Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon Arizona [Ultimate Guide]

Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon –  The very best time to visit Antelope Canyon, depends on exactly what you’re trying to find: Capturing the fantastic light beams during peak season or experience solitude throughout off season in Lower Antelope Canyon?

Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon: Preventing Traveler Crowds

Upper Antelope Canyon ended up being a mass tourism spot. Anticipate a congested location and completely scheduled midday trips from April up until September. It’s even worse throughout peak months (June, July, and August), when the light is just best. Midday tours are jammed throughout the season.

You have to choose between a congested location with the magical beams throughout the season (end of March – early October) or less tourists without the beams in off-season (mid-October – mid-March). You may also schedule a less busy tour in the morning without the beams in ‘light beams season’.

You can still take excellent photos despite the time of day. Another option is Lower Antelope Canyon: Larger location, difficult ladder climbing, less beams however also fewer crowds. Nevertheless, Lower Canyon became more busy as well recently. Schedule mid-week and try to go in the shoulder months (April or September).

Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon: Visiting in Winter

Even in winter season, prevent weekends if you visit Upper Antelope Canyon. It’s less hectic mid-week. For a lot more privacy: Visit Lower Antelope Canyon. It’s quiet during off season and although there are no light beams, the colors are lovely. Check the weather forecast and go between 10 and 11 AM.

Weather Condition / Environment

Temperature smart, you can visit any time of the year. In the winter it’s much quieter (see above) but likewise freezing cold sometimes. In the warm summer months thunderstorms can happen during ‘Arizona’s Monsoon Season’: From approximately mid-June till mid-September. Thunderstorms are typically afternoon thundershowers and more wind and lightning than rain. But still, unsafe flash floods are possible.

Upper Antelope Canyon vs. Lower Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon makes up two separate canyons and you have to book trips to them independently. Lower Antelope is less populated with travelers, more affordable to visit, longer, and the canyon spaces are much tighter inside the canyon walls.

Upper Antelope is more regularly visited, more expensive, and has much broader sidewalks in the canyon. The important difference for me was the well-known light beams of Upper Antelope.

While you can find the light beams (or “shafts”) in Lower Antelope as well, Upper Antelope’s light beams appear to be more dramatic and appeared to be the more surefire path for stunning photographs.

So which one is ideal for you? Well, they are both going to blow you away so you truly can’t fail with either one. But if you are aiming to narrow it down, something to consider is your personal mobility. In Lower Antelope, you will need to climb some stairs and ladders and get through some extremely tight areas with moderate scrambling.

In Upper Antelope, that is not the case due to the fact that the flooring is flat and there are only a few narrow sections. So if mobility is an essential concern then the decision is easy: choose Upper Antelope.

One huge benefit to Lower Antelope is that there are far fewer people checking out the canyon, which means you do not have to handle mass herds of individuals. Another is that Lower has the more adventurous appeal, because you may be able to endeavor without being accompanied by a tourist guide and there’s a bit of climbing up here and there.

While the areas are more cramped and thus more difficult to set up a tripod, you won’t need to deal with the huge crowds so it balances out. But once again, if you are going to Antelope Canyon to shoot the light beams you probably want to opt for Upper Antelope.

Another distinction is getting there. For Upper Antelope, you will come to a parking area where you will check in under a camping tent and then jump aboard an open-bed truck and head a couple of minutes down the roadway then on to a bumpy off-road to reach the canyon.

We did a photography tour (more listed below) so we were required to the canyon in an enclosed SUV. For Lower Antelope, you simply appear at the parking area and then a guide takes you down into the canyon. Based on evaluations, it appears the guides utilize their discretion regarding whether they’ll accompany you down there or not.

In general, I believe the two primary determining factors are movement and desire to shoot the light beams. However feel in one’s bones, you truly can’t lose any way you go and remember you can always schedule a trip for both. When it comes to my recommendation, I say do both. However, if you can’t do both then I’m on Group Upper Antelope (a minimum of for your first time out there).

Pouring Sand

Another remarkable sight is the pouring sand result. This occurs when the guide tosses a lot of the sand onto the canyon walls or likewise when the sand is blown from above the canyon. When I checked out, a strong wind blew lots of sand from the top so we had sufficient pouring sand to walk around.

When I state tons, I mean it seemed like I was caught in the bottom half of a huge hourglass. Our guide said that’s something that typically does not happen but simply be prepared for it since it will get everywhere.

Light Beam

The light beams in Antelope Canyon are, to me, exactly what makes this location is so extraordinary. They just happen at particular times of the day and only last for a brief while however when they shine through the openings up leading it’s truly a sight to see.

I extremely advise preparing your visit so that you can witness the spectacular light beams. Call the tourist guide to see when the very best time to come to see the beams is since that time will vary depending on the time of year. Usually the time will be between 10am-12pm. If you can’t arrive to see the beams, don’t fret, this location is still one of the most mystifying locations you’ll ever visit.

