A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
The best time to visit Antelope Canyon in Arizona, depends on what you’re looking for: Capturing the amazing light beams during peak season or experience solitude during the off-season in Lower Antelope Canyon? The light beams can only be seen between March and early October. However, it gets extremely busy in high season.
Read our comprehensive guide below (scroll down to the end of this article for even more tips) which covers every aspect of an Antelope Canyon visit. Feedback from our users: 'You got the best Antelope Canyon guide on the internet!' Tip: Are you planning to do more than Antelope Canyon in Arizona? Then get the latest edition of 'Fodor's Arizona & Grand Canyon'. It has amazing insights and is definitely the best guidebook for the area.
Coming from Las Vegas? In case you are staying in Las Vegas, this is an incredible tour if you like it hassle-free: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend Tour Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Why this one? The tour guides are extremely friendly and have so much insider knowledge. Also, you save time, energy, and the whole tour is very comfortable in a small group! Pick up from your Las Vegas Hotel! And if you're not scared of flying do the Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour (from Las Vegas).
Special 'Nearby Tips': Our recently updated guides for
- The Wave - Arizona: A once in a lifetime hike! 1,5 hours drive from Antelope Canyon. Our free guide with insider tips!
Monument Valley: A complete guide & the best tips you should know. 2 hours drive from Antelope Canyon.
Light Beams (Highlight)
The light beams in Antelope Canyon start around March 20 and last until early October. Best months for the beams are June, July, and August. The higher sun brings more light into the canyon. Each day the light beams are visible in the midday between 11 AM and 1:30 PM on a sunny day only. There are no light beams when it's cloudy. The most beams can be seen in Upper Antelope Canyon. They occur in Lower Antelope Canyon as well, but light beams are few and far between. You might be wondering if it's still worth visiting Antelope Canyon during off-season, without the light beams? Yes, definitely! Read on for more details:
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Antelope Canyon by Ron Holder, CC BY
Upper Antelope Canyon became a mass tourism spot, especially during high season as well as during shoulder seasons. Even Lower Antelope got a lot busier in the recent years. Our tips for 2018 and beyond:
High Season / Shoulder Season:
Expect a crowded place and fully booked midday tours from April until September. It's worse during peak months (June, July, and August) when the light is just perfect. Midday tours are jammed throughout the season. You have to choose between a crowded place with the magical beams during the season (end of March - early October) or fewer tourists without the beams in the off-season (mid-October - mid-March). You may also book a less busy tour in the early morning without the beams in 'light beams season'. You can still take great photos regardless of the time of day. Another option is Lower Antelope Canyon: Larger area, ladder climbing, fewer beams but also fewer crowds. However, Lower Canyon became busier as well recently. Book mid-week and try to go in the shoulder months (April/September), when there are already/still light beams but without the massive summer tourist crowds.
Low Season (Winter Visit):
In the off-season (mid-October - mid-March) there are no light beams, but both places are still magical. It's less busy from November to February. However, even in winter, avoid weekends if you visit Upper Antelope Canyon. It's more quiet mid-week. For even more solitude: Visit Lower Antelope Canyon in the winter. It's much quieter during the off-season, and although there are no light beams at all, the colors are gorgeous. Check the weather forecast and try to go between 10 and 11 AM because of better light conditions.
Weather / Climate
Temperature wise, you can visit any time of the year. In the winter it's much quieter (see above) but also cold sometimes. Snow is very rare. Canyon closures due to winter conditions did happen in the past but they are very unlikely. In the warm summer months, thunderstorms can occur during 'Arizona's Monsoon Season': From roughly mid-June until mid-September. Thunderstorms are usually afternoon thundershowers and more wind and lightning than rain. But still, dangerous flash floods are possible.
More weather details (you can switch between °C and °F): Page, Arizona Climate Details
Tourists / Sunbeams Calendar
It is best in morning and evening with clouds in the sky. In the late spring the vegetation behind the hat turns green and this is ideal.
Not far from Page and best shot in the morning or even better in the evening with clouds in the sky. Some say that a thundery atmosphere in the late afternoon is just excellent for taking photos.
Tips for morning / afternoon shots: The rim blocks the best light until about an hour after sunrise. At sunset the rim also blocks the best light but not as much as after sunrise.
The very best shooting is morning, evening (golden hour) or at night. There is lots to see and it can be VERY hot so bring water in the summer. There are several trails to the various Toadstools so you can explorer several of them. Take a wide angle lens and get close...try HDR and yes take a tripod.
Only crowded in peak season (June, July, August), especially on weekends. The small parking lot can get full. Be there early in the morning if you'd like to avoid a crowded parking lot.
You can enjoy in every season.
Recently, this is the one of the most populer places in the town for the visitors.
Usually, this place is suitable to visit in Spring, Summer and Fall. However, recently, they do illumination in Winter evening. There is a Bus Tour and I have just joined.