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I remember visiting Lower Antelope Canyon in 2015 when I only had two people on a tour with me in early December. I had been here several times since then and seen it shoot to the international stardom. Since it’s changed so much, you need to know how to plan your trip to Lower Antelope Canyon to avoid the crowds and have the best experience.
Is Lower Antelope Canyon worth it?
Lower Antelope Canyon is one of the most spectacular places in the United States that has to be on your bucket list. This narrow slot canyon with smooth bright-orange walls and narrow passages was formed by erosion over millions of years as water seeped through the cracks of sandstone.
Visiting Lower Antelope Canyon is a lot of fun, as you have to squeeze through the narrow passages with a lot of twists as you stop before you can gaze at the incredible views and take photos.
Where is Lower Antelope Canyon located?
Lower Antelope Canyon sits on the outskirts on Page, a small town in Northern Arizona. The land where Antelope Canyon is located is owned by the Navajo, a Native American Tribe of the United States.
Can you go to Lower Antelope Canyon without a tour?
You can enter the canyon only with a guide. The Antelope Canyon is protected by the Navajo Parks and Recreation and only authorized tour companies can conduct Antelope Canyon tours.
There are two companies that sell tours of the Lower Antelope Canyon: Ken’s Tours Lower Antelope Canyon and Dixie Ellis Lower Antelope Tour.
Lower Antelope Canyon reservations
While you can book one of Lower Antelope Canyon tours on the spot, its’ a good idea to reserve your spot ahead of time, especially during the busy summer season.
The best option is to buy skip the line ticket. This way you can join one of daily Lower Antelope Canyon Tours when you arrive.
Does Antelope Canyon accept walk-ins?
Yes. While you can’t go down the Antelope Canyon without a guide, you can join a guided tour on the spot without making a reservation ahead of time. Aside from paying for the tour, you will also need to pay for a parking permit.
How much does it cost for Lower Antelope Canyon?
Lower Antelope Canyon tours cost around $40, and you also have to pay $8 for the Navajo permit, since the canyon is on the Native American reservation. When you account for processing fees and other surcharges the price comes to $55-60.
A Navajo permit has to be paid in cash, while Lower Antelope Canyon tours can be paid by credit cards.
Lower Antelope Canyon tours leave every 30 minutes from early morning until late in the evening which allows a small distance between the groups.
How long is Lower Antelope Canyon tour?
A typical tour of Lower Antelope Canyon lasts about between 1 and 1,5 hours, but it feels much shorter, as you spend your time looking at rock formations resembling different animals and figures.
Which is better Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?
Lower Antelope Canyon is a more fun tour, but it’s typically more crowded than Upper Antelope Canyon.
Lower Antelope Canyon requires a climb down a steep set of stairs, while Upper Antelope Canyon is easier to access because it sits above the ground. Upper Antelope Canyon is mostly famous for its falling sands and light beams which are produced because the canyon is wider at the bottom and smaller at the top.
Lower Antelope Canyon tours
Lower Antelope Canyon tour is longer than the Upper Antelope Canyon, and it lasts approximately one hour. Photo tours of Lower Antelope Canyon were cancelled in 2018, because the place got so popular, and now you can only go on a photo tour at the Upper Antelope Canyon.
The best part about visiting Lower Antelope Canyon is that you don’t need a specialized photography tour to capture the beauty of this place. But the downside of Lower Antelope Canyon is that it lacks those incredible light beams that made Upper Antelope Canyon so popular.
I recommend visiting both canyons because they are real gems!
Lower Antelope Canyon photography tips
- Tripods, monopods, selfie sticks and GoPros with stabilizers are not allowed inside Lower Antelope Canyon. You can only use your camera or cellphone.
- Take your photos of the canyon from bottom to the top to achieve a cool panoramic effect. Use Pano mode on your iPhone.
- Try to play around with filters on your phone – this can show you just how different the same photo might look! Tour guides who do Lower Antelope Canyon tour know many tips and tricks, so don’t be afraid to ask them for some help!
- Best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. when the light is optimal for taking photos.
- You typically have less than a minute to snap a photo, because there is always another group behind you. Although it’s cool to be near your guide because you will get more info that way, staying in the back of the group will give you a bit more time to take photos.
Upper Antelope Canyon tours
You can book one of Upper Antelope Canyon tours with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours. The company offers a variety of packages which include general tours and photo tours and night tours.
PRO TIP: Book your tour of Upper Antelope Canyon to reserve your spot. This is a popular place for photographers and spot fill up fast!
One of the major draws of Upper Antelope Canyon is its incredible light beams that can be seen during certain times of the day. This is especially important for your trip planning because the best time to see the light beam is from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. during summer months – the busiest time in the canyon!
What is the best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon?
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon is between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
During these hours, more light enters the canyon which allows you to see more colors and shades. You can also use photo filters on your phone to experiment with different shades.
Best time of the year to visit Lower Antelope Canyon
Best months for taking photos here are June, July and August. If you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit join one of Lower Antelope Canyon tours is from mid-December through early March.
When can you see light beams in Antelope Canyon?
Light beams inside Upper Antelope Canyon are most visible from May through early October.
November through February is not the best time if you want to see the famous light beams inside Upper Antelope Canyon because there are many overcast days.