The guides in Upper Antelope will look after throwing sand into the beams to make sure that the light stands out, simply try to time your shots to make sure you capture the beam when the sand is mid-air. And please, as much fun as all of us have tossing sand up in the air, just let the guides manage the sand throwing and work their magic.

There was at least one visitor who tossed up a handful of sand only for it to shower upon on an entire group of professional photographers in front of me. Suffice it to say, he immediately became the least popular individual in the canyon.


  • No light beams from mid-October until end of March
  • No light beams prior to 11 AM and after 1:30 PM
  • No light beams on a cloudy day, even throughout ‘light beam season’
  • Schedule the 10:30 AM/ 11:00 AM tours to see the beams

Crowd Tips for Upper Antelope Canyon

  • Midday trips are heavily crowded in between April and September.
  • Less busy if you book an early morning trip during the week. No light beams though.
  • Small opportunity for a less hectic time but with light beams: Late March/ early April or late September/ early October integrated with a mid-week trip. However still, do not anticipate a peaceful visit.
  • Less busy in off-season from mid-October till mid-March without light beams. However still, prevent weekend tours.
  • Fees/Prices: Navajo Park entryway cost: $8/ Tour Guide: $30-$ 60/ Photography Trip: Approximately $120.

Basic Facts

  • Antelope Canyon is found on Navajo Land
  • Both Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon can only be visited by means of guided tours (self directed trips in Lower Canyon were possible years ago).
  • Upper Antelope Canyon trips stem from Page Arizona.
  • Lower Antelope has a car park and can be reached by own vehicle.
  • Lower Antelope Canyon is more physically requiring.
  • No toilets, food or water readily available straight at the canyon.

Where to Stay: The La Quinta Inn & Suites in Page is among the very best hotels there. It’s quite brand-new, clean, cool and well kept. The staff is also extremely friendly, from reception to kitchen area.

Places Neighboring: Another stunning nearby destination is Monument Valley. Take a look at our total Monolith Valley Guide, with comprehensive hotel, outdoor camping, scenic drive, treking and trips descriptions. The drive from Antelope Canyon takes less than 2 hours: Google Maps Driving Directions.

Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon: Tours

Since the lovely canyon is located on the Navajo land of Page, it is required that you pay an $8 cost to enter the land along with take a tour. It is definitely prohibited to take this tour without a guide or trip operator.

After researching all of our options, we chose the Dixie Ellis Tours located right next to Ken’s Tours. We found out that Dixie provides more additionals (like a real Navajo musical efficiency and cold water after the tour) whereas Ken’s can occasionally skimp on these extras.

After the $8, you are needed to pay a various price for your tour. Research various tourist guide that match your budget and exactly what you anticipate from your visit to Antelope Canyon.

But I can’t say adequate about Dixie Ellis!

Our guide helped us take images (despite the truth that we paid for a more economical Walking Tour for $20 per person), offered us with details, security and was pretty amusing!

How Do I Take the very best Pictures?

Unfortunately, I overstated my photo-taking ability.

I believed my abilities were great enough for point-and-shoots throughout our Strolling Trip. While we had a terrific camera, we brought the incorrect lens so we dealt with my iPhone 6 Plus to catch the canyon. I ‘d state we passed with a C-.

Had we scheduled the more costly photography trip (approx. $40 per person), I would have had more direction, more time to take photos with less individuals present and a much better experience instead of shuffling with a hundred other tourists.

To take the very best pictures, bring your tripod, a DSLR cam and book a photography trip.

If you’re a sophisticated photographer or a newbie, they are comfy to assist at any level. Again, the time of day is necessary so book your 10 am tour as soon as you make your travel plans!

What Should I Anticipate Of This Trip?

Depending upon the trip you book, anticipate a very hot and crowded experience.

Sadly, this location is exceptionally popular and I handled to take a trip here the weekend after Memorial Day (rookie error in real awkward tourist fashion).

With the crowds, the heat and the proximity within the canyons, it’s totally normal,nay-EXPECTED, to begin to feel claustrophobic.

About midway through our hour-long trip, I began to have a panic attack that had me almost mow-down the tourists in front of me to GTFO.

But our guide was well prepared with candy, ice packs and water. And while I didn’t need any of his handy-dandy tools, simply knowing he was prepared made my anxiety vanish!

I likewise wish I had brought a hat from the intense sun.

Nevertheless, we were prepared with sunscreen and water, an absolute MUST when visiting this part of Arizona. (Okay, ALL ARIZONA needs sunscreen and water.).

Aside from the heat and the crowds, it was 100% worth exploring this natural marvel.

After read this information, you yourself plan the best time to visit Antelope Canyon.

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