We recently traveled to Arizona and tried all of the Antelope Canyon tours, including the two main sections: Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon. This is our complete review from the Lower Antelope Canyon.
If you haven’t heard of Antelope Canyon, it’s a narrow passage in the desert with smooth, flowing curves of orange and purple sandstone. This chamber was carved by wind and water over the course of many years, leaving the beautiful slot canyon you can see today.
One important thing to note is that Antelope Canyon is located on the Navajo Nation, so unfortunately the only way to visit it is with a tour and a local Navajo guide. However, since this place has become such a popular bucket list item nowadays, the tour system is basically needed anyway for crowd control.
In this review of the Lower Antelope Canyon, I’ll share my experiences and photos from our tour, and then I’ll explain the best time to visit, and everything else you need to know before you go!
Best Lower Antelope Canyon Tours
We booked our Lower Antelope Canyon tour with GetYourGuide and had a great experience. The price includes your entry tickets and a Navajo local guide. Everything was communicated clearly by email, and they have a refund policy if you need to cancel in advance.
They also have tours for Upper Antelope Canyon, Antelope X, and some of the specialized canyons in the same area that get less visitor traffic than the main canyons.
We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!
Book Now: Lower Antelope Canyon Tour
Lower Antelope Canyon Review: What To Expect On The Tour
The Lower Antelope Canyon tour takes you through a slot canyon that is below ground.
This involves a short, sandy walk to get to the slot, a climb down some metal stairs, a single file tour through the slot at a relaxed pace, and then a climb up some stairs to go back to the starting point.
When we started the tour, they first had us sit and watch a short Navajo tribal dance that was included for free as part of our experience. This was an added bonus and tips are optional. They didn’t ask us to pay anything.
After watching the Navajo dance, we followed our guide and walked about 10 minutes through the desert to get to the slot entrance. It’s a short walk, but the heat can be intense. The sooner you get inside the slot the better, because the temps are much cooler!
Before you enter the canyon it hardly looks like anything from above, just a crack in the ground, but as soon as you get inside you’re blown away by the perfectly smooth, wavy walls and the colorful sandstone.
It looks just as good as the pictures. Our Navajo guide pointed out a bunch of different rock formations with unique shapes, including a dragon, an eagle, and a tribal chief.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say the Lower Antelope Canyon tours are always crowded. Very crowded. There’s no way to escape it unless you go in the off season, and even then there are no guarantees. More on that later.
In spite of the crowds, we were still able to enjoy the scenery. We spent almost 1 hour inside the slot canyon and took lots of great pictures with no one else in them, so it didn’t ruin the experience for us.
In the same week we also visited the Upper Antelope Canyon, and it was much more rushed and hectic than the Lower Canyon, so we barely got to take any photos. Overall, the Lower Canyon was a far better experience for us.
Best Time To Visit Lower Antelope Canyon
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to avoid the crowds and heat, the best time to go is from November to March. However, the most spectacular lighting is arguably in the summer.
Compared to the Upper Canyon, this one has a wider ceiling and it gets a lot more ambient light from the sun, so the best time of day to visit it is actually in the morning or late afternoon, when there’s not too much light.
However, we went to Lower Canyon in the middle of the day and I have to say most parts of the canyon were still very nice even at that time, so don’t write off a midday visit completely. If you’re not a pro photographer, you might not really notice the difference.
Is The Tour Worth It?
Yes, the Lower Canyon is definitely worth it for the scenery even though the crowds dampen the experience a bit. This is undoubtedly one of the most unique and beautiful slot canyons in the United States.
The price for the tour is not exactly cheap, but it’s still quite a bit more affordable than the Upper Antelope Canyon, which can be as high as $150 USD per person during the summer season. It’s also a better value overall since the tour isn’t as rushed.
Lower vs Upper Antelope Canyon: Which Is Best?
So which Antelope Canyon is best — Upper or Lower? That’s a good question.
We tried all of the Antelope Canyon tours over the course of a week, and I have to admit we liked the Upper Canyon the least, although it was still amazing to see.
Upper Antelope Canyon is mainly known for its dramatic light beams, which can be seen in the summer months when the sun is high in the sky. If you aren’t interested in the sunbeams, then the Lower Canyon is better in most ways.
Compared to Upper Antelope, the Lower Canyon tour is longer, more relaxed, and more fun, in my opinion. It’s also cheaper and easier to get a spot in the Lower Canyon since they run more tours every day. The scenery is pretty comparable between the two.
If you want to escape the crowds, however, the very best place to go is Antelope Canyon X. This is a new section of the canyon that’s only been open to the public for just a few years, so it’s much less crowded and touristy compared to the main canyons.
If you’re interested, I wrote a complete review comparing all of the Antelope Canyon tours to each other (Upper, Lower, and X) in terms of photography, crowds, fun, access, prices, and availability. You can check it out in the link below!
Read More: Antelope Canyon Comparison (Upper vs Lower vs X)
What To Do On The Tour (And What NOT To Do)
- What To Bring: A driver’s license or other ID, such as a passport, for check in. It’s highly recommended to wear a hat and sunscreen too. During the tour, you can bring a water bottle, and a camera or phone for taking pictures.
