Lower Antelope Canyon Photos

Lower Antelope Canyon: A Photographic Tour

Julie United States 8 Comments

Lower Antelope Canyon is a gorgeous place to visit. With its glowing red canyon walls and narrow, twisting passageways, this place is fun to visit and a joy to photograph.

Antelope Canyon is made up of two slot canyons, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. When people refer to Antelope Canyon, they are usually referring to Upper Antelope Canyon. With its darker canyon walls, falling sands, and light beams shining through the dusty air, the Upper canyon has been the more popular of the two slot canyons.

Until even just a year or two ago, Lower Antelope Canyon had the reputation of being the canyon to visit if you wanted smaller crowds of people. Not so, not anymore. Now, Lower Antelope Canyon is just as busy as Upper Antelope Canyon. Why? A tour of the Lower canyon is considerably cheaper, tours run more frequently, and some people say that it is more fun, with narrow passageways to squeeze through and ladders to climb.

How to Visit Lower Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon can only be visited on a tour. There are several companies offering tours into the canyon. The general tour lasts one hour.

In 2018, it costs $40 per person for this tour, plus an additional $8 for the Navajo Park Permit Fee.

There are two tour companies that run tours into Lower Antelope Canyon: Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis’ Tours. We chose Ken’s Tours. Both companies run tours every 30 minutes, with approximately 15 people per group. That is 30 people every 30 minutes and the canyon can fill up fast. Even if you reserve a 1 pm time slot, your tour group could end up waiting up to one to three hours to enter the canyon, especially during the peak summer months.


Update for 2018: In January 2018, I spoke with the staff at Ken’s Tours. Since December 2017, both Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis’ Tours are offering fewer tours per day to cut down on waiting times to enter Lower Antelope Canyon. They anticipate waiting times of no longer than 30 minutes to enter the canyon (as opposed to 1 to 3 hours) for summer 2018. Only time will tell if this will happen. This also means that fewer tours are offered daily. Now it is more important then ever to book your tour in advance.


You should book your tickets in advance online. This is recommended especially during peak season. Midday is the most popular time to visit Antelope Canyon because the lighting is the best at this time. If you don’t mind sacrificing ideal lighting to avoid the worst of the crowds, go early or go late in the afternoon.

The option to take a photography tour is over. This is also a new change for 2018. Lower Slot Canyon has become so popular that the tour operators can no longer offer general tours and photography tours. If a photography tour is something that you really want to do, they are still being offered at Upper Antelope Canyon.

 

Our Experience

Tim and I visited Lower Antelope Canyon in early May 2017. We took the 10:20 am general tour with Ken’s Tours. Crowds were relatively low, but we still had to wait about 10 to 15 minutes to enter the canyon. Once inside, guides kept ushering us through, keeping the groups on schedule, in order to avoid bottlenecks and longer waits for tour groups later in the day.

Even though we felt a little rushed, Lower Antelope Canyon is fun to visit. It’s narrow at the bottom, with ladders to climb and narrow passageways to squeeze through. This canyon is shallower and brighter than Upper Antelope Canyon. Light beams are unusual here, but we got lucky and were able to see a few.

Lower Antelope Canyon in Photos

Here’s a tour through Lower Antelope Canyon in photos. Enjoy!

Walking to the entrance of the canyon.

Entrance to Lower Antelope Canyon

First Ladders

From the very start, the views are amazing.

Look Up

Lower Antelope Canyon Arizona

Touring the canyon with a large group of people is almost unavoidable, especially during peak hours.

More Crowds

Just don’t forget to look up.

Looking Up

Photographing Antelope Canyon

Canyon Photography

A photography tour of the canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon Crowds

Here is one of several ladders to climb.

Antelope Canyon Ladders

At times, the canyon gets very narrow. For some, that can be fun. If you suffer from claustrophobia, maybe not so fun.

Canyon Walls

Narrow passage

Tim Rivenbark

Canyon Colors

Another Ladder

We did get lucky and saw a few light beams.

