Julie United States 26 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 few years 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.

It costs $50 per person for this tour, plus taxes, service charges, and an additional $8 for the Navajo Park Permit Fee. Your grand total for an adult is $64.66.

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 10 to 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 in line to enter the canyon, especially during the peak summer months.

Book your tickets online in advance! 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 was a new change in 2018. Lower Slot Canyon has become so popular that the tour operators can no longer offer general tours and photography tours.

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. Photography tours are no longer offered in Lower Antelope 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. I recommend making your reservation as soon as you start planning your trip. Some of our readers mentioned tours being sold out months in advance. If you are visiting during the peak seasons of summer and winter break, book your tour at least three months 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.

See Upper Antelope Canyon in Photos:  Upper Antelope Canyon: A Journey in Photos

Tours of Antelope Canyon

If you are unable to purchase tickets on the websites listed above, you can also purchase your ticket through GetYourGuide or join one of the tours below. 


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

More Information about the American Southwest

Lower Antelope Canyon in Photos


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Comments 26

  1. Avatar for Brenda K
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      In general, midday (between 10 am and 2 pm) is the best time to take photos, when the sun is highest in the sky. For a narrower time windown, you could call or email the tour operators because they would be the best to know when the lighting is best month by month. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Jann

    Hi Julie,
    I booked Lower Antelope Canyon at 10:15am -11:15am with Dixie Tours and Upper Antelope Canyon at 12pm with Antelope Canyon Tours. I booked first the Upper before i saw that Dixie who offers both. Do u think i wont have problems making it to my Upper Antelope Canyon Tour? Would appreciate your advise. Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      With 45 minutes between tours, you might make it, but I think it’s risky. If the Lower AC tours aren’t running on time (which sometimes they don’t) you could potentially be late to your second tour. I recommend rescheduling the Upper tour later in the day or use Dixie for both (if one is late they should still be able to honor your second tour time). Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Lashawna F brady
    Lashawna F brady

    I planning to come mid July 2021. Do you think the canyons will be open for tours due to Covid?(i have to book hotel and plan). Thanks

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I really don’t know if they will be open in July. Today, the Navajo Nation website states that they are closed until further notice and Antelope Canyon is on Navajo Nation land. So, you will be taking a chance that they open by July. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Patricia Loftis
  5. Avatar for Susan Federspiel
    Susan Federspiel

    Hi Julie, I am an amateur photographer and will be visiting Antelope Canyon in late March. I would like to know what to expect. Can you really see the purples and blues that I see in many images or are they brought out in post processing? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      All the colors that you see in our photos are real. Nothing has been added and I did not do anything to change the hue of the photographs. I did increase the saturation post-processing so that the photographs pop, but I did not alter the colors. You will see more purples and blues in lower light and more yellows and light orange in the brighter spots in the canyon. Now I can only speak for my photos, of course. It’s a very cool experience…have fun! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Susan Federspiel
        1. Avatar for Mellie

          Make sure you go to Horseshoe Bend. It was gorgeous. You wight want to take a wide angle lens because it’s so big. It’s a little bit of a hole from the parking lot to the bend but it’s worth it. Be careful Don’t get too close to the edge while you are taking your picture. Watch your kids. Have fun! 😀😀

    2. Avatar for Mellie

      Hi Susan:
      I went on the tour of the Upper Canyon. It was absolutely beautiful. I would like to see the lower Canyon next time. Be forewarned those pictures are miss leading. You can not bring a tripod into the Canyon. You are barely able to take pictures with your camera in your hand. They hurry you though the area. Some times the tour guide would take the camera from your hand and take the picture for your so you would hurry up. I did manage to take some great pictures but wished that I had more time to appreciate the Antelope cannon beauty. The area is so crowded because you are going into the Canyon while another group is exiting. I found there many times I was pushed against the wall and it was hard to take pictures without getting other tour’s head in my picture. I am not trying to discourage you from going on this trip but only preparing you. My problem might have been because I went during the summer so there was so many tourist. I am glad that I went on this tour. I hope you have a wonderful time.

  6. Avatar for Michelle Fontaine
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      It will be chilly/cold. Temps can average somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, if I remember correctly, although it can get much colder than that in December. Lighting isn’t great, since the sun sits so low on the horizon, so it’s very important to get a midday tour if possible. Even though lighting is not ideal, it will still be gorgeous inside the canyon and well worth it. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for MIKE SHARINN
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I use a 24-70. It would be worth it to bring something wider, maybe not so much for Antelope Canyon but it would be great for the Grand Canyon. If you go to Horseshoe Bend, you will need a lens wider that 24mm to capture the entire width of it (I ended up borrowing someone’s lens while we were there). Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Barbie

    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. Avatar for Julie Post

      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

  9. Avatar for Shan

    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. Avatar for Julie Post

      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. Avatar for Gustavo García Santa Cruz
        Gustavo García Santa Cruz

        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. Avatar for Julie Post

          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

  10. Avatar for Chris Balsley
    Chris Balsley

    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.
    Chris Balsley

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      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

      1. Avatar for vic little
        vic little

        SO, do I understand you correct??? After reading your blog. I am NOW booking our tours for spring break 2019…way late. Got the Upper all set at 10.30…Are you saying that I should be going later in the day to get the best sun pics through the openings?? Now, going to try for the Lower ones. Ken’s only says it is 1 hour..doesn’t seem long enough..

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          10:30 is a good time to visit Upper Antelope Canyon. The best time is between 10:30 and 1 pm. Ideally, if you can get into Lower Antelope Canyon between 2 and 3 pm you’ll get great lighting for both. Cheers, Julie

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