A frequently asked question among Page, AZ, visitors is which is tour is better, Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon? While you won’t go wrong touring either slot canyon – or both – a few key facts warrant consideration before booking.
Upper Antelope Canyon is more popular in overall visitation, and for good reason: at a mere 100 yards in length and mostly flat, the slot canyon itself is walkable by the vast majority of tourists, both young and old. A common complaint in recent years is how crowded Upper Antelope Canyon has become. Upper Antelope Canyon is shaped similar to an “A-frame,” with the bedrock in which the canyon was carved being located above-ground. Resembling a cave without a roof, during the late spring through early fall months, shafts of sunlight penetrate all the way down to the canyon floor, bathing the chambers in a seemingly divine light. While the Antelope Canyons were closed by Tribal Order during the COVID-19 pandemic, a mile-long series of steps and walkways were installed at Upper Antelope Canyon, facilitating a quicker transition from the exit of the canyon back to the tour vehicles. The New Normal at Upper Antelope Canyon All guests touring Upper Antelope Canyon must be able to make this walk; no exceptions. A video link is provided to prospective visitors to gauge their ability (or lack thereof) to complete this walk before booking an Upper Antelope Canyon tour.
Lower Antelope Canyon is just as beautiful as Upper Antelope Canyon. Most casual viewers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two slot canyons just looking at photographs! But it can’t be denied that Lower Antelope Canyon presents some serious challenges for anybody with mobility, joint, or strength issues. While the walk through Upper Antelope Canyon takes place above-ground, Lower Antelope Canyon is located below-ground, in more of a “V” shaped configuration. You must descend the equivalent of 3-4 flights of stairs to access the canyon, navigate a few smaller ladders and boulders during the 600-meter walk-through, then ascend a similarly tall and steep incline to exit the canyon. Watching this full video walk-through of Lower Antelope Canyon is strongly recommended to determine if this would be an appropriate activity for your family.
In years past, Lower Antelope Canyon had significantly fewer people touring it than Upper, but that is no longer the case. It has also become quite desirable to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon or to compliment a landside tour of Antelope Canyon with an Antelope Canyon Boat Tour on Lake Powell. Whichever you choose, it is essential that you make reservations for your chosen tour well before your American Southwest vacation. Why You Should Book in Advance
Upper Antelope Canyon has five licensed, Navajo-owned companies that offer tours to it, three who meet at the Tribal Park entrance on US98, and two that offer round-trip transportation from downtown Page, AZ. Visitors are then driven 2 miles via a dirt track from the Tribal Park entrance to the mouth of the canyon. For Lower Antelope Canyon, visitors must meet at the headquarters of one of the two licensed companies that manage it, and take a short walk to the entrance of the canyon under a shaded canopy.