Antelope Canyon is one of Arizona’s most famous attractions. Located in Navajo land, this natural wonder is a photogenic destination, perfect for Instagram lovers. The slot canyon is so stunning it’s considered the world’s most beautiful. It’s estimated that four million people visit it annually, and that number is expected to grow.
The canyon is part of the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park and has five sections: the Upper and Lower Antelope, Rattlesnake, Owl, and Mountain Sheep. The most famous is the Upper Antelope Canyon, thanks to its picturesque spots, while the lower canyon is slowly becoming a popular hiking destination. There’s an $8 daily entrance fee, and guided tours are a must. Whatever tourists plan to explore, the slot canyon has the perfect spot for them.
10 The Upper Antelope Canyon Is More Popular
The Upper Antelope Canyon is called Tsé’bighanilí in Navajo, which means “the place where water runs through.” Tourists should be part of a guided tour because flooding could happen during monsoon season. Its ground-level location makes the canyon a favorite among tourists who want to focus on taking pictures instead of breaking a sweat and scaling rocks. Photographers will enjoy playing with the canyon's light beams, and with the perfect angle, they might be able to score a masterpiece. Thanks to the Upper Antelope Canyon’s stunning rock formations, wherever tourists strike a pose, they will garner many Instagram hearts and Facebook likes once they upload the shot.
9 More Photogenic
Aside from their hiking essentials, one thing tourists should not forget when visiting the Antelope Canyon is their camera. It’s a photographer’s paradise, thanks to the slot canyon’s mesmerizing sandstone walls that, when matched with the light beam, create a natural filter. In this Grand Canyon State destination, no filter is needed, only the surrounding natural beauty. Shaped by wind and water for many years, the Upper Antelope Canyon is proud of its picture-perfect rock formations like the Candle, Lion's Head, and the Heart. Lovely indeed.
8 Easier To Explore
It seems like the Upper Antelope Canyon was made by Mother Nature to easily welcome tourists, thanks to its ground-level location, which requires no intense climbing. It’s the best choice for tourists who easily get tired walking, have no hiking experience, and who want to be near the park’s best attraction quickly. With all that, families (even senior citizens) and groups of friends need not worry about getting exhausted -- they just need to be excited. All they need to think about is how to get the lighting and the perfect angle for their souvenir photos.
7 No Stairs
Unlike its lower counterpart, the Upper Antelope Canyon has no metal stairs that might spoil the views when tourists are taking photos. Its location at ground-level made that possible, and thanks to that, everything looks natural. Admittedly, the stairs can become an eye sore and a “photobomber.” When exploring in time for the light beams, visitors should tour around 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. from March to October. When tourists see the light, who needs the stairs? It’s seventh heaven in this slot canyon, after all.
6 Perfect For Those Who Want A Quick Tour
This tourist-friendly destination is perfect for a quick side trip after exploring other landmarks in the Navajo park. Who would not want to cap off their day with towering sandstone walls and through an awe-inspiring slot canyon? Thanks to the generally flat surface and wide paths, a tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon can finish in about 1.5 hours. Quick yet enriching, tourists might be tempted to return or explore the Lower Antelope Canyon, too -- as it should be for a complete Arizona adventure.
5 The Lower Antelope Canyon Is Perfect For Those Who Want A Challenge
Though it's not as famous as its counterpart, the Lower Antelope Canyon is slowly becoming a popular hiking destination. It’s called Hazdistazí by the Navajos, which means “spiral rock arches,” something tourists will see while meandering through its path. The area is V-shaped and has narrow spots, perfect for those who want to break a sweat while sightseeing. Add the uneven terrain, and tourists will feel like they’re caving without the mud and the darkness. It’s not the place for the claustrophobic but the perfect spot for an adventurer.
4 Not Crowded
One downside that makes the Lower Antelope Canyon not popular among tourists is the lack of majestic light beams. There are still light beams that make the walls glow but not as prominent as the ones in the Upper Antelope Canyon. However, tourists need not worry because the area is still worth a visit, especially for those who want to get away from the crowd and enjoy a quiet tour. Without the overcrowding, the Lower Antelope Canyon looks more natural.
3 The Tour Is Cheaper
The demand in the Upper Antelope Canyon is high, so the tours are more expensive compared to its counterpart. A journey in the Upper Antelope Canyon costs $90 to $120, while a regular trip in the Lower Antelope Canyon only costs $50. Though the price is cheap, it doesn’t mean the attractions are underwhelming. The spiral rocks look stunning, and tourists can also check out the Lady in the Wind rock formation. The area looks like the winds are still busy shaping the sandstone walls, a calming sight for the weary traveler.
2 Tours Don’t Sell Out Fast
As expected, tours sell out fast in the Upper Antelope Canyon, so visitors need to plan well when dropping by the attraction. On the other hand, the Lower Antelope Canyon is always ready to welcome anyone who opted to take this less-traveled geological destination. Both parts are proud of their sandstone features, but the previous has more rock formations to offer guests, plus the light beams. The Lower Antelope Canyon is not to be overlooked, though. It’s ideal for those who want to stay longer in an area to appreciate its wonders instead of just taking photos after photos. The lack of crowds means more time exploring its every nook and cranny.
1 The Tour Is Longer
Since a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon is more challenging, it will take longer. In its counterpart, tourists will navigate a 100-yard path that takes them to where they entered. On the other hand, in the Lower Antelope Canyon, trekkers will navigate their way through 600 yards of ascending, descending, and curving tracks until they reach the other end of the gorge. Such a multidirectional path is the reason why stairs abound in the Lower Antelope Canyon. Whatever tourists decide to explore, though, they’ll bask under the Arizona sun, all the while being surrounded by Mother Nature’s best.