Light Beam in Lower Antelope Canyon
Landscapes,  Travel

Capturing the Best Shots: Page, Arizona Photography Guide

Page is located in Northern Arizona, close to the Utah border.  Page is not necessarily easy to get to; however, a variety of landscape photography gems are located in an around Page.  This makes Page a perfect destination for a landscape photography vacation.

In this blog, I’ll talk about the photo opportunities in and around page, some tips for photographing them, and tips for visiting Page.

Getting to Page, Arizona

The closest “big” airport to Page is Flagstaff. Flagstaff airport is about 2 hours 20 minutes, 134 miles from Page. However, mainly smaller planes fly into Page.  I have an aversion (maybe a fear) of flying in smaller planes with my photography gear.  That said, Flagstaff may be an option if you are flying with only smaller landscape lenses and carrying a medium sized backpack.

Phoenix is a big airport with many flights using larger Boeing and Airbus planes.  Phoenix airport is about 4.5 hours, 226 miles from Page.  With the traffic and construction, the trip can take a while longer.  This makes for a long day if you land in Phoenix in the afternoon like I did.

If you opt to fly into / out of Phoenix, you may want to combine the trip to Page with a stop in Sedona or the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in order to shorten the drive a bit.  The Sedona area is about 2 hours, 15 minutes / 120 miles from Phoenix Skyharbor Airport and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 3 hours, 45 minutes / 233 miles from the airport.  These times can vary based on traffic.

Crowds

Even though Page is in a fairly remote location, expect crowds of tourists in Page, especially in peak seasons.  The peak seasons in Page are May through October.  I was in Page in October and the parking lot for Horseshoe Bend was completely full at sunset.

What time is it in Page?

If you are planning on visiting Page during, daylight savings time (March to November), knowing what time it is can be a bit confusing especially if you use your phone or digital watch like the Apple watch to tell the time or use them for alarms to wake up.

Page like most of Arizona, does not observe Daylight Savings Time (DST).  However, Utah and the Navajo Reservation which surround Page do.  While in Page, your cell phone and Apple Watch may be connected to a cell tower in Utah or the Navajo Reservation which means you will have the wrong time.

The entire time I was in Page my iPhone and Apple Watch had the wrong time.  I set up a widget from the Apple Clock app to display Phoenix time on the home screen of my iPhone so I could tell what time it was.  There are time when old fashioned watches still work better.

Photo Opportunities in Page, Arizona

Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon

There are 3 different areas / tours you can take of Antelope Canyon:  Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Antelope Canyon X.  Only Antelope Canyon X offers photography tours.  The other two tours restrict what you can bring into the slot canyons.  No tripods, no bags (not even ladies handbags), also no video can be taken.  The slot canyons are on Navajo property and guides are required to enter the canyon.

Unfortunately, the photo tour of Antelope Canyon X was sold out when I was in Page.  I took the Lower Antelope Canyon tour from Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours.  You can sign up, pay, and sign their waiver form right on their website.  The tour is about an hour in length and cost me $73 including fees and parking.  The Lower Antelope Canyon tour did have some metal ladders you had to climb, but it wasn’t overly difficult.

Overall, I’m happy that I took the non-photography tour.  I got really good photos with both my OM System OM-1 camera and my iPhone 15 Pro.  The new cell phone cameras area getting really good in low light environments.

Tips for Photographing Antelope Canyon

  • Plan a tour for around the middle of the day / early afternoon in order to get the sun beams coming down into the openings in the slot canyon.
  • Look for shapes, patterns, contrast, and texture in your compositions.
  • The guides do these tours multiple times a day and know many of the better compositions.  They will be glad to point them out to you.
Horseshoe Bend Just After Sunrise
Horseshoe Bend Just After Sunrise

Horseshoe Bend

Parking Location: 36.876372, -111.502796

Horseshoe Bend is one of the favorite attractions in Page.  Horseshoe Bend was only 8 minutes / 3.2 miles from my hotel (Holiday Inn Express) in Page.  It is about a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike from the parking area with a moderate incline on the way back to the parking area. 

Parking at Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is in Glen Canyon NRA, but the parking is owned by the city of Page.  Your federal lands passes like the America the Beautiful pass won’t get you in. It cost $10 to park.