Driving to Lower Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas
It takes about four and a half hours to reach Lower Antelope Canyon in Page from Las Vegas. If time allows, consider adding an additional day or two to your trip to see the spectacular Zion National Park, which is located along the way.
To get to Page from Las Vegas, take Interstate-15 north toward Utah and exit onto AZ 389 which will take you to Colorado City, a tiny town on the border between Utah and Arizona. After that, you will take AZ 89A and merge onto US-89 toward Page.
Keep in mind that GPS signal might be spotty in certain areas, so bring a regular map is a good idea.
Driving to Lower Antelope Canyon from Phoenix
A road trip from Phoenix to Page takes just under 5 hours. To get to Page from Phoenix, take Interstate-17 north toward Flagstaff, then merge on I40E and after four miles get on State Route, which will bring you straight to Page.
Flying to Lower Antelope Canyon
Most people drive to Antelope Canyon because they often stop at other places in Arizona and Utah along their big West Coast road trip.
If you are interested in exploring the region, I’m here to tell you that Page sits on the border with Utah, home to some of the most beautiful national parks in America. Page Municipal Airport offers a small number of domestic flights, as does the airport in Flagstaff, the biggest city near Page.
Renting a car for your trip to Lower Antelope Canyon
Las Vegas and Phoenix international airports are both about 4.5-5 hours away from Antelope Canyon. If you decide to drive after flying into Phoenix or Las Vegas, you will have to rent a car.
I recommend Discover Cars, a great car rental company that has a good selection of vehicles of all types and seizes and has services in many destinations across the United States and overseas.
Consider combing one of Lower Antelope Canyon tours with a stop at Horseshoe Bend, a stunning natural vista located just a short distance away that has become one of the most popular places to visit in Arizona.
I visited Horseshoe Bend for the first time back in 2015, and the place has changed a lot since then! While it used to be a remote and rugged spot, now it features an observation platform and many safety features.
Can you go to Horseshoe Bend without a tour?
Yes, you can visit Horseshoe Bend without a tour. All you need to do is pay $10 parking fee and take 0.6 mile hike to the scenic overlook.
Lower Antelope Canyon tours from Las Vegas
Page, and Lower Antelope Canyon are some of the most popular places to visit near Las Vegas by car. Still, guided tours of Lower Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas are great if you want to skip renting a car and booking a hotel.
Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas depart early morning and last about 15 hours before brining your back late in the evening. Tours include stops at Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, as well as a quick lunch stop. Admission to Lower Antelope Canyon is included in the price of the tour.
Lower Antelope Canyon tours from Phoenix
You can also take one of Lower Antelope Canyon tours from Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona. Similarly to Lower Antelope Canyon tours from Las Vegas, you will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel on request. The tour takes about 12 hours and includes a complimentary lunch.
Lower Antelope Canyon weather
Always check the weather before heading out!
Antelope Canyon closes during flash floods which typically occur in the middle of summer. If your tour falls on one of the days when the forecast calls for a flash flood, it is going to be cancelled without notice.
Winter brings dry weather, however, it is considerably colder than in summer, and it gets chilly inside the canyon since it’s pretty deep. Make sure to bundle up in some layers if you visit Lower Antelope Canyon from November through March.
What to wear for Lower Antelope Canyon tour
Before you head out, don’t forget to put a few items in your bag:
1. Comfortable shoes with a good grip. – You will have to walk down a really steep staircase to get inside the canyon.
2. Plenty of water – Super important if you are visiting during summer as you might have to wait outside. Temperatures during summer months often soar into triple digits, so you should bring enough water for your tour.
3. Sunscreen – The sun can be brutal in Arizona during summer and early spring/fall. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat.
When to visit Lower Antelope Canyon
Taken into account how popular this place has become in recent years, your trip should involve some research and preparation. Depending on what canyon you want to visit, book your tour ahead of time.
Avoid hot summer months and make sure you have proper gear. Page is located in Northern Arizona, and the desert climate here is mild in winter which will allow you to enjoy this place.
Where to stay near Lower Antelope Canyon
Another great thing about coming here during off-season is that prices for hotels in Page tend to much lower. Just to give you in idea, a basic accommodation might cost between $35 and $45 during winter and over $100 in summer when the demand is sky high. If you plan your trip in summer, book your hotel in Page ahead of time.
Best Hotels Near Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon is located right outside of Page, and there are plenty of hotels in the area where you can spend a night before continuing your adventures next day. Here are some of the options:
- Best Western View of Lake Powell Hotel is one of the best hotels in Page. It offers stunning views of Lake Powell and is close to all attractions including Antelope Canyon.
- Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell is a new property with lake views that gets rave reviews from customers! It has a nice patio and seasonal outdoor pool.
- Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell is a modern hotel with great amenities minutes away from Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend.
Antelope Canyon X
As an alternative, check out nearby Antelope Canyon X, which is less touristy and less expensive (at least for now). There’s only one tour operator that does tours of Canyon X, and it’s called Taadin Tours, a family-owned company that organizes small-group tours into a different part of the same canyon.
Whatever canyon you decide to choose, I hope you enjoy your time and get some incredible memories!
Other slot canyons near Page
There are tons of other slot canyons in the region, but Antelope Canyon has become one of the most famous of them. You can find plenty of less touristy, but not less beautiful slot canyons in parts of Utah such as Moab, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument or Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada