Walking through the narrow slot of Lower Antelope Canyon is surreal. From the glowing orange walls and the deep purples of the shadows, it’s a site everyone should visit. But there are some nuances you should know about to get the most out of your visit.
Here’s your guide to planning a visit to Lower Antelope Canyon near Lake Powell in northern Arizona.
How to Book Your Tour
My first visit to Lower Antelope Canyon was part of a photography workshop around Lake Powell. Since that tour was organized for a group of photographers, we were able to bring our tripods into the canyon and spend twice as long photographing the slot canyon walls. However, a general tour does not allow tripods or monopods, and some even limit it to one camera per person.
If you want to book your tour in advance, you can do so at either Ken’s Tours or Dixie Ellis’ Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon. Each company offers different tour packages. Find the one that’s right for you.
You aren’t required to book your tour online in advance. But if it’s peak summer season, you may want to book ahead to guarantee your tour. Either way, you will be required to pay the $8 Navajo Park fee on-site and in cash. That is a per-person fee. We made the mistake of not bringing cash with us and we had to drive back to Page, Arizona to pull some out of an ATM. Save time; bring cash!
Getting to Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon is roughly four miles east of Page, Arizona. Highway 98 runs east-west, south of the city. You can access it from Highway 89, or just head south from any spot in Page.
Once you get on Highway 98, head east for about four miles. You’ll turn left on to Route 222, following the signs to the Navajo Tribal Park. Both tour groups’ buildings are located west, off of Route 222. Turn down the dirt road and park where available. Each building has a ticket window, which is where you check in for your tour time, or schedule yourself on the next available tour group.
What to Expect on Your Tour
The tour group will gather inside or near the building. Your tour guide will introduce himself or herself, and outline a few rules for the tour. After that’s done, the group will head to the entrance of the narrow slot canyon.
The roughly one-mile hike includes areas of deep sand, rough terrain and some steep metal staircases and ladders. While there are handrails, the tour is prohibited for people with limited mobility. Pregnant women are strongly discouraged because of the nature of the trail.
Once you descend into the canyon, the floor is deep sand. At some points, the canyon is no more than a couple feet wide. So if narrow spaces aren’t your thing, you may want to pass on taking the tour. The guide will stop you at various locations to share some history about the canyon. Your guide may also be willing to snap a few photos of you and your group.
Don try to rush getting from one spot to the next. Because when you reach the end, you’ll wish you would’ve been able to spend more time in the canyon.
As you ascend up and out of the canyon, you’ll head back to the building and conclude your tour. The guides may invite you to give them a tip, so if you have a few extra dollars with you, be sure to tip your guide to the level of fun they gave you on the tour.
A Few Photography Tips
During a regular tour, you won’t be allowed a tripod or monopod. If you want to try and capture some nice photos, here are a few tips:
- Set your ISO as high as you can without getting grain.
- Lean up against something so you can try to keep the camera as still as possible.
- Keep the shutter speed as fast as the low light will allow.
- A wide aperture will narrow your depth of field (area that’s in or out of focus), but will allow a faster shutter speed to reduce motion blur.
You’ll have to do the best you can, so know your camera and be quick on adjusting your settings. Do NOT try to change a lens in the canyon. There’s often blowing sand and a little sand may cause a big problem for the insides of your camera.
While you’re in the area, Horseshoe Bend, located just southwest of Page, is great for sunrise or sunset photos.
If you like picturesque slot canyons, check out The Subway in Zion National Park.
Address: Lower Antelope Canyon is located along highway 98, roughly 4 miles east of Page, Arizona.
Cost: The cost varies slightly, depending on which of the two tour companies you go with. The Navajo Park fee is per person and must be paid onsite with cash. Ken’s Tours: Adults (13+): $50.40, which includes the $40 admission, $8 Navajo Park fee and the 6% sales tax. Children (8-12): $29.20, which is $20 admission, $8 Navajo Park fee and 6% sales tax. Children (0-7) are free. Dixie Ellis: Adults (13+): $46.10, which includes the $38.10 admission and $8 Navajo Park fee. Sales tax and online booking convenience fees are additional. Children (8-12): $27.05, which is $19.05 admission and $8 Navajo Park fee. Sales tax and online booking convenience fees are additional. Children (0-7) are free.
Hours: Hours vary a little by season and tour company. Generally, the happen between 8:30-3 p.m. November through February, and 7:30-4 p.m. March through October.
How Long: Each tour lasts about 60 minutes, give or take 15 minutes. You should arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled tour time. So plan on about 1.5 to 2 hours for your visit to Lower Antelope Canyon.
Phone: Ken’s Tours: 928-606-2168 Dixie Ellis: 928-640-1761