Antelope Canyon, Arizona USA: Travel guide & Useful tips

Last Updated on

All you need to know while planning a trip to Upper Antelope Canyon

It’s unbelievable, how flash floods and wind can create something so magical and magnificent. Light plays its part by illuminating and bringing the vermilion colored walls to life.

Antelope Canyon is one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring masterpieces of nature.

If you are visiting Arizona or Grand Canyon (checkout a day itinerary to Grand Canyon), Antelope Canyon is one place you must include in your itinerary.

During our visit to Grand Canyon last year, we happened to visit the Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend, although it was not a part of our travel plan. And I am so glad that we made this visit.

This article will help you with all the information you need to know during your visit to the Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon Travel Guide
Upper Antelope Canyon, Page

Where is Antelope Canyon?

Antelope Canyons are the slot canyons, made of red sandstone carved by the action of flash floods and wind over millions of years.

Located in Page, Northern Arizona on Navajo Land, the Slot canyons are divided into two sections, the Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Both are located on opposite sides.

 How to reach Antelope Canyon?

  1. The nearest airport from Antelope Canyon is in Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, you can book a day tour to Antelope Canyon. If you prefer to visit on your own, then you need to rent a car.
  2. In either case, you need to reach the Tour operator’s office in Page, from where they take you till the Antelope canyon in a 4×4 vehicle.
  3. During our 3-day visit, we opted for a rental car for flexibility. We visited Grand Canyon on the first day and Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe bend on the Second Day.

Antelope Canyon from Grand Canyon 

Antelope Canyon is 220 miles away from Grand Canyon Village and it takes around 3.5 hours. It’s recommended keeping a day in your itinerary for visiting Page. 

Upper Antelope Canyon, USA
Upper Antelope Canyon, USA

Which is better- Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon?

With limited time, it was not possible to cover both. We chose the Upper Antelope Canyon. Here are a few highlights of both to help you decide.

Upper Antelope Canyon

  1. You can experience the famous light beams and sand cascading from the crevices.
  2. Easy access and walk inside the Canyon (1/4th of Mile)
  3. Less time consuming (1 hour)
  4. More popular and hence crowded 

Lower Antelope Canyon

  1. You need to go down and climb up the staircases (hiking)
  2. Narrow alleys
  3. Less crowded
  4. Cheaper entry tickets
  5. No photographic tour option available
Upper Antelope Canyon- Useful tips
Play of light – Upper Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
Forming different Shapes: Antelope Canyon

Best time to visit Antelope Canyon

If you wish to witness & photograph the famous light beams entering the upper Antelope Canyon, then March to early October is the best time to visit. However, due to peak season, the slot Canyons are super crowded.

If you are not very keen on capturing the light beam, it’s good to visit during the winter between November to March

 Best time of the day to visit Antelope Canyon

The light beam appears from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., so don’t forget to book your tour during the right time slot. If you are claustrophobic like me or looking for a lesser crowd, then the late afternoon is better.

We visited the Antelope Canyon during early October and opted for a 3.30 pm sightseeing tour.

antelope Canyon- Travel Guide and useful tips
Upper Antelope Canyon, USA

Upper Antelope Canyon tours

Both the Canyons are located in the Navajo Nation and can be accessed only by the Navajo operated guided tours. Many tour operators are offering different packages. Some of them are.

  1. Antelope Canyon Tours by Roger Ekis and Carolene Ekis
  2. Adventurous Antelope Canyon photo tour
  3. Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
  4. Antelope house tours
  5. Antelope slot canyon tours
  6. Antelope valley canyon tour by ligai Si’anii, LLC

Many of the tour operators also offer a combination of Lower as well as upper Antelope Canyon along with other popular destinations like Boat tours etc. but here I am mentioning tour only for Upper Antelope Canyon.

Upper Antelope Canyon Sight-seeing tour

Duration: 1.30 hours

Charges: Adults (8 & above): $ 54

Child (up to 7): $44

11 a.m. tour (where you can witness the light beams and the illuminating phenomenon)

Charges: Adult (8 & older): $69

Child (up to 8): 59$

There is an additional $8 Navajo Park Fee for adults plus surcharge

Departure times: *7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., & 3:30 p.m.  (do check the current timings before booking)

These are guided tours, which take you to the Canyon point in a 4×4 vehicle and from there the driver takes you inside the Canyon. The guide shares information like how Antelope Canyon is formed, its history, popular photo spots, and other interesting information including your questions. This tour provides ample opportunities to click pictures at various spots.

A photographic tour of Antelope Canyon is also available which lasts for around 2 hours and costs a little more than the sightseeing tour. This tour lets you set a tripod and Camera at various points inside the slot canyon and capture some of the magnificent pictures.

