A part of the past can be viewed when visiting the Petrified National Forest in the northeast portion of Arizona. Stepping into this “forest” is an experience you won’t have anywhere else. Don’t expect to see standing living trees. Rather you will encounter fossilized trees that were alive over 200 million years ago, but now are rock like.
10 Tips For Visiting The Lower Antelope Canyon
Be prepared for the stunning, sandstone carved Antelope Canyons that have attracted countless people, world wide. The Lower Antelope Canyon pictures, along with the upper portion is known for their light beams that grace the canyon walls. In fact, many people will have this destination written on their bucket list. It’s for good reason they do.
In brief, you will be impressed with the spectacular, sandstone walls and throughly content with visiting this canyon. The most expensive photo ever sold was a picture of Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, called “Phantom”, by Peter Lik, for 6.5 million dollars. So this place must be worth it!
You will want to be prepared before visiting one of Arizonas natural wonders. Below is a list on what to expect and prepare for when you’re visiting the Lower Antelope Canyon. Enjoy your visit to this breathtaking destination, you will be glad you decided to visit it.
1. Know What You Want
This needs to be your first task. You will need to decide beforehand which canyon you wish to visit, unless you plan on doing both. The Upper Antelope Canyon is where you see those world famous light beam photos. With is comes larger crowds and a higher cost. The tour is easier in terms of walking and navigating it.
In comparison, the Lower Antelope Canyon has less people and less opportunities for light beams. They are still possible to see and the canyon is still beautiful in its own right. It all comes down to what you want to get out of the tour and your physical limitations. Still both are worth visiting and if you can then you should do both.
2. Best Time And Season
The Lower Antelope Canyon is not known for their light beams, since they only occur in a few spots or at different times. Still, you will want to visit the lower canyon. Summer season is the best time to visit. That means, the months of June, July and August are the best.
In addition, the mid-day time slots are the ideal tour times you will want to aim for. These will be between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for sunny days. During this time, you will have the best shot to catch some of those light beams. If it is cloudy, then no matter what you do, you won’t see those beams.
A word of caution if you are not from the area, we have Monsoon season from June to September. Monsoons for those who haven’t experienced one, are extreme downpours of rain that can cause flooding and damage within a few minutes.
As a matter of fact, these Monsoons can cause dangerous flooding in the canyons. Sadly, this happened in 1997, with 11 people loosing their lives. Proper procedures have been implemented to insure this won’t happen again. During these weather conditions, the Lower Antelope Canyon will close, for safety concerns.
3. No Video Is Allowed, Only Cameras
Yes, you read that right. Don’t plan on trying to bring a GoPro or video any of the canyon. The guides will not allow you on the tour with one or will stop you if you try to video at any time. Might be wondering why this is? We were too, so we asked out guide.
In essence, it comes down to copyright law. They want you to see pictures and want to come explore it for yourselves, instead of watching a video. Another tip, if you plan on trying to make money from your picture, then you will need the Navajos permission.
4. Can Not View Without A Tour Guide
You will need to book a tour with a guide to view the Lower Antelope Canyon. Visiting the canyon without a guide is illegal. The two choices for tours are, Ken’s Tour or Dixie Ellie. We personally, have gone on the Ken’s Tour and loved it. Our tour guide, Victoria, was great and made sure we had time to take pictures without anyone in them. Book early, since tours can sell out at popular times.
For prices, you can choose the general tour or the deluxe tour. The general tour will include 10 people and cost about $57 for an adult and around $41 for child 8 to 12 years old. Infants are free. The deluxe tour will only have 4 individuals and infants are not allowed, usually. This will cost you about $114, with an added $50 per reservation service fee.
5. A Narrow Canyon Awaits You
The Lower is much more narrower than the upper canyon. Most of the time you will weave through one person size channels as you make your way through. If you are tall, then watch out for rock overhangs.
In addition, those that are very claustrophobic should take caution and make sure you can handle it beforehand. Once in the canyon, you only have two ways out, which are the beginning or the end.
