Antelope Canyon is an incredible “Bucket List” place to visit; you can tour the Upper or Lower Canyon, or both.
Just how special is Antelope Canyon? Special enough to be featured on almost any “top 25 places to see in the world.” Located just outside of Page, Arizona, in the heart of Navajo Country, Antelope Canyon could be the most photographed slot canyon in the world and there is good reason for that fact. Simply put, the canyon may be the most mystifying place I’ve ever visited.
For Upper Antelope Canyon you’re looking at about a $40-$60 entrance fee and for Lower Antelope it’s only $25. If you want to take a photography tour at Upper Antelope, it’s going to cost you an extra fee. Also, you’re entering Navajo land and are required to pay an additional entrance fee of $8 (some tours include that in their quote).
This first link should take you to the Navajos at the actual canyon site:
These groups are in town and drive you out to the canyon:
These two are Lower Antelope and are at the actual canyon
Antelope Canyon comprises two separate canyons and you have to book trips to them separately. Lower Antelope is less populated with tourists, cheaper to visit, longer, and the canyon spaces are much tighter inside the canyon walls. Upper Antelope is more frequently visited, more expensive, and has much wider walkways in the canyon. The important difference for me was the famous light beams of Upper Antelope. While you can find the light beams (or “shafts”) in Lower Antelope as well, Upper Antelope’s light beams appear to be more dramatic and seemed to be the more guaranteed route for stunning photographs.
So which one is right for you? Well, they are both going to blow you away so you really can’t go wrong with either one. But if you are trying to narrow it down, one thing to consider is your personal mobility. In Lower Antelope, you will have to climb some stairs and ladders and get through some very tight spaces with moderate scrambling. In Upper Antelope, that is not the case because the floor is flat and there are only a few narrow sections. So if mobility is an important concern then the decision is easy: go with Upper Antelope.
One big advantage to Lower Antelope is that there are far fewer people visiting the canyon, which means you don’t have to deal with mass herds of people. Another is that Lower has the more adventurous appeal, because you may be able to venture without being accompanied by a tour guide and there’s a little bit of climbing here and there. While the spaces are more cramped and thus more difficult to set up a tripod, you won’t have to deal with the big crowds so it balances out. But once again, if you are going to Antelope Canyon to shoot the light beams you probably want to go with Upper Antelope.
The light beams in Antelope Canyon are, to me, what makes this place is so unforgettable. They only occur at certain times of the day and only last for a short while but when they shine through the openings up top it’s truly a sight to see.
I highly recommend planning your visit so that you can witness the magnificent light beams. Call the tour guides to see when the best time to come to see the beams is since that time will differ depending on the time of year. Usually the time will be between 10am-12pm. If you can’t get there to see the beams, don’t worry, this place is still one of the most mystifying destinations you’ll ever visit.
The Navajo lands operate on a different time zone from the neighboring lands in Arizona who don’t acknowledge daylight savings time. My recommendation is to just call the tour company you booked with and make sure you know what time your tour starts on in Navajo time.
No need to join a tour in town, Antelope Canyon is a 10 minute drive from the house.
Antelope Canyon itself is mainly shady, but summer days are hot, bring water is smart, as is wearing sensible shoes as you will be walking in sand.
Good advice on the various tour company options are offered on this site: