Antelope Canyon is a natural canyon located on the land of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
Antelope Valley is divided into the Upper Antelope Valley and the Lower Antelope Valley. Tourists need to book the itinerary of the two places separately and follow the tour guide to visit.
- You must book in advance and follow the guide to enter
- Best tourist season: Suitable for sightseeing all year round, the best months are from March to October.【Check the current weather forecast】
- Main scenery: the unique scenery in the canyon, there are also various interesting stones and unique natural landscapes around
- Nearby cities (airports): Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Salt Lake City (SLC), Albuquerque (ABQ)
- Note: Reservations are required! No tripods, selfie sticks, or drones are allowed. [View current park alerts]
- Google Maps: Click here
- Official website: Click here
- Upper Antelope Canyon Tours: Antelope Canyon Tours, Inc., Tsebighanilini Tours, Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours , Antelope Slot Canyon Tours, Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
- Lower Antelope Canyon Tours: Ken’s Tours Lower Antelope Canyon Tours, Dixie’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours
- Book a Helicopter Tour: ABEARCO, Inc.
Antelope Canyon is named after the pronghorn antelope that once roamed in the land. It became a tourist attraction and opened to the public in 1997, attracting more than 1 million tourists every year.
The Navajo Nation, an Native American group, lives in the area. The U.S. government has reserved the Navajo Territory for them, located in parts of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Utah.
The territory covers a total area of approximately 71,000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest indigenous tribes in the United States.
When visiting Antelope Canyon, you must make an appointment through a Navajo-approved tour guide company, and you can only enter through the tour guide services provided by the companies. During the sightseeing process, the tour guide will give detailed explanations and guide first-time visitors to good picture-taking locations.
It usually only takes about half a day to visit the entire Antelope Canyon.
But near Antelope Canyon, there are many natural geological attractions, such as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Hanging Garden, Colorado River (Colorado River), and more.
You can arrange around 2 days to explore Antelope Canyon.
Table of Contents
What can you do in Antelope Canyon?
Antelope Canyon is a canyon with natural curves formed by torrents and other groundwater washing the Navajo sandstone (the type of rock in the local canyon, locals call them Navajo sandstone) all year round.
When the sun penetrates from the top of the canyon, it will form a magical and spectacular light beam scene. Photographers can take pictures of the beautiful scenery here from various angles in the Antelope Canyon, which is a wonderful and magnificent sight.
The most important thing to visit Antelope Canyon is to watch the unique scenery in the canyon, the natural canyon washed out by floods and groundwater, and appreciate the cliffs from the valley. When the sun pours down from the top of the cliff, the magical beam will make you feel amazing.
It should be noted that to visit Antelope Valley, you must book an Antelope Valley tour guide service approved by Navajo Nation. Since the appointment date is usually limited, you must make an appointment in advance.
The Antelope Canyon is divided into the Upper Antelope Valley and the Lower Antelope Valley. Tourists need to book two separate trips to visit both.
- Upper Antelope Canyon is known as the most popular natural scenery
- The Lower Antelope Valley is known for its relaxed and quiet environment and the ups and downs of the climbing experience
Near the Antelope Canyon, there are many attractions to visit and explore, such as:
- Take a helicopter to view the local scenery from the air, including Antelope Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, and the Colorado River;
- Take a sightseeing cruise on Lake Powell, or row a kayak by yourself, and enjoy the scenery of Antelope Valley from the waterway;
- Or drive to Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Hanging Gardens, Colorado River, and the Grand Canyon, etc., and then get off the car and hike to enjoy the scenery.
Antelope Canyon is suitable for sightseeing all year round.
From March to October every year, due to the good weather and pleasant temperature, it is a relatively more suitable time to go to Antelope Canyon. During this period, you often have the opportunity to see the light beam scene in the canyon.
Note: June to September is the monsoon (rainy season) in Arizona. When heavy rainfall occurs, Antelope Canyon will be closed and your scheduled trip may be canceled.
From November to February, when there are fewer tourists, you can enjoy a quieter visit, but there are fewer chances of encountering light beams.
On each open day, different tour guide service companies will set up different group tour times.
If the purpose of your visit is to see a light beam, it is best to choose a tour between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 pm, because during this time, the sun rises above the Antelope Canyon, and the chance you will see a light beam is high.
The major airports near Antelope Canyon are:
- Las Vegas: Airport code LAS
- Phoenix Airport: Airport code PHX
- Salt Lake City: Airport code SLC
- Albuquerque: Airport code ABQ
It takes about four and a half hours to reach the Antelope Canyon by car from the two airports of LAS and PHX.
From Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, take I-15 N to UT-9 E/W, then turn onto UT-59 S, travel to US-89 S/E 300 S to Enter AZ-98 E after US-AZ, drive along AZ-98 E for about 4.5 miles and you will see the parking lot of Antelope Canyon.
If starting from Phoenix Airport, you can follow I-17N to US-180W/Country Club Dr, take exit 201 off I-40 E and enter US-89 N, and follow US-89 N to AZ-98 E, also drive about 4.5 miles to reach the Antelope Canyon parking lot.
If you are starting from Salt Lake City or Albuquerque, it will take around six hours.
The overall road conditions in Antelope Canyon are relatively good, and you can enjoy a variety of geological features in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah along the way.
In the Antelope Canyon, all tourists will start from the reservation point set by a tour guide company, take their shuttle bus, drive to the entrance of the Upper Antelope Canyon or the entrance of the Lower Antelope Canyon, and start hiking.
It is recommended to live in Page City and Lake Powell next to Antelope Valley.
It is about a 10-minute drive from the Upper Antelope Canyon and about a 20-minute drive from the Lower Antelope Canyon.
The distribution of accommodation in the urban area of Page is as follows:
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson ⭐⭐⭐ 8.9/10.0 3,504 reviews
- Hampton Inn & Suites Page – Lake Powell ⭐⭐⭐ 8.8/10.0 509 reviews
- Red Rock Motel 8.7/ 10.0 658 reviews
- Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell ⭐⭐⭐ 8.7/10.0 668 reviews
- Holiday Inn Express Hotels Page, an IHG Hotel ⭐⭐⭐ 8.7/10.0 275 reviews
- Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell ⭐⭐⭐ 8.6/10.0 1,313 reviews
- La Quinta by Wyndham Page at Lake Powell ⭐⭐⭐ 8.6/10.0 1,421 reviews
- Sleep Inn & Suites Page at Lake Powell ⭐⭐ 8.6/10.0 1,188 reviews
When visiting Antelope Canyon, most of the restaurants are also mainly concentrated in the small town of Page. Here are a few great restaurants:
- BirdHouse 4.7/5.0 Map
- Blue Wine and Tapas 4.5/5.0 Map
- Big John’s Texas BBQ 4.4/5.0 Map
- New York Teriyaki 4.4/5.0 Map
- Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant 4.3/5.0 Map
- El Tapatio 4.3/5.0 Map
- Gone West Family Restaurant 4.3/ 5.0Map
- State 48 Tavern 4.3/5.0 Map
Entering the Antelope Canyon, there are strict equipment restrictions. First of all, it is recommended that tourists wear comfortable hiking shoes.
1. Items not allowed
- Selfie sticks
- Camera tripod or monopod
- Pets or service animals, such as guide dogs, etc.
2. Items that can be carried
- Small backpack
- Baby carrier
3. Recommended items to bring
- Camera cover
- If you enter Antelope Canyon in the morning or evening, it is recommended to bring a flashlight and warm clothes
Antelope Canyon is generally divided into:
- Upper Antelope Canyon
- Lower Antelope Canyon
The depth of the Upper Antelope Canyon is about 120 feet, and the channel is narrower. The entrance of the canyon is located on the ground.
The sun will shine from the top of the canyon to the bottom of the canyon, forming a beautiful and magical beam of light, especially in summer.
When visiting the Upper Antelope Canyon, the whole journey is relatively easy. However, there are more tourists in the Upper Antelope Canyon throughout the year, and it may be crowded in summer. The tour guides will urge tourists to move forward as soon as possible to avoid blocking the tourists behind them.
The Lower Antelope Valley is not as deep as the Upper Antelope Valley, but there are many steeper slopes. The entrance is lower than the ground, so you need to use climbing ladders to enter the Lower Antelope Valley and go up and down between different heights in the canyon.
In the Lower Antelope Canyon, the tour guide usually ensures that every member of the group has successfully passed the ladder before moving on, so it will take more time.
At the same time, the distance you need to walk will be longer and the hike conditions will be more difficult.
The sun rarely shines into the Lower Antelope Canyon, so there are fewer opportunities to see beams and red-orange shades.
However, there are fewer tourists here, and the width of the canyon is wider, so you can experience a relatively quiet and leisurely canyon challenge tour.
The difference between the two and the types of tourists they are suitable for are:
|Upper Antelope Canyon
|Lower Antelope Canyon
|Light beam scene
|High chance of seeing light beams
|Little chance of seeing light beams
|Difficulty of sightseeing
|Difficult, not recommended for people with disibilitys
|Degree of congestion
|There are many tourists, and it may be crowded during peak season
|Fewer tourists and less crowded experiance
|Who should go?
|Tourists who want to see the sight of a light beam and want an easier hiking experience
|Tourists who prefer a quieter sightseeing experience and want to experience some challenging hiking.
Places of interest in and around Antelope Canyon
In Antelope Valley, in addition to Upper Antelope Valley and Lower Antelope Valley, there are several nearby popular attractions that can be arranged on the same journey. Generally, it is more appropriate to arrange a two-day trip.
The First Day
Go to the Antelope Canyon Scenic Area, and visit the Upper Antelope Canyon or the Lower Antelope Canyon according to the scheduled itinerary.
Then, you can visit Antelope Canyon X and Secret Canyon.
After exploring Antelope Canyon, you can drive to Horseshoe Bend (Horseshoe Bend), and enjoy the magic of Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs (Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs) along the way.
In the evening, return to Page to check in to a hotel, or camp near Lake Powell.
Choose from a short, easy hike on the Hanging Garden Trailhead or The Chains.
Then, you can head to Glen Canyon Dam.
After the visit, go to Lake Powell (Lake Powell) to experience a variety of activities there, such as helicopter tours, sightseeing boat tours or kayak rowing tours, etc., and then end the Antelope Canyon trip after enjoying the scenery of the Antelope Valley area again.
1. Upper Antelope Canyon
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.6 out of 5.0 (3,470 reviews) | Google Maps
Because Navajo Nation Reservation sets the fee price, the price varies from company to company.
You can view the websites of different companies to view their formation schedules, prices, and refund policies to choose from.
The five companies are:
- Antelope Canyon Tours, Inc.
- Tsebighanilini Tours
- Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours
- Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
- Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
The sightseeing of the entire Upper Antelope Valley generally takes about 90 to 100 minutes, including a 40-minute round-trip drive. You can drive to the meeting point by yourself, and then take the shuttle bus of the travel company to the entrance of the Upper Antelope Valley.
After entering the Upper Antelope Canyon, your walk will not be too long, you can follow the guide to visit the magical cliffs and take wonderful tourist photos of the light beams at Antelope Canyon.
2. Lower Antelope Canyon
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.8 out of 5.0 (237 reviews) | Google Maps
If you want to experience the unique geological scenery of Antelope Canyon in more challenging canyons, then you can book a trip to Lower Antelope Canyon with a Navajo Nation Reservation-approved guide service company.
Remember, put on comfortable walking shoes, and follow the guide into the Lower Antelope Canyon, where you can quietly enjoy the unique rock formations washed out by the water on the cliffs on both sides, then climb different ladders and shuttle between different heights. However, it’s hard to see the light beams.
In Lower Antelope Canyon, you can visit more comfortably and quietly, without the hustle and bustle of tourists and the urging of tour guides.
Available companies are:
3. Antelope Canyon X
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 out of 5.0 (935 reviews) | Google Maps
Antelope Canyon X is a less popular attraction with fewer tourists, but if you want to experience the immersion of walking in the canyon more deeply, this is a place not to be missed.
In Antelope Canyon X, you can see that the rock walls on both sides form a striking “X”-shaped pattern, which is where the name of this scenic spot comes from.
To visit Antelope Canyon X, you also need to book a trip on Taadidiin Tours approved by Navajo Nation Reservation. In order to save travel time, you can arrange the itinerary of Antelope Canyon X and the itinerary of Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon on the same day.
4. Secret Canyon
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 out of 5.0 (841 reviews) Google Maps
Secret Canyon is located near Antelope Canyon, between Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
Secret Canyon also has a colorful spiral canyon rock wall scenery, the terrain is relatively easy to hike, and there are fewer tourists when it is in focus.
So if you want to avoid the crowded Upper Antelope Canyon and don’t want to explore the difficult terrain of the Lower Antelope Canyon, you can choose to come to Secret Canyon to see the unique orange canyon scenery here.
Like Antelope Canyon, Secret Canyon must be entered with a guide, and you can find a reservation link at Horseshoe Bend Tours.
5. Horseshoe Bend
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.8 out of 5.0 (1,667 reviews) Google Maps
Horseshoe Bay is about a 10-minute drive from Antelope Valley. It is very suitable to come here to view the natural “horseshoe” washed out by the Colorado River after visiting Antelope Valley.
In Horseshoe Bend, you can stand on the shore and admire the canyon about 980 feet deep with the Colorado River flowing inside.
It should be noted that there are no guardrails on the shore of Horseshoe Bay, so you need to be extra careful when viewing, especially if you come to visit with your children.
6. Hanging Garden Trailhead
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.4 out of 5.0 (430 reviews) | Google Maps
Starting from Page, head north along Highway 89, you can come to the entrance of the Sky Garden Trail, which is a rocky trail about 1.2 miles long.
