When is the Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon?
Thinking about visiting Antelope Canyon and not quite sure when to time your visit? Keep reading to find the best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in particular, so you can plan the perfect trip.
Antelope Canyon is a beautiful slot canyon located in Northern Arizona. It’s one of the most picturesque and the most photographed slot canyons in the world and this area is visited by approximately 3 million people per year.
Like everywhere in the world, there’s always a best and the worst time to visit the Antelope Canyon area. Factors such as crowds, weather, costs and time will have an effect on your visit and therefore need to be considered.
Personal preferences like visiting Antelope Canyon without crowds or visiting on a budget will also influence when you choose to visit.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about visiting Antelope Canyon. You’ll find out the best time of year to visit, the best time of day to visit as well as monthly breakdowns of weather and canyon conditions.
We’ve chosen to focus on the best time for visiting Lower Antelope Canyon as this is one of the most popular parts of Antelope Canyon to visit. However, you’ll be able to expect the same weather conditions and factors affecting your visit to Upper Antelope Canyon and other lesser-known slot canyons in the area.
*This ‘ best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon ’ guide contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
Is Visiting Antelope Canyon Worth it?
Antelope Canyon is one of the most well-known and beautiful slot canyons in North America, quite possibly the world.
Located in Page, Arizona, it is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning narrow slot canyons, smooth sandstone walls with an orange-red color and unique play of light and shadow.
There are a few things to consider when planning a trip to Antelope Canyon such as time of year and time of day to visit, tours, costs and crowds which will all affect your visit.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide- so you know exactly when to visit Antelope Canyon for the best possible experience.
In my opinion, Antelope Canyon is stunning and unique and well worth a visit when planning a trip to Arizona.
The Best Time to See Antelope Canyon
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon is generally in the spring and the fall. The months of March-May and September-November see the best balance between crowds and weather.
During the spring and fall, there are fewer crowds than in the summer months and the weather is generally clear and dry. You also won’t have to deal with the oppressive Arizona summer temperatures that can befall this desert area in the summer months.
Exploring Northern Arizona in 100-degree heat just isn’t that fun compared with the more pleasant spring and fall temperatures.
The Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon to Avoid the Crowds
The best time to see Lower Antelope Canyon to avoid the crowds is during winter or between December and February. Visiting during the low season will allow you to experience Antelope Canyon without too many other people around.
Crowds in Antelope Canyon can generally spoil the experience as it will be difficult to get photos without people in them, and as the canyon walls are only so wide, it’s never fun to constantly have to let people pass or have them knock past you.
During the off-peak season, tours also move slower as there just aren’t so many groups to rush through the canyons. This results in having more time in the Canyons and with your tour guide.
Note that the holidays will also affect crowds so make sure to visit outside Thanksgiving, Christmas or Spring Break that will bring more people to Arizona even in the cooler months.
You won’t see any light beams during the winter months- we didn’t when visiting in January- but it was still a lovely overall experience that was peaceful and not at all crowded.
Another way to avoid crowds is to visit during the week rather than on a weekend. Weekend tours are much busier during the weekend compared with on a weekday.
You can also sign up for an Antelope Canyon tour outside the primetime slots. Opting for a Lower Antelope tour early in the morning or later in the day will also mean fewer people in the canyon.
Photographers note, however that at these times, there isn’t much light hitting the bottom of the canyon. If you’re planning to take the best possible hand-held photos it’s probably not the best idea to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon, unless your gear can cope well in low-light situations.
Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon for the Best Weather
When it comes to weather, things can get a little more unpredictable in Antelope Canyon.
In general, the best time to visit Antelope Canyon for good weather is also in the spring and late fall months. During this time it’s more likely to experience clear and sunny days with warm and pleasant temperatures.
During the summer, temperatures can get pretty extreme, making exploring difficult and in the winter they can be pretty cold and you’ll need to wrap up well.
When it comes to rain, Northern Arizona doesn’t get much of it, with the town of Page receiving just 44 days of rain a year. Most of those days land in the monsoon season which runs from June to September.
