Even before we’ve bought our plane tickets to the West Coast of the US, we’ve seen hundreds of pictures and read tens of articles about everything we could possibly see here and Antelope Canyon was without a doubt one of the first places we pinned on the planning map. The wavey walls creating narrow paths and the light sliding down on smooth stones was even more impressive once we got to see it with our own eyes and Antelope Canyon was truly one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen.
When planning our roadtrip, at first we found out about two options – Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon and if you’re planning your trip now, Upper or Lower is probably a question you’re also trying to solve. We have a slightly different answer – neither of them.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages but what put us off was what basically everyone said: „It’s so beautiful but there are so many people in the canyon we had to wait forever to get a good picture and even then we had to shoot like crazy because it was just a few seconds before there was somebody else in the shot...“
The biggest issue for both parts of the canyon is the number of providers you can book your tour with (you can’t go there without a tour) and despite the price of the tour which can be over 60 dollars per person, each provider sends a group to the canyon every hour which means people keep bumping into each other on the narrow paths.
We kept looking trying to at least find the best provider and then we found it. Antelope Canyon X! It certainly isn’t as famous as his two bigger brothers but that’s exactly why it caught our attention and we decided to give it a chance.
Choosing the Antelope outsider
How did it happen that Upper Antelope Canyon is by far the most popular one and other, equally fascinating parts of the canyon are left behind? Thanks to a picture by Australian photographer Peter Lik. The photo called „Phantom“ was sold for record-breaking $6.5 million and has made the canyon both famous and the most expensive one to visit.
Truth is though that the most famous doesn’t mean the only one. Since Antelope Canyon X is less popular you can buy your tickets quite last minute and it’s also significantly cheaper. One ticket is 40 dollars so you’re already saving some money and the biggest bonus is that it isn’t crowded. There have been only 13 people in our group and if you add a tour guide you can figure out the total number of people that were in the canyon.
Okay so it’s less popular but still. How can you share one of the most visited places of the western part of the US with such a small group of people? Well, unlike Upper and Lower Canyons that are visited by many providers, there is only one provider for Antelope Canyon X – Taadidiin Tours, which means they know exactly how many people are visiting the canyon at any time and can regulate the number of visitors.
Regular tours take approx. an hour and a half which means everyone has enough time to see everything, take all the pictures and most importantly, to enjoy it. Our guide kept sharing funny stories and interesting facts including a fun demonstration of how the Antelope Canyon has been created and wasn’t in a rush at all. Since we were the only group in the canyon we didn’t feel like somebody is standing behind us, rushing us to go away or photobombing our pictures. In fact, it was the exact opposite. We even came back to a few more pictures to the parts that we felt were the most beautiful, sometimes we took turns to take pictures in some spots and then slowly walked a little further back to absorb all the beauty.
Coming back to our car after two hours, with a memory card full of pictures and our heads full of the sights, we agreed that we literally couldn’t recommend Taadidiin Tours more for visiting the Antelope Canyon.
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