Along the way, you can enjoy the Colorado River, as well as various sandstone geology and ferns on the road. vegetation etc.
The whole hike is very short and easy.
7. The Chains
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.6 out of 5.0 (375 reviews) | Google Maps
If you want to hike on a trail close to the water, you can choose the Chain Trail, which is similar to the Hanging Garden Trail.
This is an easy trail, but it will lead you to the Colorado River and you can enjoy the scenery on both sides of the river.
Many tourists will swim and dive here. The steep rock walls on both sides of the water are excellent places for diving.
Notice: Divers need to be extra careful, especially when considering diving from a high place, there may be hidden reefs underwater, so be sure to pay attention to safety.
“The Chains” has a parking area from where you can easily walk down to the water.
But in high season, parking can be difficult, so it is advised to arrive early.
8. Glen Canyon Dam
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.6 out of 5.0 (996 reviews) | Google Maps
At Glen Canyon Dam, you can take in some pretty majestic views, whether it’s the dam, Lake Powell, the Colorado River, or the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge.
The dam rises some 710 feet above the Colorado River downstream, and its massive hydraulic power provides electricity to millions of people in the West.
9. Lake Powell
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 out of 5.0 (841 reviews) | Google Maps
Lake Powell is about a 15-minute drive from Antelope Valley. It is an artificial lake surrounded by the Glen Canyon Dam and one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States.
You can experience a variety of activities in Lake Powell.
There is also a helicopter sightseeing service, you can see the content of the helicopter tour below.
Near Lake Powell, there is also a fully equipped campsite. If you want to experience camping near Antelope Canyon, you must not miss it. Make an appointment in advance to enjoy the wonderful experience of staying overnight in the canyon.
10. Vermillion Cliff and The Wave
Vermilion Cliffs is a spectacular red sandstone formation that is the main feature of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
“The Wave” is a very special place within Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, it is made up of alternating layers of red and yellow sandstone that look like giant waves, hence its name.
Due to its unique and vulnerable nature, access to “The Wave” requires a special permit. Only a certain number of visitors are allowed each day, ensuring the pristine and conservation of the area.
In addition to “The Wave”, there are many other spectacular landforms in this area, such as Second Wave, Top Rock Arch, and Sand Cove.
Here I need to mention “The New Wave” by the way, which is not in the same place as “The Wave” introduced above.
The New Wave is near the northwest corner of Page, and The Wave is to the southwest of Page. The distance between the two places is around 50 minutes by car.
Unlike “The Wave,” you don’t need a special license to access “The New Wave.”
The New Wave
“The New Wave” isn’t as well-known as “The Wave,” but it’s still a breathtaking place.
It’s located near the city of Page and is relatively easy to get to. “The New Wave” is named for its similar alternating red and gold sandstone layers, which are similar to “The Wave”, but not as large
The landscape of “The New Wave” is also suitable for photography, especially during the golden hour of the morning or evening. At this time, the low-angle sunlight will bring warm tones to the rocks and create beautiful light and shadow effects.
11. Toadstool Hoodoos
The Toadstool Hoodoos is a geological wonder near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The characteristic rock shapes in this area, caused by weathering and erosion, look like giant mushrooms or toadstools, hence the name.
Its signature features are its hat-shaped rock top and slender columns. This shape is because different parts of the rock have different hardness, so they weather and erode at different rates.
The hiking trail from the parking lot to the attraction is only about a mile (1.6 km) long. This route is great for families and people of all ages.
As this is a remote natural area, it is recommended that you bring plenty of water to avoid the midday heat and make sure to tell others about your trip to stay safe.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.8 out of 5.0 (336 reviews) | Google Maps
Located on the west side of Lake Powell, the Rainbow Bridge is a natural bridge carved out of Navajo sandstone. It is currently the sixth-longest natural bridge in the world, with a height of about 290 feet.
You can take a boat trip from Lake Powell to see the natural stone bridge from the water.
Taking a Helicopter
In addition to ground and water sightseeing, aerial sightseeing is also a good choice for visiting Antelope Canyon and the surrounding areas.
What are the precautions for visiting Antelope Canyon?
When visiting Antelope Canyon, in addition to having to join a local tour group to visit, while visiting the Lower Antelope Canyon, you will encounter many difficult roads, you also need to pay attention to the following points:
- If it rains in the upstream area, tour companies may cancel your booked tour, so when you purchase the itinerary, you should check their refund policy. If the itinerary is canceled due to natural climate and other factors, it is important to know how your refund policy works.
- The Navajo region observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the summer, but most of the rest of Arizona, where the park is located, does not have such a time zone adjustment, so if you go to Antelope Canyon Park in the summer, you will need to adjust the time zone on your watch or phone.