During these months you can expect a thunderstorm or two which could lead to flash flooding.
Antelope Canyon does close to the public when a flash flood warning is issued.
Overcast days can happen at any time of the year.
When it comes to snow, it is a possibility during the winter months. Antelope Canyon gets about two inches of snow per year and can occasionally close due to heavy snow. However, if you do manage to time your visit when the canyon has a blanket of white snow, it does make for stunning photos.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Antelope Canyon
Let’s talk a little more in detail about the weather in Antelope Canyon throughout the year and the best months and seasons to visit.
While spring and fall might be the best overall months to visit, if you are someone who doesn’t mind the heat or cold, winter temperatures, you might find that the best time for you to visit the Canyon is outside of these seasons.
Best Time to Visit Antelope Canyon by Month and Season
The best time of year to visit Lower Antelope Canyon at a glance:
The spring months (March-May): Spring tends to be quite warm during the day but cool at night. March and April are still fairly quiet but crowds start to really increase in May. Spring is considered one of the best times of year to visit Antelope Canyon Lower.
The summer months (June-August): The summer months tend to be the hottest and wettest time of year. You can expect temperatures to reach 90+ degrees Fahrenheit during the day, possibly even 100+. It’s the most expensive time to visit Page and the summer vacations mean that crowds are at their highest.
The fall months (September-November): The fall months are the other best time to visit. Crowds start to disperse after the summer and the monsoon season trails off. Temperatures begin to get more chilly, especially at night.
The winter months (December – February): The winter season is the driest time of year but temperatures can still easily dip below freezing. Snow is possible during this time. Crowds are at their lowest but there are no light beams Antelope Canyon during the winter months.
Spring in Antelope Canyon
Spring is one of the best times to visit Antelope Canyon. After the winter months days begin to start getting longer and warmer.
As spring progresses, crowds, temperatures and accommodation prices in the area begin to increase. There is quite a big difference in crowds in March vs May at Antelope Canyon.
Antelope Canyon in March
Average High: 60°F (16°C)
Average Low: 39°F (4°C)
Precipitation: 0.7 inches of rain
Visiting Antelope Canyon in March is generally an all-round, pleasant experience.
Temperatures begin to get warmer after the winter, with average highs of around 60°F (16°C). Days also begin to get longer. In general, the weather is pretty stable in March.
However, March is one of the windiest times in Northern Arizona so you may want to bring some scarves and sunglasses to protect yourself from sand and dust.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in March is as close to midday as possible and tours at these primetime hours still shouldn’t be too busy in March.
Light beams don’t start to show in Upper Antelope Canyon until after mid-March so you’ll need to wait until the end of the month if seeing them is a priority for you.
Antelope Canyon in April
Average High: 70°F (21°C)
Average Low: 46°F (8°C)
Precipitation: 0. 5 inches
April is another great month to visit Lower Antelope Canyon. The beginning of April is quite similar to March, with crowds increasing towards the end of the month.
Spring break brings a large spike in visitor numbers so you might want to avoid visiting Antelope Canyon during spring break.
Temperatures in April are a little warmer than March and there is less chance of rain.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in April is between 11.30 a.m. and 2 pm
Antelope Canyon in May
Average High: 79°F (26°C)
Average Low: 55°F (13°C)
Precipitation: 0.3 inches of rain
May is considered one of the best months to visit Antelope Canyon for light beams. In this month ‘light beam season’ officially gets going as the sun’s position moves higher in the sky.
Due to this the best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in May is between 11 am and 2 pm. For Upper Antelope Canyon, midday or 1 p.m. is the magic time.
The weather isn’t too hot or cold, crowds are increasing but not yet at their highest by any means and there is very little chance of rain.
For photographers, this is one of the best times to visit Upper Antelope Canyon to see and photograph light beams. Lower Antelope Canyon also sees more vivid hues and more light hits the canyon floor.
Summer in Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon in June
Average High: 91°F (33°C)
Average Low: 65°F (18°C)
Precipitation: 0.2 inches of rain
June marks the beginning of summer and the high season in Antelope Canyon.
