Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon?

Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are part of the same canyon system.  Since Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Tribal Lands, you must have a Navajo guide to tour either portion.  The entrances are basically right across the street from each other. Lower Antelope Canyon is on the north side of highway 222 and Upper Antelope Canyon is on the south. While Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are quite similar, there are some logistical differences which might influence your choice if you only have time to take one tour.

Lower Antelope Canyon

We selected Ken’s Tours for Lower Antelope Canyon.  Ken’s Tours has a facility at the entrance to the trail head.  We were able to park our car at the facility where there are indoor and outdoor areas to relax while waiting for your tour to depart.

Our tour began with a short hike to the mouth of the canyon.  It is amazing that there is such a spectacular canyon below, but you basically can’t see it from above.  At the entrance, you will descend a series of metal staircases anchored to the wall of the canyon.  They are quite stable but are somewhat narrow and steep.  People with mobility issues might have trouble with Lower Antelope Canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon
View from the top of Lower Antelope Canyon

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Stairway to Lower Antelope Canyon
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The Exit of Lower Antelope Canyon

Another important consideration is to be prepared to pay your fees in cash.  While both of our tours were at a similar time and in similar weather conditions, Lower Antelope Canyon seemed to have more light which was more helpful for taking pictures.

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Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon requires a ride in a tour company vehicle to reach the entrance.  There is a parking to the south from Highway 222. Alternatively, you can take a tour that leaves from Page.  We chose Antelope Canyon Slot Tours by Chief Tsosie which left from Page. As we waited for our vehicle to depart, we were entertained by a traditional Navajo dance.  Once the tour vehicle leaves the road main road, the ride to the canyon entrance is a bit bumpy and dusty.  However, the vehicle takes you right up to the entrance.  There are no stairs and no climbing is required.  Upper Antelope Canyon is an out and back journey through the canyon.

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Navajo Performer
Navajo Performer

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Dirt Road to Upper Antelope Canyon
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Entrance to Upper Antelope Canyon

We enjoyed touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons and were glad that we had time to include both on our itinerary.  However, if you only have time for one, don’t despair.  Upper and Lower Canyon are both equally spectacular!

Want to learn more about touring Antelope Canyon?  Check out my previous article You CAN Tour Antelope Canyon!

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