Our Experience

Having seen Antelope Canyon in many pictures on Instagram, it was always a dream destination but not a part of our plan. After spending a day in Grand Canyon, we realized one day was enough if you have no hiking plans. We decided to utilize the second day to visit Page and explore Horseshoe bend and Upper Antelope Canyon. The drive from Williams (where we stayed) was very scenic and an experience in itself.

As it was an unplanned trip, we dint made prior reservations. We were lucky to get the last slots and 5 of us were the last to get the tickets. After waiting for half an hour in a windy open area, a 4×4 open vehicle drove us across the desert in a bumpy ride.

After 20 mins, we were outside what looked like a crevice, but turned into a magically illuminated wonder once we stepped in. Moving along the narrow path, wondering how these twisted shafts would have formed, we stopped by at popular photographic spots. By the way, every inch of the Canyon feels like a photo spot. The intricate waves like carvings reflect the light in different forms and shades. In some areas, the Canyon grew narrower otherwise it was around 8 to 12 ft wide. It was crowded inside including the photographic tour groups, so we dint get any secluded corner to click pictures. Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable experience.

Antelope Canyon travel guide
Drive from Williams to Page
Antelope Canyon Travel Guide
Drive from Williams to Page
Antelope Canyon travel guide
Antelope Canyon Entrance
Antelope Canyon- Travel guide & Useful tips
Heart shape -Antelope Canyon

What you need to know before visiting Antelope Canyon

  1. Make your reservations in advance. Do book online tour (we just got lucky by getting the slot on the spot)
  2. If you wish to try your luck and book the tour on the spot, do carry cash with you as cards are not accepted at the tour operator’s office.
  3. Do check the weather before traveling, the temperature may vary.
  4. Carry scarfs and sunglasses to cover your hair, face, and eyes. A lot of sand blowS with the wind.
  1. Do carry a water bottle.
  2. Bringing Selfie sticks, tripods, backpacks, bags & purses, strollers, drones, pets is not allowed and you need to leave it your car (for photographic tours tripods are allowed)
  3. Keep your car stocked up with snacks and water, no stores are available in the vicinity
  4. Reach the venue 30 minutes before.
  5. Carry a protective covering for your Camera.

Have you visited Antelope Canyon before? How was your experience?

Like it. Save it for later

Antelope Canyon, Arizona travel guide & useful tips

Upper Antelope Canyon: Trave guide and useful tips

Advertisements

85 thoughts on “Antelope Canyon, Arizona USA: Travel guide & Useful tips

  1. This is a great guide! I was supposed to go there in March, but hoping to go this summer now. I’m totally keeping this handy! 🙂

  2. I wish I would have read this before my visit, especially the right time of day to go. Thank you for this!

  3. We are hoping to kayak into this canyon in the summer (fingers crossed). We went once before but only stumbled across it at the end of the day so missed the light. Can’t wait to go back and it’s really handy to have a guide with all the information we need for our visit in one place. Thank you!

  4. Amazing click..!! Love the way u explained hope I would get chance to visit this lovely place..!!

  5. I have never even been to Arizona but plan on going to Utah this October and think that we may very well do a road trip here. So I will definitely keep this guide in mind!

  6. This looks like such an incredible place to visit! Arizona next on my list of states I want to head to so I will definitely have to plan a trip here during my trip!

  7. I’ve been dreaming about going to Antelope canyon for so long so this guide will be really helpful for when I finally make it there!

  8. Your photos are incredible! It fills like you are photographing something liquid (not solid). I want to see more of Arizona. I have been a couple of times but need to make more plans.

  9. I feel like the Antelope is hands down one of the most beautiful parts of the US! Your photos speak volumes! Cannot wait to visit.

  10. I loved Antelope Canyon! But I was unprepared for just how crowded the canyon gets. Because of this, the tours have to keep moving so I found it hard to really enjoy and take in the canyon. But, I would actually go back. I did the Upper Canyon so I’d like to see how different the Lower Canyon is.

    1. Agree with you now the crowd part,somehow when we visited,we got sufficient time and it was not that crowded so got lucky there. I am curious to explore lower Antelope too

  11. Omg one of my favorite places on Earth. Just did a recap of this on my IG yesterday and posted the photos from when I was there 2 years ago. Cant wait to go back <3

  12. Great post! We went with the same tour company you did! So, so good. I was worried I was going to be disappointed, but it’s honestly one of the coolest places I’ve been. We did go end of October though and there were no light beams, but even so it was still totally beautiful.

  13. I want to do a road trip in Utah and Arizona covering Antelope canyon and some of the national parks. This information was very helpful. Thank you!

  14. Wow Antelope Canyon looks spectacular. Thanks for this post, the canyon has not made it to the top of my bucketlist. I will bookmark this post for future reference.

  15. Wow!! These are some incredible photos! Thanks for the detailed guide. Super helpful. I have been really wanting to explore more of the US’ natural beauty, and I am adding this to my list!

  16. Great write up! A quick heads up, there are no more photo tours at Upper Antelope Canyon.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.