'm ever back there I'll ask about getting into them - but I assume if there were any decent photo opportunities they would be circulating...
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bellimages
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2007, 09:19:59 AM »
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Tim, did you take one of the "photographers" tours? If so, do they allow you to have sufficient time to shoot? Are there other "site seeing" tours passing by while the "photographers" are down there? Or do the photographers get their tour without other people?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2007, 02:10:57 PM »
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Tim, did you take one of the "photographers" tours? If so, do they allow you to have sufficient time to shoot? Are there other "site seeing" tours passing by while the "photographers" are down there? Or do the photographers get their tour without other people?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122978\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I only had an hour, not the 2 hour tour (but might have been able to arrange a bit longer with the folks actually sitting at the gate.  My group was the only one in there at the time (but off season).  I've head that on the photo tour the guide will help manage the non photographers so they don't accidentally wander into your shot.
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Mosccol
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2007, 04:00:03 PM »
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I was at Antelope for the first time the last week in April, what a sight!

Here a few hints regarding bookings and photography once your are there:

1) If you have your own car, there is no point going through a tour operator. All you need to do is to drop in the day before or first thing in the morning and to book a photography tour from the 'front desk' (a hut in the desert).

2) Four or five jeeps will leave at the same time, one of them dedicated to the photography tour. The best time for vertical rays is about 11 a.m. Time in Page is very confusing because lake Powell covers both Utah and Arizona and the Navajos keep their own time. So I can't remember if we had a 10 or 11 departure! In any case there is only one photo tour in the morning.

3) The guy running the photo tour is very competent and friendly. He will ensure that you get as little disruption as possible from the other tourists, but it is a tall order. He will also move the group from location to location to hit the rays just at the right time.

4) A robust tripod is mandatory. I went out with a good monopod and frankly wasted a lot of shots. Many exposures require 30 seconds! Interestingly I had a higher proportion of good shots in faster exposures with my pocket G7 (stabilised) than with the SLR + monopod!

5) The environment is EXTREMELY dusty: first because you walk over thin sand/dust and second because, in order to capture rays of light, your guide will throw a handful of dust in the air. A fair proportion of that ends up on/in your camera. Don't even think of changing lenses on the fly... This creates an additional problem for non SLRs: my G7 collected tons of dust each time the lens retracted automatically. This still blocks the camera periodically. No amount of blowing and dusting has got it back to peak condition.

6) If you have a fancy tripod, then set it up above head level. On a 30 second exposure the odds of nobody walking into the frame are very slim indeed. This is a very small and very crowded place.

7) Last but not least: hang on to your kit and hat! The guides seem to take pleasure in driving like maniacs on the sand tracks meaning that you definitely need one hand to hold on to the car. It is also very windy, with one of my fellow passengers losing her hat although it was pinned to her shirt.
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qball
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 02:31:09 PM »
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I was at Antelope for the first time the last week in April, what a sight!

Here a few hints regarding bookings and photography once your are there:

1) If you have your own car, there is no point going through a tour operator. All you need to do is to drop in the day before or first thing in the morning and to book a photography tour from the 'front desk' (a hut in the desert).

2) Four or five jeeps will leave at the same time, one of them dedicated to the photography tour. The best time for vertical rays is about 11 a.m. Time in Page is very confusing because lake Powell covers both Utah and Arizona and the Navajos keep their own time. So I can't remember if we had a 10 or 11 departure! In any case there is only one photo tour in the morning.

3) The guy running the photo tour is very competent and friendly. He will ensure that you get as little disruption as possible from the other tourists, but it is a tall order. He will also move the group from location to location to hit the rays just at the right time.

4) A robust tripod is mandatory. I went out with a good monopod and frankly wasted a lot of shots. Many exposures require 30 seconds! Interestingly I had a higher proportion of good shots in faster exposures with my pocket G7 (stabilised) than with the SLR + monopod!

5) The environment is EXTREMELY dusty: first because you walk over thin sand/dust and second because, in order to capture rays of light, your guide will throw a handful of dust in the air. A fair proportion of that ends up on/in your camera. Don't even think of changing lenses on the fly... This creates an additional problem for non SLRs: my G7 collected tons of dust each time the lens retracted automatically. This still blocks the camera periodically. No amount of blowing and dusting has got it back to peak condition.

6) If you have a fancy tripod, then set it up above head level. On a 30 second exposure the odds of nobody walking into the frame are very slim indeed. This is a very small and very crowded place.

7) Last but not least: hang on to your kit and hat! The guides seem to take pleasure in driving like maniacs on the sand tracks meaning that you definitely need one hand to hold on to the car. It is also very windy, with one of my fellow passengers losing her hat although it was pinned to her shirt.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123351\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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qball
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2007, 02:47:56 PM »
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I have to add something, seeing as it is one of those places that is sooo exquisite.
Upper really is THE tourist site, one is packaged in and out. The Lower site is THE one, you just drive up, pay your $20 for 3 hours and take a 2 min walk to the canyon.The upper site is all one level, whereas at the lower you have stairs/ladders (quite easy to handle with gear in a backpack) and I would say much more grandeur, more space, fewer 'tourists', more time - it is very easy to spend 3 hrs inside. You have I feel more options in the lower, the lighting is very simliar. If you have a choice of days, one really doesnt want to visit either if the wind is blowing, tis bad enough with the sand/rock conditions without sand drifting down from the desert above.
Enjoy, -the lower slot
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bellimages
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2007, 09:10:44 PM »
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It sounds to me that dust is a major problem. We all invest a LOT of money in our gear. And it sounds like the gear is going to be covered in dust. Suggestions? Are there coverings (ie: bags) that can be pucahsed to keep dust off a camera/lenses?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."    Charles Mingus
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