How Difficult are the Lower Antelope Canyon Stairs?

A hike through Lower Antelope Canyon is high on the bucket list of travelholics the world over. While the scenery inside the Canyon is unmatched, the hiking portion of the visit can be intimidating.  Foremost on the minds of most visitors: The stairs.

Going Down The Stairs At Antelope Canyon

There are many differences between Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon, however, they are separate sections of the same canyon. The biggest difference in touring one over the other is how you enter and walk through the canyon. Upper Antelope Canyon has a wide, flat opening that you can walk straight into. The trip is flat and easy to navigate.

Entrance to Upper Antelope Canyon

What are the stairs like?

Lower Antelope Canyon has a set of stairs that lead into the canyon. There are 5 sets of stairs with about 70 steps in total. The third flight of stairs is steeper than most stairs, however, there are sturdy handrails on both sides to help you down.

How Hard Are Lower Antelope Canyon Stairs?
Descending the Stairs at Lower Antelope Canyon

After you reach the bottom of the last of the five flights of stairs, it is a slow climb to get out of the canyon. There are about 4 more medium flights of stairs and a few small flights of 4-5 stairs going up.

In total, there are about 130 steps inside Lower Antelope Canyon. They are all made of metal, and the longer sections have sturdy handrails on both sides.  Here are some more photos of the stairs.

These are stairs you have to descend.

Antelope Canyon Stairs

These are stairs in the middle of the canyon you have to climb.

Going Up The Lower Antelope Canyon Stairs

The Stairs as Part of the Adventure

The stairs definitely add some excitement to the journey through the canyon. The first impression of climbing down into a canyon feels like you are entering a secret location.

The rest of the path finds you climbing more stairs, scrambling around sandstone walls, and peering up at a blue sky high overhead past the orange canyon walls. These all add to the feeling of adventure on your Lower Antelope Canyon tour.

Related Reading: Lower vs Upper Antelope Canyon-2021 Update

Who Shouldn’t Descend the Stairs?

The initial descent into the canyon is steep, and people with an extreme fear of heights should think twice about trying them. It is about a 75-foot descent into the canyon.

People with bad knees that have trouble going up and down stairs in their day-to-day life should skip the stairs at Lower Antelope Canyon and join a tour to Upper Antelope Canyon instead.

The best indicator of how you will do on the stairs in Lower Antelope Canyon is to assess your ability to climb stairs in your daily life. If you can’t do it at home, you can’t do it in the Canyon. Yet if you can navigate stairs, it won’t be much different in the canyon. Going slow, watching your step, and paying attention will always be your best option. 

Thousands of guests have gone with us to the stairs at Lower Antelope Canyon on our many Antelope Canyon tours from Las Vegas, and every single one has made it through without issues.

These guests have been in their 80s, as young as 5, and everything in-between. We have had a few people who know their limitations and waited in the lobby, but for most people, the stairs at Lower Antelope Canyon will not be an issue.

If you feel that the stairs will be too tough for you, don’t despair, Upper Antelope Canyon would be the best option for you. You can’t go wrong with either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon.

Keeping Guests Safe on the Stairs

To help visitors focus on the stairs, the tour operators at Lower Antelope Canyon is very strict about taking photos on the stairs. They allow no photography or posing for photos on the stairs. They take this rule seriously and we have seen people kicked out of the canyon on the spot for violating it. Please follow all posted rules while visiting Antelope Canyon.

When going down the sections that are steep, I like to turn around and go down it backward; I feel like I have a lot more control and can really leverage the handrails when descending this way.

The best strategy on all the stairs is to go slow, watch your step, get a good grip on the handrails with both hands, and don’t crowd the surrounding people.

Hopefully, we have answered all your questions on navigating stairs on a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. We hope to see you out at the canyon soon!

About Author

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Matthew Meier
World Traveler. Mandarin Speaker. Founder of MaxTour.