Lower Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

Eric and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on March 1st and I can’t even believe how fast we got here! To celebrate, we decided to do a short trip to one of the most beautiful places that I have seen so far in our home state of Arizona. We took the weekend of March 9th to visit this now famous place of Lower Antelope Canyon located in Page, AZ. Page is located about 4 hours north of Phoenix, if you’re wondering where it’s at. The day we visited was overcast on and off, mostly on, but that did not take away from the beauty of the canyon. The tour guide told us that the best lighting is midday in the summer, as that’s when you can see the light beams coming into the canyon. Summer time is also their busiest time of year and you can expect lines of up to an hour to get into the canyon. As I said, even with it being overcast it was a beautiful site to see everywhere you looked, and it was a plus to not have to wait in long lines. It’s absolutely amazing how these sandstone canyons have formed and how many years it took for them to get that way. The weather was a comfortable 65 degrees also!
If you’re planning on visiting the canyon, you can book your tour ahead of time to secure your spot and I recommend you book ahead since the tours fill up fast. We used Dixie Ellis Lower Antelope Canyon Tours.
Also, make sure to check the weather as they will cancel all tours with even a slight drizzle. Since this is a flash flood zone, they take rain seriously as you do not want to be stuck in the canyon when it rains.
Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?
 
That was the dilemma we had when we were trying to decide which one to visit. I read several reviews, blog posts, and asked those that had been to help us decide. We opted for the lower canyon because of the following:
  • Smaller tour groups (about 8 per tour guide).
  • Going without our kids gave us the liberty to go down the narrow stairs into the canyon worry free. Canyon is below ground.
  • Read that even on overcast days you would still get pretty great lighting due to the canyon being a V-shape frame, allowing more light to come in. That was a plus since we knew it could be overcast on our trip.
  • Less expensive than the Upper Canyon. Upper Canyon is the most popular of the two and therefore in high demand. So much so that 5 tour companies run the Upper while only 2 currently run the Lower, per our tour guide.
Pros to Upper Antelope Canyon
 
If you have back problems or any sort of injuries, then it’s recommended you do the Upper Canyon instead. Upper is located above ground and has an A-shape frame and wider to walk thru. Since it’s above ground, there is no need for climbing any stairs as you can just walk right into the canyon. In the summer time midday, this is where you will see the beautiful photo worthy light beams and sand falling from the canyon walls.
Horseshoe Bend
 
Horseshoe Bend was another stunning sight to see and a little intimidating. Ha! Since there are no railings, there is nothing between you and the steep ledge. Also the rock is made of sandstone so it is not very secure and can break off at any given moment… there are warning signs at the entrance. Eric and I got close enough and still got some great photos but there were some brave souls that really pushed their luck to get just the right picture or selfie. It is absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend you visit it also. Currently there is no charge to visit but that will be changing some time this year, according to our Lower Antelope tour guide.
Stay, Play, & Dine
 
  • Stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott which was pretty modern and clean.
  • Played a round of golf at the Lake Powell National Golf Course. If you like to golf, this course is scenic, fun, and a challenging course to play. Also, they make a very tasty Bloody Mary so that was a plus.
  • Dined at State 48 Tavern for dinner Saturday night. The food and drinks were delicious, and they had great service. The place was really busy when we got there but once we got a table the service was really fast. In fact, we sat at our table for about 10-15 minutes without anyone coming to greet us, but it must have been the owner or manager that came to ask if we’ve been helped yet and after that they got right on the ball. We were impressed! Loved their specialty Mojito and Eric and I split State 48 burger and the AZ Cheesesteak sandwich, which were both delicious. The place has a hipster vibe and cool atmosphere. All of the staff was nice!
If you’re thinking about visiting Antelope Canyon and/or Horseshoe Bend, I hope this helps you make your decision and I believe it should be on everyone’s bucket list. Arizona has some beautiful places to see and this is just a fraction of what it has to offer.
P.S. – Our tour guide also recommended to visit Antelope Canyon X but we did not get to see it since it rained on Sunday and tours were closed. According to him, this will be the next popular canyon to visit so make time to visit that one too and tell me about it!
Lastly, I created a little movie to share of our our visit to these two beautiful places. Enjoy!