Lower Antelope Canyon

Round Trip Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3762 - 3989 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Kens Tours
Fee: $8 tribal fee - $20/person (varies)
Attractions: Very scenic slot canyon

Antelope Canyon is located in the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park near Page, Arizona. The canyon is divided into Upper Antelope Canyon, on the south side of Highway 98, and Lower Antelope Canyon, on the north side of the highway. Both canyons are famous for their natural beauty and picture taking opportunities and thus receive tens of thousands of visitors from around the world every year. The canyons can only be visited by booking a tour from an authorized Navajo guide. For this post we booked our tour of Lower Antelope Canyon in advance with Kens Tours. Advanced reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak tourist times, to insure availability for a particular date and time.

To get to Lower Antelope Canyon drive about 5 miles east of Page, Arizona on Highway 98. Turn left on the Antelope Point Road and follow it a short distance to the parking area. Tours begin every 20 minutes at Lower Antelope Canyon making it much easier for walkins. Even so it is best to make a reservation if possible.

At the start of each tour the group will walk together the quarter mile or so to where it enters the canyon.

The canyon is entered by descending a series of ladders that include handrails and are well anchored to the walls of the canyon. For those in good health the ladders add to the adventure while others will have to be sure to take them into consideration before going on the tour. The tour guides will give you all the time you need to get down the steps into the canyon.

Visitors will be in total awe as soon as setting foot in the majestic confines of Lower Antelope Canyon where the sandstone walls have been sculpted and polished into crooked passage ways with gargoyle like protrusions overhead.

Lower Antelope Canyon differs from the Upper in that it is V-shaped compared to the upper canyon which is A-shaped. The wider top of the canyon allows much more sunlight to enter which makes it a lot easier to take a descent picture.

As the tour continues through the narrow canyon there are an occasional ladder to climb. Where the descent into the canyon came all at once the climb out occurs a little at a time as you travel through the canyon.

There probably isn't any point in the canyon where something doesn't catch your eye and entice you to take a picture. We took almost 900 on our visit. Also note that unless you are on a photographers tour that tripods and monopods are not allowed.

Even if snapping pictures isn't your cup of tea you are sure to enjoy the narrow passages that make slot canyons such an attraction.

The guides are more than glad to help you with your camera and even take a picture for you or of you. Be sure to give them at least a $5 or $10 tip at the end of the tour.

Two short flights of steps lead the tour out of the upper end of the canyon and into the wash just below the parking area.

A monument near the parking area serves as a memorial to eleven people that lost their lives while in the canyon during a flash flood on August 12, 1997. The canyon can become full to the brim during such events. Just 2 days before our tour the rain had filled the canyon up to the halfway point. After such events they must send a crew into the canyon to clean it and relevel the sandy floor. Since the weather is unpredictable visitors aren't expected to pay for their tour until they arrive and it is certain that it won't be cancelled. Lower Antelope Canyon costs half as much to tour as Upper Antelope Canyon and if you are like us you might just find it the more enjoyable of the pair. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.