- What NOT To Bring: You can’t bring pets, bags, backpacks, strollers, drones, canes, umbrellas, hiking sticks, selfie sticks, or tripods. They don’t allow bags of any kind in the canyon. Not even a small camera bag or fanny pack. You’ll have to leave these in your car at the parking lot. These are the same rules they have for all of the Navajo Nation slot canyons.
- What NOT To Do: They don’t allow smoking, climbing, writing, flash photography, or video recording on the Lower Antelope Canyon tours. Non-flash photos are fine, and you can take as many as you want, although they don’t allow you to take pictures on the stairs.
Other Tips For The Lower Antelope Canyon Tour
- Bathrooms: There are toilets at the office before you start the tour, but no bathrooms during the tour, so you’ll want to take care of business before you start.
- When To Book: In general, getting a spot in Lower Antelope isn’t quite as hard as the Upper Canyon, but it’s still a good idea to make a reservation at least 2 to 4 weeks in advance, especially during the spring and summer months.
- Time Zones: There are multiple time zones used in this part of Arizona, which can get confusing, and it sometimes causes people to show up at the wrong time for their tour of Antelope Canyon. This is because the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving Time, but the rest of Arizona does not. Your phone may also switch time zones automatically while driving around in the state. However, the important thing to remember is that the Antelope Canyon tour companies all operate in the same time zone as Page, Arizona. You’ll want to set your clocks to Page, AZ local time, and make sure that’s when you show up.
- How Early To Arrive: We were told to arrive 45 minutes early for check in, but you should double check this after booking your tour. The Navajos are usually pretty strict about tardiness, and you wouldn’t want to miss your tour.
- How To Get There: The address where you’ll start and end the tour is Indian Rte 222, Page, AZ 86040, USA (click for map). It’s located right off of Arizona Highway 98, just a 10 minute drive from the town of Page. Again, you’ll want to double check this after booking your tour.
Frequently Asked Questions (Lower Antelope Canyon Review)
- What is the Lower Antelope Canyon?
Lower Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. Together with the Upper Canyon (which is visited by a separate tour), it’s one of the most famous parts of the Antelope canyon complex.
- Why the name? Why is it called Lower Antelope Canyon?
The Upper Canyon is above ground, while the Lower Canyon is below ground. Even though the name ‘Lower’ might give the impression that it’s inferior in some way, rest assured it is not. We actually liked the Lower Canyon more than Upper!
- How far is this from the Upper Antelope Canyon?
Lower and Upper Canyon are very close to each other. In fact, the offices are right across the highway from each other, although to reach the Upper Canyon you have to go off-road in a company truck for about 3 miles (5 km).
Combo tours are available that visit both canyons in a day, but they’re a bit pricey since they include hotel pickup/drop-off and other activities. You can book that here.
- What is the best time of day to see Lower Antelope Canyon?
Honestly, any time of day is good. The best lighting is in the morning or late afternoon, when there’s not too much light, but we went in the middle of the day and it was still very nice. I say do whatever works for you.
- Can you see light beams?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to see light beams in the Lower Antelope Canyon. Those can only be seen at certain times in the Upper Canyon.
- How long does the tour take?
The tour lasts 1.5 hours in total. In our experience, about 1 hour was spent in the actual canyon, while the rest of the time was spent getting instructions and walking to and from the office.
- How hard is the tour?
It’s not a hard tour, and most people can do it. The total walking distance is about 2/3rds of a mile (1 km), and most of it is flat. Getting in and out of the slot requires climbing a slightly steep metal staircase, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. If you can walk up and down a normal staircase, you can do this tour. They don’t rush you through the stairs.
- Is the tour okay for kids?
Yes, the tour is kid friendly and plenty of kids do it every day. Even if your kids are too young to climb the stairway, they do allow you to use a baby carrier in the canyon, although you’ll want to double check this with them after booking.
- Is the tour safe for pregnant women?
The tour companies discourage pregnant women from going on any of the Antelope Canyons, probably for liability reasons, but my wife did it just fine in her second trimester, and I know of pregnant women who have gone even later and had no issues.
I’m not a doctor, but I think the biggest concerns for pregnant women here would be heat, bumpy roads, and the stairways in the canyon. The bumpy road is really not an issue. After you turn off of the highway, you’re on a bumpy road for less than 2 minutes and then you arrive at the office.
The heat is more of a worry, but this is a very short walk and once you get inside the canyon it feels much cooler. Overall, everything was pretty tame in our experience, but you’ll have to make your own decision based on your personal health and fitness, your doctor’s advice, etc.
- Can you visit Lower Antelope Canyon without a tour?
No, unfortunately you can’t go to Lower Antelope Canyon without a tour and a local Navajo guide. They have this same rule for all of the slot canyons located on Navajo land.
- How can I book a Lower Antelope Canyon tour?
You can book a high-rated Lower Antelope Canyon tour on GetYourGuide. This is the same tour company we used, and the price includes your entry ticket and Navajo local guide.
More Slot Canyon Guides
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed our review of the Lower Antelope Canyon tours in Page, Arizona. We really enjoyed seeing this famous icon of the American Southwest.
Don’t forget to check out my complete list of the best slot canyons in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada to see on your road trip as well!