As I was making notes for myself for my tour there I thought I'd share the information so it might help someone who like me might be considering going there. Obvioulsy this is very concise and in no way covers everything as I have NOT been there. Folks can add or let me know if something is obviously wrong. Here is what I gather from all the information here, PM's from forum members and a couple of phone calls.
- Different companies outfit each canyon, no one does both.
- What appeals to me best is two full days there. Do upper photo tour, go to lower photo pass same day and then do night tour of upper. Return the next day and do upper again.This way the second day I can either enjoy the sights or get the shots I did not/could not the first day and also a buffer in case of bad weather. But makes it expensive as they will not put a custom package for you.
- 2nd day evening do Horseshoe bend at sunset and perhaps lake Powell as well.
- Photography tours all around. To go that far and spend that much money it would be unwise to skimp out on a couple of hundred dollars and not enjoy the show or get the shot.
- June-Aug is the time for the light beams…. but they are open year round.
- Night tour of the Upper Canyon is $150 for photographers who will get instructions on settings etc, $50 for folks who just want to go there and shoot without instructions. The explanation was a bit grey but worth calling and confirming the value of the added $100.
- Las Vegas, Phoenix and even Salt Lake City airports could work. Page does have an airport but a small one.
- In the lower canyon, the photo pass gets you two full hours but you are on your own, no guide. They do have photo monitors who may point you to better spots etc. Perhaps for folks who have been there and are already familiar with the spots.
- Horseshoe Bend: It is 10 min. away from page, and another 15-20 min. by foot from the parking lot. Apparently not so easy a walk due to soft and deep sand. But no tours, you do it on your own.
- Many other wonderful places in UT/AZ close by for your landscape fix; Monument Valley, Arches, Zion, Grand Canyon etc if you have more time.
- Wide angle lenses a must
- Photo tours recommended as they come with crowd control. They do make it more expensive though.
- Tripod required in photography packages
- Bracket shots
- Two cameras if possible with different focal length lens, avoid changing lenses inside, it's dusty in there.
- Cleanig cloth, blower etc
- Shoot RAW if not RAW+jpeg
- Polarizer filter to be considered.
Thanks to everyone for the tips and the awesome pictures which have motivated me once again!