Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Fantastic.  Surreal.  Magical.  
I could go on and evidenced by the photos below, just a fraction of the ones I actually took.  But I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  

Antelope Canyon has been on my bucket list for years.  Back when it first appeared on my radar, every German traveler I met was like, "Yeah, I've been to Antelope Canyon" and all my Arizona friends were like, "What's Antelope Canyon?"  Its fame seems to have spread a bit.  And now, I finally made it.  So worth it.

If you go:
-Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons are separate tours of separate parts of the canyon.  Many sources say that if you're only going to one, go to Lower.  I have not been to Upper, so I can't personally compare.  

-You have to go with a tour.  Currently, two companies do tours at Lower Antelope Canyon:  Ken's Tours and Dixie Ellis' Tours.  I went with Ken's Tours and was satisfied.

-Reserve ahead.  You may luck into a spot if you just show up, but it will likely involve long lines, waiting around, and chance.  Reservations can be made online, but you'll only pay when you get there. 

-Tours are on the expensive side  Mine was $50 including tax and the $8 Navaho Park Permit Fee, which must be paid in cash.  You may also want to tip the guide.

-According to the rules, you can't take in purses, other bags, or backpacks (except small camelbaks).  Just take a bottle of water and your camera (tripods not allowed).  In reality, they let some people in with small bags.

-Your tour may be cancelled due to flash flood danger during monsoon season (roughly July-August).  Don't protest.  Flash floods here mean death.  

-Tour and check-in times are in Arizona time, though your cell phone may be confused and give you Utah time.  Set your phone manually to Phoenix, Arizona time.  Or use an actual watch.  

-Read the tour website for other important information.         

-Enjoy this wonderful experience!


After you do this tour, if you're hungering for more slot canyons, bring your kayak or other small watercraft or rent one from Antelope Point Marina (reasonable rates) and paddle up Antelope Canyon as far as you can go.  I have no pictures of this because I didn't want to risk my camera getting tipped into the lake (we have a tippy old canoe and I'm rather attached to my camera), but it's beautiful:  twisty narrowing passage, tall, sheer walls, beautiful reflections.  

At the end, beach your kayak and hike further up.  You may have to brave some truly serious mud at first, but it's worth it.  The canyon narrows into something not as impressive as your Lower Antelope Canyon tour but still very cool.  And you may have it almost to yourself.  Take your time and really soak it in.  Again, do not attempt this in monsoon season or if it's been raining in the surrounding area.  Flash floods can be deadly.  And take your camera.  I certainly will next time.        


  1. Wow, so gorgeous (ugh, puns)!!! Was it claustrophobic?

  2. Punny! I didn't find it claustrophobic, but some people might. I've also seen pictures of slot canyons that are much more narrow, and especially if you have too many people around you, claustrophobia might be an issue. But I want to visit more!