Instagrammable Guide to Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon

Last month, I was fortunate to spend my birthday in Arizona. While planning this trip, I made sure that Antelope Canyon is on top of our list. The infamous slot canyon is located in Navajo Nation, which is an aboriginal land shared between northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. We flew in to Phoenix late at night and drove 4-5 hours the next morning to northeastern Arizona in our beautiful silver Mustang. As we entered Navajo Nation, we caught beautiful desert views on both sides and the Grand Canyon ever so faintly far ahead. These views got us even more excited to explore the beautiful and highly photographed Antelope Canyon. While planning our trip, we were torn between visiting the Lower vs. Upper Antelope Canyon. So what did we do? Decided to explore both! I am so excited to share our photographs with you in this post and particularly point out some of the Instagram-worthy spots we found in both canyons.

Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope CanyonAmazed with the tones and textures.Lower Antelope CanyonTake a picture with your travel buddy at this dividing wall.Lower Antelope CanyonBreathtaking views.
Lower Antelope CanyonNeat entrance.Lower Antelope CanyonWhen the romper matches the canyon, strike a pose.Lower Antelope CanyonRocky mountains.
Lower Antelope CanyonA short climb up the canyon. Find this spot right before the exit.Lower Antelope Canyon Stairway to heaven.Lower Antelope CanyonSpot me!

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope CanyonBumpy ride in a jeep to the entrance.Upper Antelope CanyonGrand entrance.Upper Antelope CanyonEye of the canyon.Upper Antelope CanyonAbstract structures.
Upper Antelope CanyonSand fall.Upper Antelope CanyonLight beam.Upper Antelope CanyonLove and light.

Things to know:

  • You cannot enter the canyons alone. You must register with a tour company. I recommend Dixie Ellis’ Lower Antelope Canyon Tours for Lower Antelope Canyon.
  • Don’t bother considering the photography tour unless you and your partner/friends all have a professional camera and tripod. We didn’t find this information anywhere online while planning our visit and were prepared to take the photography tour. It wasn’t until we arrived at the canyons and they told us about the requirement. To avoid this disappointment, I knew I had to share this little bit of info with you guys right away.
  • The regular, non-photography tour is great. I got all of these photos from it! The tour guides are actually enthusiastic about taking photographs for you if you want to be in them. They also love suggesting which filter works best. Although seriously, this destination has major #NOFILTER moments.
  • Wear closed-toe footwear when visiting Lower Antelope Canyon. The sand is extremely hot as you walk to the entrance of Lower Antelope Canyon. I wore my Converse sneakers on the way to the entrance of the canyon and changed into sandals I had kept in my backpack once we got inside. The canyons are much cooler than the outside temperature, and my toes felt liberated 🙂
  • For best lighting conditions, go around noon time. Just a little adjustment in how you point your camera will result in the colours changing because of the way the light hits the canyon.
  • Both canyons are a short driving distance apart. Make sure to have cash handy to enter the aboriginal ground for the Lower Antelope Canyon, in particular.

Differences between Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon:

  • The Lower Canyon is relatively more difficult to enter. It requires a short walk to the entrance and then there are quite a few steep and narrow staircases before you make your way in completely.
  • You will experience a rough yet thrilling desert drive in a jeep to arrive at Upper Canyon. Loved that experience!
  • There are far more interesting photo opportunities in the Upper Canyon. The shapes are a lot more defined and light beams can be found here easily as opposed to the Lower Canyon.

Feel free to comment or write to me if you’d like further insight while planning your trip to Antelope Canyon. For more travel inspiration, don’t forget to check out some of the other Instagram photos from our Arizona trip here.

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12 Comments

  1. Mackenzie
    July 22, 2016 / 10:52 am

    These photos are absolutely stunning!!! Nature truly amazes me with its beauty every single day. This must have been the most wonderful trip. Definitely on my bucket list now!!!! Such an informative post.

    http://www.brunchonsunday.com

  2. July 22, 2016 / 10:57 am

    This looks like something out of a movie!! These photos are seriously unreal!! You take the best trips!! Thank you or the breakdown of the upper and lower canyons as well as the tour recommendation!! This is on our bucket list. Happy weekend love!!! XO

  3. July 22, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    This reminds me of my trip to Utah! Such incredible landscapes out west and like Arizona, it looked like we were on the planet Mars or something! These photos are beautiful and i wish I could visit here right now. SO COOL!
    http://stopdropandvogue.com/

  4. July 22, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I am bookmarking this pots! I have been wanting to visit and can’t wait. I love your romper 🙂

  5. July 24, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    Oh my goodness, this place looks so dreamy! Your photos are so gorgeous and looks like you had so much fun. Definitely bookmarking this if/when I get the opportunity to take a trip there!

    xoxo, CiCi
    http://www.worldwidestylista.com

  6. July 29, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    Amazing breathtaking spot. Gorgeous romper as well.

  7. July 30, 2016 / 8:59 am

    I’ve seen photos of this place on Insta, but didn’t know where it was! I’ve actually spent some time in Arizona and completely missed these- will have to return, they look magical. You look beautiful as well xoxo

  8. August 10, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    each picture is more breathtaking than the next. i’d never heard of a “sand fall”. so cool.
    and i’m impressed a tour guide took these pics . can we hire them as blog photographers? 😉

  9. February 8, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I can’t express .. waooo , for once i want to go here. Its so amazing to be here, love sand falling like water .

  10. Dileep Warrier
    March 8, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Wow Gunjan this is such an awesome and helpful blog.

    Very well written !

    Thanks so much 🙂

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