Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world and with good reason! It is so beautiful and fascinating! Antelope Canyon is owned by the Navajo Tribe and divided into several sections available for tours. The two most popular sections are Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. You have probably seen screensavers or calendars with images from both of these stunning slot canyons. This post is about Lower Antelope Canyon.
Antelope Canyon can only be explored through a tour. The two companies that give tours of Lower Antelope Canyon are Dixie’s and Ken’s. They are similar tours that alternate with Dixie’s starting at 15 and 45 past the hour and Ken’s at the hour and half hour. They both have about the same prices. As of 2023, the cost is $55 for adults and $35 for children. That seems high, but the tour was fantastic! The slot canyon is very well cared for without any graffiti or trash, despite the millions of visitors every year. Our Navajo guide did a great job engaging everyone (15 in the tour) and helping us appreciate the geology and tribal significance. This was our tour guide Nate with Dixie’s Antelope Canyon Tours.
The tours begin with a short walk from the building to the entrance.
Lower Antelope Canyon is short, so the tour is only about 0.6 mile, but it has several stairs and a few ladders. My kids loved this aspect of the tour!
One of the benefits of having a guide is that he takes photos of your family! Here are a couple of that he took with my iPhone.
Our guide also pointed out interesting shapes in the rocks or sky, like this woman looking into the wind and the sea horse.
Here are some other sections.
You can’t actually climb the walls, but our guide took pictures of the kids so it looked like they were. The other pictures are just of my boys in the canyon.
Everywhere you look up, there are swirling formations!
Looking straight ahead is also amazing! Even though there were other tour groups that entered the slot canyon only a few minutes ahead and behind, we felt like were were alone because the slots keep your visibility limited. The guides also do a great job pacing everyone.
Antelope Canyon was created by erosion, primarily though flash floods. The last time it filled was in 2013. The Navajo Nation regularly has to shovel sand back into it since it gets washed away. On the wall you can see some vertical streaks of sand and then some diagonal marks from cracking due to expansion when it freezes. The photo to the right shows a ladder going though a hole in the rock and then a higher level blocked off. The tour used to go up to the higher level, but during a flash flood a hole was created so they modified the route.
When you climb out of the canyon near the end of the tour, it’s amazing to see it from the top.
Our guide did some awesome demonstrations showing us how the slot canyon was created.
Later he taught how they create clay and about some of the native plants.
Here are a few more photos of Lower Antelope Canyon.
Stats: Distance – 1.1 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 75-90 minutes
Elevation gain – 114 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – rock lined trail of sand and rock with stairs and small ladders
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – Year round
Permits needed – Yes, tour is required from Dixie’s or Ken’s, $55 for adults, $35 for children 12 and under
Pets allowed – No