The weather in June is warm and pleasant and the days are long, making it a very comfortable time for visiting Antelope Canyon.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in June is between 10.30 am and 2 pm.
June is also the driest time to visit Antelope Canyon with the least likelihood of rain and overcast conditions. Having said that, there isn’t that much difference in rainfall compared with May, April or July.
Antelope Canyon in July
Average High: 95°F (35°C)
Average Low: 70°F (21°C)
Precipitation: 0.5 inches
July is one of the busiest months in Antelope Canyon as summer vacations move into full swing. It’s also the hottest month so make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water when visiting Antelope Canyon in July.
The Canyon area also sees scorching summer temperatures, with the possibility of 100+ degree days.
As monsoon season begins, there is a higher chance of thunderstorms in July.
In Upper Antelope Canyon, July is one of the best times for spotting a light beam but make sure to book those ‘primetime’ midday tours well in advance. The same goes for accommodation in Page.
‘Primetime’ runs from 10.30 am to 2 pm and this is the best time to visit Antelope Canyon in July.
Antelope Canyon in August
Average High: 91°F (33°C)
Average Low: 68°F (20°C)
Precipitation: 1 inch of rain
August is quite similar to July in terms of crowds and weather. August is also the wettest month in Antelope Canyon.
Make sure to book Canyon tours in advance and prepare for a hot and crowded Antelope Canyon experience.
To avoid the worst of the crowds, I’d recommend visiting earlier or later in the day – 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. are the best times to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in August.
Fall in Antelope Canyon
After spring, fall is also one of the best times to visit Lower Antelope Canyon. Temperatures begin to fall after summer and crowds also begin to thin.
Later in fall also means that monsoon season in Northern Arizona is also over with less chance of rain, thunderstorms and flash floods.
Antelope Canyon in September
Average High: 84°F (29°C)
Average Low: 60°F (16°C)
Precipitation: 0.8 inches
September in Antelope Canyon means the beginning of thinning crowds and more comfortable temperatures.
With the monsoon season also finally ending, it also means fewer chances of thunderstorms and overcast periods.
The fall shoulder season is the best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon however, I’d still recommend booking a guided tour and accommodation in advance.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in September is between 10.30 and 2 pm.
Antelope Canyon in October
Average High: 70°F (21°C)
Average Low: 48°F (9°C)
Precipitation: 1 inch of rainfall
Along with August, October is Antelope Canyon’s wettest month. As fall progresses, temperatures begin to decrease for more comfortable sightseeing conditions, however, you might need to bring a jacket when visiting at this time.
As the days begin to get shorter the best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon is between 11 am and 2 pm.
October is also a great time to visit nearby Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Las Vegas and Sedona– it’s actually the perfect time for a road trip through Arizona- a great excuse to extend your trip.
Antelope Canyon in November
Average High: 55°F (13°C)
Average Low: 37°F (3°C)
Precipitation: 0.5 inches of rain
November in Antelope Canyon continues to see falling temperatures are winter approaches. The average high temperature is 55°F (13°C) yet it can become quite cold in the evenings and early in the morning. It’s a lovely time to visit Antelope Canyon.
You will no longer be able to see light beams in the Upper Canyon, but if this isn’t an issue for you you’ll be able to enjoy your visit with fewer crowds and a more relaxed environment.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in November is at midday.
Winter in Antelope Canyon
Winters at Antelope Canyon are cold, bright and quiet. It’s a great time to visit for those who don’t mind the cold and are looking to really avoid the crowds.
The winter marks the low season at Antelope Canyon and the least crowded time to visit.
Antelope Canyon Tours can get cancelled in winter due to snowfall but it’s not very likely. When we visited in mid-January there was no snow around at all and it was fairly warm during the day.
Antelope Canyon in December
Average High: 44°F (7°C)
Average Low: 17°F (-2°C)
Precipitation: 0. 5 inches of rain, possibility of snow
December along with January are the coldest months at Antelope Canyon, however, temperatures during the day remain well above freezing.
With the exception of the Christmas period, crowds remain low and you won’t need to book your Antelope Canyon tour months in advance. The same is true for a hotel in Page, Arizona.
