Should You Visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?

So you’re planning on taking a trip to Antelope Canyon. It’s a stunning place, but there are a few things you’ll need to know. You do need to plan a tour to go through Antelope Canyon.  Visitors cannot wander through on their own.  A Navajo guide will lead you through and help you enjoy the experience.  Antelope Canyon is a highly spiritual place to the Navajo people, so it’s very important to show respect to your guides. As long as you’re respectful, your visit should be a beautiful experience, and one you will never forget. 

There are actually several sections of Antelope Canyon, not just upper or lower canyon.  If you’re looking to decide which section of the slot canyon is best for you to visit, you’re in the right place! Here are the details of visiting each section. 

Upper Antelope Canyon

This section is entered at ground level, and is an easy section to walk through. Other than a staircase to exit, it is mostly walking on flat ground.  Upper Antelope Canyon is an A-shaped canyon with 660 feet of easy walking.  It is a bit wider than other sections.  You are driven directly to the mouth of the canyon. Light beams often hit the canyon floor April-August, during the middle of the day.  

Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon is more narrow and features beautifully carved walls and shapes. It requires walking down steep and narrow metal stairs to enter, and several smaller sets of stairs through the canyon.  It feels somewhat adventurous to enter, but is actually fairly easy as long as guests have good mobility.  A nickname for this section is Corkscrew Canyon, because of its twists and turns.  This section is more “V” shaped.  The walls, shapes, formations and colors are stunning.  

Antelope Canyon X

This section does require a ten minute walk down a dirt path, or on the stairs alongside the path to arrive at the entrance.  Once inside, there are no stairs. Antelope Canyon X will tour guests through two parts, or sections of slot canyons.  Beautiful colors and formations, including the famous Lady in Red, will delight the visitors.  The sections you visit here are both an “A” and “V” shape. 

Secret Antelope Canyon

Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon, also known as Secret Canyon, is a unique section, with less visitors and a more remote feel.  The beautiful canyon boasts stunning shapes and colors, with easy walking.  Guests are driven to the entrance area, and must walk about ten minutes on flat ground to enter the slot canyon.  There are no stairs.  This section has a more private feel, and visitors can wander around a bit more on their own, as well as be allowed to capture video, which is not allowed in other areas.  Secret Canyon offers an amazing experience with less crowds.  This organization also owns half of Horseshoe Bend, and offers guests the chance to be driven right to the overlook, avoiding the required walk on the public side.  The private half of Horseshoe Bend also avoids the crowds.  

How to Make a Reservation

No matter what part of the canyon you are visiting, you are required to book a reservation and join a guided tour through Antelope Canyon. When you book a Day Tour to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, your slot canyon admission and reservation are taken care of, along with the admission to Horseshoe Bend Overlook.  

There are several tour options, all about 14 hours round trip from Las Vegas. The first tour is the Upper Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour. Another is Antelope Canyon X and Horseshoe Bend tour which includes visiting both sections of Canyon X with the day tour and has a lower price than the Upper Antelope Canyon tour. If you’re visiting Lower Antelope Canyon to enjoy the more narrow and intricate shapes, then Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour is a great option. 


When making a reservation, it’s important to do your research. Take a look at all of the options for each section. Which canyon you should visit is solely based on preference. They are each a different experience, but they are all gorgeous and sure to be something you won’t forget. The most important thing is to decide to visit. You won’t be disappointed!

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