Mike Chowla

Page Arizona and Antelope Canyon

Over the past decade, Page Arizona as gone from a little known small city to a serious tourist stop due to two attractions. One is Horseshoe Bend and the other is Antelope Canyon. Even on my visit four years ago, Horseshoe Bend was a little know spot and a bit hard to find. I remember being out there with only a couple of other people. Now, even in January, there are crowds. Horseshoe Bend's popularity is largely due to Instagram. It's a popular location to Instagram one's picture with the magnificent bend as the back drop. Because the sheer cliff walls, to see or photograph the entire bend one has to get very close to the edge. To get to the edge, I slid up on my stomach but many people walk right up to the edge in search of the perfect Instagram photo. As dangerous as going to the edge feels, I was surprised to find deaths from falling over the edge are thankfully uncommon. The National Park Service is taking over managing access to the site and is building a viewing platform. I suspect access to the edge may get more restricted over time.

The other major attraction in Page is Antelope Canyon, which is a gorgeous and high photogenic slot canyon on Navajo land only a few miles outside of Page. Access to Antelope Canyon is by tour only. Serious photographers should take a photography tour since it's only way to be able to use a tripod and get the rooms cleared of tourists. The most famous pictures of Antelope Canyon all have light beams but those only occur near the summer solstice. In the winter, there are no light beams. The advantage of winter was the canyon was less crowded which gave more time to photograph on the tour. The light beams are stunning and the photographs I published from my last visit almost all included them. This time without the light beams, I focused the gorgeous walls of the canyon.