Located about 10 minutes from the city of Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon continues to attract more and more visitors every year.
And who can blame everyone for wanting to visit this magical canyon?
One look at the photos from a tour and you’ll be planning your trip to Page.
Along with visiting Horseshoe Bend, touring Antelope Canyon is one of the main reasons people visit this tiny northern town in Arizona.
While many argue about which is better, Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon, my opinion is that you can’t go wrong with either, because either way, it will be an experience unlike any you’ve had before.
For this post, we’ll be covering visiting Lower Antelope Canyon, since that’s the only one I’ve toured thus far.
Keep reading to learn more about this unique canyon experience!
Note: Antelope Canyon is currently closed. The Navajo Nation Government has closed all Navajo tribal parks until further notice. Here is a link to the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation page where closure updates are located.
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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Lower Antelope Canyon
Visiting Lower Antelope Canyon isn’t something you can do for free at any time you want. Since it is located on Navajo land, you cannot visit it without booking a tour.
The two tour companies for Lower Antelope Canyon are Ken’s Tours and Dixie Ellis Tours. From what I’ve heard, both seem to be great & pretty equivalent.
When I visited, my tour was with Dixie Ellis and I could not have walked away happier with the experience.
Our tour guide, Melanie, was AMAZING. She actually grew up playing in the canyon (before it became famous of course). She told stories of growing up in the area & told us lots of history about the canyon.
Photography was where she really went the extra mile. Melanie gave us tips for photographing Antelope Canyon with our cell phones and DSLR cameras. More on those tips later!
Ken’s advertises their tours to last 45 minutes to 1 hour. Dixie Ellis states their tours are 1 to 1.5 hours. I honestly don’t remember how long our tour lasted because I was so focused on just being in the canyon!
Lower Antelope Canyon Price
When it comes to tour prices, both Ken’s and Dixie Ellis will end up being about the same price. Here’s the breakdown:
Dixie Ellis Tour Prices
Dixie Ellis only offer one kind of tour, with up to 10 people per group.
|Children age 8-12||$28*|
|Toddlers age 4-7||$20*|
|Kids age 3 & younger||Free|
Ken’s Tour Prices
Ken’s offers two tours. The regular tour has up to 10 people in each group, and the deluxe tour has up to 4 people per group.
|Regular Tour Age:||Regular Tour Price|
|Children ages 4-12||$29.20|
|Kids 3 & younger||Free|
|Deluxe Tour Age:||Deluxe Tour Price:|
|Children ages 4-12||$92.80|
|Kids 3 & younger||***|
Many people talk about the heat & drinking plenty of water when touring the canyon during the summer. I can’t speak to that since I visited in February, but I would take their advice since the desert tends to be hot and dry in the summer.
The canyon is very dusty & sandy! Wear appropriate clothing and already have your lens attached to your camera. This canyon is NOT a place you want to be switching out your camera lenses.
What to Wear
No matter how hot it is outside, it will always be cooler inside the canyon. I would bring a jacket to wear if it’s not summertime. I was very glad I wore my pullover. As far as shoes go, tennis shoes will work fine. I wore my Timberland hiking boots because I LOVE them and they are warmer than my tennis shoes.
There are lots of stairs on this tour! Five flights just getting down into the canyon. If you have difficulty with walking or issues with balance, you may want to check out Upper Antelope Canyon instead, as I’ve heard it does not have stairs and you can walk directly into the canyon. Read this article for a comparison of upper vs lower Antelope Canyon.
See the photo below to get a glimpse of the stairs.
What is allowed & not allowed in the canyon
As far as what you can take into the canyon, pretty much just yourself, your phone, a bottle of water and a camera.
Things that are not allowed (for both Dixie and Ken’s): purses, backpacks, fanny packs, hydration packs, tripods, monopods, selfie-sticks, any video recording devices (GoPro), animals, open-toed shoes, high heel shoes, weapons, drones and more.
From the check-in area, once it’s your time, the large group for your selected tour time will be divided into smaller groups of 10.
Your guide will lead you to the entrance of the slot canyon, about a 10-minute walk.
The entire tour takes about 1-1.5 hours and you will walk just a little over one mile.
At the entrance, you’ll descend about 5 flights of metal stairs into the canyon.
These are not the only stairs you’ll find in the canyon. There are a couple more throughout the tour, with some being quite steep and narrow.
Once down inside the canyon, you will be blown away by the beauty that surrounds you!
It’s crazy to think that water flowing through the canyons carved such beautiful towering walls.
As far as telling you what it’s like walking through the tall canyon walls… I’ll let these pictures of Lower Antelope Canyon give you a glimpse of what it’s like.
- If shooting with an iPhone, change your settings to vivid warm, this will help bring out the orange colors of the canyon; use your HDR setting as well if you have one (see below as to why)
- When shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, change your settings to cloudy
- Remember you will be shooting dark shadows with bright highlights; this makes things difficult when trying to include the sky in photos; I prefer to err on the side of darker (underexposed) than brighter (overexposed), as you can always lighten the shadows in post; this is where the HDR mode on your phone will come in handy! It will tone down the highlights and lighten up the shadows a bit.
- Try the vertical panoramic: put your cell phone in panoramic mode, turn your phone sideways, start the panoramic at the ground and move up towards the sky (shout out to Melanie our tour guide for showing us this trick and doing it for every single person in our group!)
- Figure out your ISO before you go. You won’t be able to use a tripod on this tour, so you won’t be able to use a long shutter speed. Figure out how high you can get your ISO before you start to lose image quality. I try not to go above ISO 400.
- Bring a wide-angle zoom lens. I used my Sigma 24-105 and it worked perfectly! If you don’t have a good wide-angle zoom, just bring the widest lens you have, you can always crop it later.
- Don’t forget to zoom in and capture the texture of the canyon walls!
- Make sure you have plenty of space on your memory card. Kind of a no-brainer but it never hurts to be reminded
- Take a ton of photos with different settings & exposure! This is not something you get to see every day. While you should remember to enjoy it with your own eyes, take plenty of pics so you can remember it for years to come.
Other Nearby Attractions
Don’t forget that Page isn’t too far from the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Monument Valley. Page is super easy to add to a Utah National Park road trip too. Read my post about things you can’t miss on a Utah National Park Road Trip for more inspiration.
Hope you enjoyed reading & that this post helps prepare you to visit Lower Antelope Canyon! If you’ve visited other slot canyons in Utah or Arizona, drop me a line in the comments and let me know your recommendations!