Visiting in December is the perfect time for the more budget-conscious traveller- some Antelope Canyon tour companies offer discounts during the low season and you’ll be able to take advantage of low rates at hotels.
The best time to visit Lower Antelope Canyon in December is at midday.
Antelope Canyon in January
Average High: 44°F (7°C)
Average Low: 28°F (-2°C)
Precipitation: 0.8 inches of rainfall, possibility of snow
Similarly to December, January is another good off-season alternative for visiting Antelope Canyon.
For those who don’t mind the cold, nor aren’t particularly bothered about seeing light beams, it’s a good time to go.
When visiting in January it’s recommended to book your Antelope Canyon tour for midday as the short days will have a big effect on how much light enters the canyon.
Antelope Canyon in February
Average High: 50°F (10°C)
Average Low: 32°F (0°C)
Precipitation: 0.6 inches of rainfall
Temperatures begin to increase in February as days also begin to get longer. You’ll still need to bring plenty of warm clothes and layers with you when exploring the area.
There is low chance of rain in February and it doesn’t really snow during this time either.
Again, if seeing light beams isn’t a priority, consider visiting in February.
When is the Best Time of Day to Visit Antelope Canyon?
Given Antelope Canyon’s unique geographical features, the time of day that you visit will impact your experience.
In general, the best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon is as close to midday as possible. This is generally known as ‘primetime’ or ‘peak-time’ as, while it’s the best time, it’s also the most sought-after and crowded.
Visiting at around midday means you have the most amount of light hitting the bottom of the canyon.
Colors are more vivid during this time, there’s more light in general, making photography conditions better and in Upper Antelope Canyon, it’s the time to visit for potential light beams.
It’s also worth considering that ‘primetime’ is also the most crowded, so while you might have the best light for photos, you also might have several other people in them. This time is also the most expensive.
Light conditions vary from month to month and season to season. You won’t get the same light at midday in January compared to midday in July.
The Best Time to Visit Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon is known for its narrow passageways and staircases.
Unlike Upper Antelope Canyon, it doesn’t get as many direct sunlight beams, so it is less dependent on the time of day for lighting.
You can visit Lower Antelope Canyon at various times throughout the day, and you’ll still have the opportunity to capture beautiful images due to the diffused light.
When it comes to the time of year, the best time to see Lower Antelope Canyon is spring, fall and even winter if you don’t mind the lower temperatures.
Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon depart all year round. Lower Antelope Canyon only closes a few times per year due to extreme weather circumstances.
Best Time to Visit Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyon, also known as The Slot is the more famous of the two canyons and is known for its incredible light beams.
Most travellers who decide they are set on visiting Upper Antelope Canyon, do so to see the light beams.
If you’re undecided, make sure to read Comparing Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon: Which is Better?
The best time to visit Upper Antelope Canyon is from late March until early October when you are able to see the light beams. Outside of those months, the cost difference between Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons doesn’t make it worth the spend.
Best Time to Visit Upper Antelope Canyon for the Light Beams
The best time to see the light beams in Upper Antelope Canyon is typically during the mid-morning and early afternoon, from around 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
This is when the sun is high in the sky and can penetrate the narrow openings in the canyon, creating dramatic shafts of light.
It’s worth noting that during the high season months, when you can see the light beams, the canyon is quite crowded and it does take time for each tour to check in and descend down into the canyon.
It’s worth allocating time for these extra delays, so if you want to be down in the canyon for 12:30 p.m., it’s worth booking the 11.45 a.m. or 12.00 tour.
Light beams are generally seen in Upper Antelope Canyon from the end of March until the beginning of October. You will not see them on an Upper Antelope Canyon Tour in the winter months.
There are very few light beams in Lower Antelope Canyon.
I’d personally schedule a visit at the beginning of April or at the end of September and visit during ‘primetime’ midweek, to try to avoid the crowds as much as possible while also being able to see Upper Antelope Canyon’s brilliant light beams.
What to Expect from Your Visit
On the day of your tour, you’ll need to arrive at the designated meeting point of your tour about 30-45 minutes in advance to check in, before heading to the Canyon with your guide.