Light Beam

Our guide, Boo, and the last ladders of Lower Antelope Canyon.

Our Guide

Tim emerging from the canyon.

Emerging from Antelope Canyon

How to Have the Best Experience

To avoid the crowds, visit during the shoulder or off-season months. Summer is the most popular time to visit Antelope Canyon and midday is the busiest time of day. We heard horror stories of people waiting an hour or longer in the hot sun just to enter the slot canyon. Although the lighting may not be ideal, go early or go late to miss the worst of the crowds.

Book your tour in advance. You can schedule your tour weeks, even months, before your visit to Page, Arizona. If you are visiting during the peak seasons of summer and winter break, book your tour at least one month prior to your visit.

Handheld photography only. Tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed in the canyon.

Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon? If you only have time for one slot canyon, which one should you choose? Read our detailed post about the good and the bad of visiting each of these canyons.

Post updated May 2018.


Have you visited Lower Antelope Canyon? Comment below about your experience!

Lower Antelope Canyon in Photos

Comments 8

  1. Hi! First of all I love your pictures and your blog! But I was wondering how child friendly the canyons are? And the hikes? Mine is 12 so I’m wondering if this is doable or if it’s more a grown up thing?

    1. Post
      Author

      A 12 year old would love this!! I think that Lower Antelope Canyon would be a little more fun for kids that the Upper Canyon. The Lower Canyon is a narrower canyon with ladders, as you can see in the photos. This whole area (Arizona, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, and the parks in Utah) is a great place to visit with a 12 year old. If you haven’t seen it and want more ideas, check out our American Southwest itinerary. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi Julie,

    Appreciate your response in this!!

    My wife and I are planning to visit Antelope through a tour operator from Las Vegas (1 day tour) on Memorial weekend 2018. Am an amateur photographer and wants to take beautiful pics of antelopes without a people.

    Now, please suggest me which antelope I can visit (Lower or Upper).

    Note – Am planning to go through general tour not a photographic tour which is sold out . So please consider the lighting availability in antelopes and suggest me as i cant carry tripod.

    1. Post
      Author

      All of our photos of lower antelope canyon (on this post) were taken on a general tour with hand held photography, so you can get an idea of what you will see. My advice is to be the last in your group so you can take photos of the canyon without people in it. This doesn’t always work but it’s your best option to take photos without people. Also, don’t forget to look up…some of the best views are looking up at the canyon walls. Ask your guide where to take photos and they can help you with camera settings. I think it’s a little easier to take photos of lower antelope canyon because it is brighter. But both are gorgeous…take a look at both of our pics and use that to decide where to go. The best time for photography is between 10 am and 2 pm. Cheers, Julie

      1. Thanks so much for all the info. I already booked the tour, however in the info the tour company sent me they say no tripods, no gimbals, etc… and in your pictures I see tripods…were allow at that time?

        1. Post
          Author

          In that photo (which was taken in 2017), those people were on a photography tour, which is no longer allowed in the canyon. So no tripods, self sticks, etc. Cheers, Julie

  3. As a geologist, Antelope Canyon has always been on my bucket list. I hope to visit during my student’s spring break of 2019 (mid march). Would that time of year interfere with lighting in the upper canyon? From your fantastic photos, it looks like the lower canyon might be a better idea for me anyhow. The sunbeams and falling sand do not intrigue me anywhere as much as the layers and erosion patterns. I would love your input.
    Thanks,
    Chris Balsley

    1. Post
      Author

      In mid-March, the sun will be a little lower in the sky, but for Lower Antelope Canyon I do not think this is a big deal, since it is wider at the top and brighter than Upper AC. Schedule your visit midday for the best lighting conditions and keep your fingers crossed that waits aren’t long to enter the canyon. The guides will rush you through the canyon, but we lingered at the back of the group to get these photos without people in them. We got scolded a few times but it was worth it. 🙂 Enjoy! Cheers, Julie

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