The Best Time Of Year To See Antelope Canyon

Years ago, I came across a photo of a gorgeous red rock slot canyon. Growing up in Utah, I had seen similar scenes, but not as breath taking as this.

After a few years of wondering, I finally discovered this magic place I dreamed of finding was Antelope Canyon, located just outside of Page, Arizona.

And now, after a few more years, my dream of seeing it in person has finally come true, and it fully reached my expectations!

Antelope Canyon was formed over millions of years ago as water flow eroded the sandstone away, creating dramatic rock formations throughout the canyon!

Read on to learn what time of year is best to visit Antelope Canyon:


Did you know there are two (actually three) parts of Antelope Canyon? We went to Lower and booked our tour through Dixie's Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. There is also Upper Antelope Canyon and another branch that is much darker and less crowded.

Our tour started at 10:00 AM, but it is ideal to go at midday because the light in the slot canyon is the brightest. 

As we waited for our tour to start we watched a Navajo dance performance with hoops and prerecorded drums. Our seven month old son loved it. He squealed with delight and kicked excitedly in his baby carrier.

I like places that make me feel small

Our tour guide, Justin was really cool. He talked about the increase of tourism to Antelope Canyon thanks to social media. He said he liked it, because that means more people can learn about Navajo culture.

When I asked him what he would like people to know about the Navajo Nation, he said, "I think it's important that people know that we are still and around and we are thriving. So many people who come here are surprised to learn that Native Americans are not some ancient, extinct peoples. They need to know that we have our own government. We have a president and we live in houses and apartments like everyone else.”

The Rose Petal

Justin showed us tons of cool rock formations in the canyon and he even showed us how to take the best pictures. We saw the Rose Petal, the Chili Pepper, Woman in the Wind, the Eagle, the Chief, the Shark, and many more,

Justin’s favorite formation was at the very end where he showed us the famous Sea Horse. His second favorite is the Sunset in the Desert. When sunlight fills the canyon in the summer months, the rocks glow with so many gorgeous colors, and the Sunset in the Desert is especially beautiful.

The Chili Pepper

My top advice is to do your research before you book your tour. In the summer months, the light is so amazing in the canyon that you can see the full spectrum of colors throughout, but it is also very crowded in the summer.

We went in January and our tour group consisted of only five people including our family of three. We got lucky and ended up in the last group for our time slot.

It was great to have the time to linger and enjoy the empty canyon all around us. And it meant that we could get pictures without random people in the shots. Mostly, it was peaceful and felt grander when we had the space to ourselves.  

Can you guess what this one is?

But Justin said that his favorite time of year is the summer months because of the way Antelope Canyon glows with color in the summer light.

He also told us the major difference between Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons: Lower Canyon is v-shaped which means more light for seeing the oranges and reds and it's great for taking pictures.

Upper Canyon is a-shaped, so it is wide at the bottom and not as much light can get through. The famous Antelope Canyon photos that feature columns of light in a dim slot canyon were taken in the Upper canyon.

You can tour both, of course, but you need to book with two different companies and tickets are not cheap.

For us, it was well worth the price and trouble of getting our baby through the tour!

If you had to choose one, would you go to Upper of Lower Antelope Canyon? Share in the comments!

Share this post with a friend who dreams of seeing Antelope Canyon!  

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog.


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