Each area of Antelope Canyon and each tour company is a little different so make sure to follow the instructions you get from your tour company when booking.
Generally, tours last around 1.5 hours unless stated differently and you’ll walk through the Slot Canyon with your guide and group. Your guide will explain the history and significance of Antelope Canyon as well as the unique geology in this area.
You’ll also have time to take photos.
For more about what you can expect when visiting Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, check the guide here.
How to Get to Antelope Canyon
So, where is Lower Antelope Canyon exactly? Antelope Canyon is located just outside Page, Arizona.
Lower Antelope Canyon is closer to Page, located just 5 miles southeast of town. Upper Antelope Canyon is a little further south but the meeting point is vaguely in the same place as Lower Antelope Canyon.
For those visiting Antelope Canyon X, you’ll find the meeting point further south along Highway 98, 12 miles from Page.
To visit Antelope Canyon X from Page allow 15 minutes to get there.
Antelope Canyon Tours
In order to visit Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon or Canyon X, you’ll need to do a tour. You cannot visit Antelope Canyon by yourself without a tour as the Canyon is located on Navajo Nation Land.
The Navajo Nation oversees access to these canyons to preserve their natural beauty and protect them from over-tourism and vandalism which is the reason why all visits are controlled.
There are several different tour operators to choose from for Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon but only one for Canyon X.
To visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon or any other slot canyon on Navajo land you’ll need to book a tour.
The best Lower Antelope Canyon tours book up months in advance, especially in high season so make sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Photographing Antelope Canyon
If you’re a photographer wanting to capture the beauty and stillness of Antelope Canyon then you’ll need to time your visit to perfectly balance weather conditions, light and crowds. It’s definitely not easy.
Neither Upper nor Lower Antelope Canyon Tour companies are running photography-specific tours at the moment. This means you’ll need to join a general hiking tour to see these two canyons. However, you aren’t allowed to take a tripod on these tours so you’ll need to take handheld photos.
The best way to photograph an Antelope Canyon light beam is to visit early or late in the light beam season, i.e. at the end of March or at the end of September to make the most of fewer crowds in the canyon.
For Lower Antelope Canyon, visiting in spring, fall or even winter is a great idea to avoid the crowds so you can have clear photos of the canyon.
For photography specifically, I’d recommend not visiting Upper or Lower Canyon but going to Canyon X instead. Canyon X is the only canyon where Antelope Canyon photography tours still take place.
On a photography tour in Antelope Canyon X, you’ll be able to bring your tripod and have 3 hours inside the canyon, giving you plenty of time to take photos. The canyon is much less crowded.
Antelope Canyon X doesn’t get light beams but you will be able to take high-quality photos with the use of a tripod.
Is Antelope Canyon X worth visiting?
You may have heard about another section of Antelope Canyon. Close to Lower Antelope Canyon, you’ll actually find another section, called Antelope Canyon X or Canyon X.
Antelope Canyon X is a much less popular option today and if your main aim is to beat the crowds and have a more peaceful slot canyon experience, this definitely might be worth visiting. There are also many other advantages to visiting Canyon X.
Canyon X doesn’t get light beams like Upper Antelope Canyon but if this isn’t a priority for you Antelope Canyon X might be a great option. I found our tour to be very relaxed, not rushed in any way and we had plenty of time to take photos.
Read the full Antelope Canyon X Guide here to find out everything you need to know.
I hope this lower antelope canyon best time guide has helped you to decide when to visit this beautiful slot canyon. Let me know if you have any comments or questions in the box below.
Now more than ever, make sure not to leave home without travel insurance. For the last few years, I’ve been using Safetywing Nomad Insurance for all my individual trips and digital nomad lifestyle and there’s no better company for all my insurance needs. Cover starts from as little as $42 per month. Get your quote below now.
Planning a trip right now? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to book everything from hotels to rental cars!
Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals worldwide
Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Agoda also for great deals on hotels
Related posts you might like:
FOUND VALUE IN THIS POST? PIN IT AND SHARE