Very beautiful, but very crowded nowadays. Especially at noon, it fills up pretty bad and of course, they charge you extra US$ for the "beam" at upper antelope canyon.
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? Read our comprehensive guide which covers every aspect of an Antelope Canyon visit! Tip: In case you are coming from Las Vegas, consider this tour: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend Tour from Las Vegas. Why this one? Both 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 for is organized from your Las Vegas Hotel!) Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Special Tip: In case you have a (rental) car: Learn about the most stunning hike we've experienced in our life! Read our The Wave - Arizona article. It's an easy 1,5 hours drive from Antelope Canyon.
Light Beams (Highlight)
The light beams 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