The Parking Website (link) says they are open from sunrise to sunset.  They actually open around 25 minutes before sunrise to give you time to walk to Horseshoe Bend from the parking lot.

Tips for Photographing Horseshoe Bend

  • You will be photographing into the sun at sunset which is good if you are trying to capture a sunstar. It will also be a lot more crowded at sunset.  I drove past Horseshoe Bend at sunset driving in from Phoenix and the large parking lot was completely full.
  • The sun will be at your back during sunrise.  As the sun rises, this can cause bright spots and shadows in your images (see above photo).  Some options to help with this high contrast composition are: get there before the sun rises over the mountains and use exposure bracketing, use a graduated ND filter, crop out the bright parts of the image to focus more on the river.
  • Once you capture the wide vista of Horseshoe Bend, zoom in and focus on the details, colors, pattern, light, and shapes (See Below Photo).
Horseshoe Bend Sunrise Reflection
Horseshoe Bend Sunrise Reflection

Lake Powell / Glen Canyon Dam

I was really surprised with how low the water level was in Lake Powell.  The water level is low due to the combination of drought conditions and increased water usage.  That said, you can still get some good compositions of boats on the lake and the Dam itself.  Bring a longer zoom (around 200mm/300mm?) lens to photograph the boats with the lower water conditions.

A couple of nice areas to photograph the lake and Dam are the Waheep Overlook and Lakeshore Drive of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  It cost $30 per vehicle for 7 days to enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area or you can get in with your America the Beautiful Pass or other National Parks Pass.

There is also a short (940 feet) Glen Canyon Dam Overlook Trail that provides nice views of the river, canyon, and Glen Canyon Dam.

Toadstool Hoodoo, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Toadstool Hoodoo, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Toadstool Hoodoos in the Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument

About 30 minutes south of page is the trail to the Toadstool Hoodoos in the Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument in Utah.  The GPS coordinates to the trailhead are: 37.101373, -111.873198.

The hike is about 1.5 miles round trip and is considered an easy to moderate hike.  This is a natural trail with some uneven footing and a hill to climb to get to the hoodoos.  The trail is open, so make sure to bring sunscreen and water with you for the hike.

Overall, the hike is worth it as there are several interesting hoodoos to photograph.

Photography Opportunities Just South of Page

About 40 minutes southwest of Page is the Historic Navajo Bridge and Lees Ferry.  This makes a great stop on your way to or from Page.

Navajo Bridge, Mable Canyon, AZ
Navajo Bridge, Mable Canyon, AZ

Historic Navajo Bridge

When traveling to the south from Page, the Historic Navajo Bridge is just a 15 minute detour off of US Route 89.  The Navajo Bridge features two bridges next to each other that make it great to photograph. The older bridge for pedestrian traffic and the newer bridge for automobile traffic.  The bridges look very similar making them interesting to photograph.  I photographed them facing west with the sun at my back in the early morning.

You can also get some nice compositions of the Colorado River and Marble Canyon walking on the pedestrian bridge.

The Historic Navajo Bridge is considered part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area but you don’t need to pay the fee or have a National Parks Pass to visit it.

Balanced Rock, Lees Ferry, Arizona
Balanced Rock, Lees Ferry, Arizona

Lees Ferry

The entrance to Lees Ferry is just 2 minutes north of the Historic Navajo Bridge.  You will need to pay a fee at the kiosk or have a National Parks Pass for entry.

Photo Ops in Lees Ferry are: Cathedral Rock, Balance Rock, Lees Ferry Fort / Lonely Dell Ranch.  The later is the launching point for Grand Canyon rafting trips which could provide photo ops of the rafters.  Lees Ferry also has nice views of the Vermillion Cliffs.

Page is a bit of a drive to get to but as you can see there are numerous photo opportunities in the area and in my opinion well worth the effort to get there.

Related Posts

9 Tips for Photographing Badlands National Park
Capturing Nature and Architecture Through Photography in Dry Tortugas National Park
What to Photograph in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Munising, Michigan Area in Only 48 Hours

The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Our affiliates include: Amazon, Skylum Software, Topaz Labs, DxO, Viator, Hotelopia, and Langly Co.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven − 6 =

error: Content is protected !!