For example, my wife, had a moment when we were stopped and were waiting for the next couple to move along. The space she was in was a little too tight in her eyes and she ended up having to take a few steps back into a larger portion for a few minutes. She knew her limits and we were able to navigate them.
Know your limits and if you don’t think you can physically or mentally do this, then go take the Upper Antelope Canyon Tour. A few of them to choose from are the Antelope Canyon Tours, Antelope Slot Canyon Tours, Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours, or Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours.
6. Stairways Are Steep
Unlike the upper portion, the lower has a few sets of steep stairs that you will need to navigate. Tourist with physical limitations or pregnant women should not try to walk this tour. The same should be consider for those who are claustrophobic or have trouble with any type of heights.
Still, we did see kids as young as 3, with parents help, climbing those stairs. Overall, most kids and adults should have no problem with the stairs, as long as they take caution. For example, I was able to do this tour, even with having minor back surgery less than 6 weeks ago. In fact, make sure you wear appropriate footwear. The stairs are metal and the canyon is dusty. If you like those white shoes, don’t plan on bringing them, or crocs for that matter!
7. Expect Crowds
No matter what time you come, you will always see people taking the tour. During the summer season, holidays, and weekends, expect larger crowds. Usually, the Upper Antelope Canyon will have the largest amount of crowds. The Lower Antelope Canyon only allows a max of 10 people for each tour.
Even with the crowds, once you enter the canyon, your guide will make sure to create opportunities for people free pictures. Make sure to listen to your guide, since they are trying to make sure everyone has photo opportunities and can enjoy the surroundings as well.
Without a doubt, you will encounter less people on the lower canyon. This will be since it’s more narrow here and the upper has a vast larger amount of light beams present. Planning on taking selfies or more sightseeing then this is the canyon you will want to visit.
8. Have Camera With A Large SD Card
You will want to have your camera set up prior, with an SD card that is empty and ready for all your snaps. The lower Antelope Canyon is more narrow, which makes it impossible for you to bring a tripod. Due to technology being awesome, your iPhone will take amazing pictures as well if you don’t have a camera.
Once your camera is out, make sure to have the right settings in place. High quality images can be taken by shooting in RAW. Also, image stabilization will help, sine you’re carrying a camera and moving around. Furthermore, you will be moving in a fast manner, in a dusty environment, so don’t plan on changing lens.
You will want light for these canyon pictures. So you will need to allow more light in by having a ISO between 200 and 400. Next, the aperture will need to be set around F/8. Lastly, make sure the lens you bring is a wide angle lens, to capture that breathtaking landscape.
9. Bring Cash For Tipping Your Guide
Always a great idea is to have cash on hand, for tipping your tour guide. In the U.S., most services will expect you to tip. When you’re happy with the service the tour guide brings, then you will usually tip them. These guides are always helping to give you valuable information or helping to take pictures for you.
The reason you should tip, is your guide or people in the service industry will usually receive lower wages. When you tip, that money helps to subsidize their wage, so that they can make a living. You will usually receive attentive service, in hopes that you will tip accordingly. For the situations when the service is lacking, then the tip should be decreased. For us, we try tipping at least $10 to $20 to the guide.
10. Bring Water
Since you most likely will want to visit during the summer, expect the hot heat. The canyon has shady areas, but the narrow canyon makes it still hot and humid. Make sure to bring some or buy some beforehand.
Try to have a water bottle with a strap or a clear backpack to carry one. After all, you will be taking a lot of pictures. You don’t want to have that water bottle in your pictures or having the problem of juggle it with your camera. Everything you bring down with you will go back up with you, so less is more.
Location: Page, Arizona 86040 United States
GPS: 36º 51’42.876″ N and 111º 22′ 27.588″ W
Not Allowed: Bags, Purses, GoPro or tripods
Service Animals: Sorry, not allowed on tour
Check-in: 30 minutes prior to your tour or your spot might be given away
Time Zone: Arizona time, which dose not recognize daylight savings (We are special like that)
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Have you visited the Lower Antelope Canyon? Did you enjoy yourself and is there anything you would recommend? Have any other activities or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. From Phoenix? Hi neighbored! Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips.
The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.