Lower Antelope Canyon’s copper-colored walls twisted around me in uncalculated patterns, and my feet – covered in a chalky gold dust – were taking me further away from the sunlight, and deeper into a sea of crevasses. As I descended below ground, one (terrifyingly small) step after another, I was convinced we’d left planet Earth.
While it feels much more Mars than middle America, Lower Antelope Canyon is a quick, easy, and unforgettable adventure in Page, Arizona. It’s a little over two hours from the Grand Canyon, and an easy stop on the way to Zion or back to Las Vegas. But when I say “quick and easy,” I’m not talking about the hike itself. Oh no. While it’s absolutely doable, Lower Antelope Canyon is a tougher trek than its neighbor Upper Antelope Canyon – but the unusual, lesser-known spot is well worth the effort. If you’re planning a trip out to Lower Antelope Canyon, here are 9 things to keep in mind before you go.
Seriously, so dusty. I was planning to wear my white Converses, but thankfully had my dust-filled running shoes on hand, because the second I saw the ground we were walking on, I knew my Chucks would be ruined. Plan ahead and bring dark footwear like hiking boots or running shoes.
THE STAIRS ARE STEEP
To get into Lower Antelope Canyon, you have to descend multiple sets of stairs – and the steps on these stairs can get pretty narrow. There’s really no fix for this, so if you’re terrified of heights and have poor balance, you may want to consider the more easily accessible Upper Antelope Canyon.
SUNBEAMS HIT MID-MORNING
It’s rare to see sunbeams in Lower Antelope Canyon – that’s Upper’s claim to fame – but I’m living proof it can be done! If you visit between 9:30 and 11 a.m., you have a decent shot at seeing those beams – and let me tell you, it’s absolutely worth waking up early.
PREPARE TO PHOTO BINGE
It’s impossible not to take a ton of photos. I took double the amount of photos I planned to, and even then felt I needed more. #TravelProblems. Bring extra memory cards, and if you’re using a smartphone, download the Cortex Cam app. It slows down your shutter speed so you can get really get some interesting, more professional-looking photos – right on your phone!
BRING CASH WITH YOU
You can purchase your tickets with a card on-site, but there’s a cash-only entrance fee (about $8/person) to park, and you’ll want to tip your guide after the tour. Speaking of that…
LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON IS A GUIDE-ONLY TOUR
You must go with a professional guide, because the canyons got too dangerous for tourists to go in alone. I’m talking flash floods and deaths. We went with Dixie Ellis and they were great!
PACK WATER – ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER
We had the good fortune of visiting Lower Antelope Canyon during record-breaking heat (ouch), and were extremely grateful to have packed water for the 1.5-hour hike. Once you’re in the canyon, it’s cool and comfortable, but woof, can that sunny hike out get hot.
Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding the crowds. Lower Antelope Canyon is less crowded than Upper, but visitors flock to both places. The stairs get a little backed up during late morning to early afternoon hours, particularly in the summer. Once you’re in the canyon, crowds ease up, so you’ll still get plenty of stranger-free shots. (Even if you get yelled at to “keep moving” a few times … like me … always.)
RENT A CAR
While tour buses will take you out here, a rental car gives you the freedom to check out more unusual spots surrounding the canyon, including downtown Page for lunch and Horseshoe Bend for even more incredible photography. It’s just down the road, and very worth the side trip!
While the canyon’s coordinates may say Page, Arizona, with the twists, bends, colors and unreal photography, Lower Antelope Canyon is truly out of this world!
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Lower Antelope Canyon. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
Want to share your own travel tips by guest writing for We Are Travel Girls? Go to our Contribute page for guidelines and to submit your article.
Read More About Antelope Canyon
- How To Kayak & Paddleboard Antelope Canyon
- How To Take Stunning Photos At Antelope Canyon
- A Guide To Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and The Grand Canyon
We Are Travel Girls Contributor Stephanie Vermillion of TheWanderlostWay.com
Connect with Stephanie Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest
Pin For Later
Vanessa Rivers says
Wow! Antelope Canyon is stunning! I have to see this for myself when I move back to the US!
Alley Keosheyan says
These are awesome tips for seeing Lower Antelope Canyon! If you ever get a chance to come back to this area, there are tours available to other slot canyon that offer all the beauty of Antelope Canyon, without the crowds. http://antelopecanyon.az/antelope-canyon-alternative-tours/
Take care and happy traveling!
We Are Travel Girls says
Thanks for reading and commenting Alley, and thank you for the tips!
Ruby D Richards says
I went last month. I did not find the stairs to be as daunting as described. I’m 62 and had no problem negotiating the stairs. This is an amazing place and if at all possible get it on your bucket list. We also went to Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon. don’t let anyone talk you out of going to the North Rim. It is NOT a disappointment as we were told by several people We had been to the South Rim several times but truly, the North Rim is just as, if not more, amazing.
We Are Travel Girls says
Hi Ruby – thank you so much for reading and sharing your own tips for visiting this area! Its great to hear that you found stairs relatively easy, I am sure many of our readers will be grateful to hear that! Thanks for visiting our site! XO, Becky
Hi Travel Girls
1. After reading lots of posts I am still confused as to taking the tour or just the guide at the entrance of the lower and upper antelope canyons.
2. The tour is per person cost. Is the guide at the park also per person or one price for a family of four?
Consider that we are going in Nov –around 19th ..i hope its an offseason
You girls are awesome !!!
I stumbled to the blog on a last minute search. Really appreciate the tips to cover this region.
From a unplanned detour, the Lower Antelope Canyon became one of the highlights of the entire trip. Will definitely start with this blog for my next travel plans !!