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Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
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Lower Antelope Canyon is located across the highway and a few miles down the wash from Upper Antelope Canyon. It seems that a few years ago Lower Antelope was an undiscovered location and much less crowded and hurried than Upper Antelope. That appears to no longer be the case. The tours for Lower Antelope seem just as full, and the crowd control in the canyon is, if anything, worse than it is in Upper Antelope. But don't let that deter you from seeing this wonder of nature on a quality photo tour. Tripods are allowed (and necessary) on a photo tour, and the tour size is considerably smaller than on a standard tour.

Unlike Upper Antelope, which is a ground-level hike with the canyon walls rising up above the base trail, Lower Antelope is a huge crack in the ground that must be entered and exited via a series of ladders. It is somewhat darker than Upper Antelope, and at the correct times of the day it also has the beams of light that create magical and evocative photographs. A good tour guide will manage the crowds who are doing the standard sightseeing tour and give people on the photography tour some alone time in the various rooms.

Lower Antelope Canyon has been open for tours by the Navajo tour companies since 1997. It was not long after it opened that a significant flash flood killed 11 people in the canyon who had not been notified of the flood alert. Only the tour guide survived, and he was recovered several miles downstream in Lake Powell. It is hard to imagine being washed down a canyon like this in a torrent of water and debris. The walls of the Antelope Canyons were formed by flash floods that have periodically scoured the walls with a thick, sandy soup over millions of years. The result is a hauntingly beautiful and unique rock formation that we can visit today.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Other

Pros

Beautiful slot canyon. Unique geology.

Cons

Very crowded. Very narrow passages.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Colorado River Grand Canyon, Arizona
Colorado River Grand Canyon, Arizona
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Comments

I was at both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons over the Christmas break and it is one of the wonders of nature that one should not miss. Granted it is crowded, but it is well worth the hype. One important thing to keep in mind is to go when the lighting is good ( mid day is optimal) to enjoy it to the fullest. If you go on a cloudy day or by the time sun is setting ( evening tours) it is futile. And these tours are not cheap also. So to get your monies worth you have to go in the afternoon.
03/03/2018
Do you have to go with a tour guide on Lower Antelope Canyon trail as you do Upper Antelope Canyon?
10/20/2015
I love lower Antelope, but now I don't go anymore as the crowds are difficult to work around. I don't care for the tossing of the sand to exaggerate the "rays" since our cameras are sensitive to dust, but at least in Upper Antelope Canyon it's possible to photograph above the heads of the other visitors and still get a great photo. There are lots of slots in the Southwest and 2011 was my last workshop in Antelope, just too crowded. But here's a terrific, IMHO, photo from that day. My suggestion is to hit the canyons in the late fall or early winter, on a Monday or Tuesday.
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