Antelope Canyon is a mesmerizing slot canyon shaped by a millennium of natural forces. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting, including how to capture the iconic Antelope Canyon light beams.  

By: Paul | Last Updated: 7 Apr 2024 | Jump to Comments & Questions

Down Arrow

Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. Shaped over millennia, orange and red walls are etched with horizontal lines, curving into mesmerizing shapes.

There’s a hypnotic play of light and shadow when the sun hits at the right angle, making it a stunning place to photograph.

Located on Navajo land, Antelope Canyon can only be visited on a guided tour. There are a few different options, plus cost implications, so read on for everything you need to know about visiting Antelope Canyon.

upper antelope canyon
UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON

WHAT IS ANTELOPE CANYON?

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the American Southwest, located on Navajo Land. Shaped by millions of years of erosion, the canyon was named after the pronghorn antelope that once roamed the area.

Antelope Canyon consists of 6 separate sections of canyon which are: Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, Rattle Snake Canyon, Owl Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon and Canyon X.

Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon are by far the most popular as they require no climbing. While both canyons provide amazing experiences, they are quite different. Read our guide to Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon to find out how.

WHERE IS ANTELOPE CANYON?

Antelope Canyon is part of the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park which is 10 minutes east of Page near the Arizona-Utah border.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Phoenix and Las Vegas are the most popular starting points for visiting Antelope Canyon. Here are the driving distances to Page from the main airports:

  • From Phoenix, Arizona – 277 miles | 3.5 hours’ drive
  • From Paradise, Nevada – 280 miles | 4.5 hour’s drive
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – 280 miles | 4.5 hour’s drive

ANTELOPE CANYON TOURS FROM LAS VEGAS

Antelope Canyon is a popular day trip from Las Vegas (our guide: things to do in Las Vegas). It’s a long day (around 13 hours), but you visit Horseshoe Bend as well as Antelope Canyon, and lunch is included.

antelope canyon, upper canyon
UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON

UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON

Upper Antelope Canyon is called Tsé bighánílíní in Navajo, which means “the place where water runs through rocks”. Its nickname is “The Crack” due to the very narrow gap in the canyon roof.

It is shaped like an ‘A’ with a wide base and a narrow top. The narrow top means only slender beams of light enter the canyon making it dark and moody.

Upper Antelope Canyon is 3 miles from Lower Antelope Canyon.

HOW TO VISIT UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON?

The only way to visit Antelope Canyon is with a Navajo guide.

Guided tours leave from Page. You are driven for 15 minutes along the sandy riverbank in an open 4×4 to the start of the trail.

The canyon is only 660 feet (200 meters) long. The hike heads along the relatively flat canyon floor, before climbing out the back of the canyon. You then walk around above ground, back to the pickup point.

The tour lasts 100 minutes. Twenty minutes for the pick-up and drive (each way) and 60 minutes for the ¾ mile walk in the canyon. The tour operators ask you to check-in 30 minutes before the tour is scheduled to leave Page.

LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

Lower Antelope Canyon is called Hasdestwazi in Navajo, which means “spiral rock arches”. Its nickname is the Corkscrew, due to its twisted walls.

It is shaped like a ‘V’ with a narrow base and a wider top. More light enters through the canyon roof making the canyon brighter.

HOW TO VISIT LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON

Tours are run by two operators: Dixie’s Tours and Ken’s Tours. Both have offices and a large parking lot right next to the Lower Antelope Canyon entrance.

The canyon is 1,335 feet (400 metres) long. The entrance is down 5 flights of a steep metal staircase. The narrow canyon floor is a little trickier to navigate and there are 8 further flights of stairs along the route. The exit is through a small gap in the rock only a short walk the from parking lot.

The walking tour is 1 mile in total and takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. Tours are called 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.

BEST TIME TO VISIT ANTELOPE CANYON

The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is in the middle of the day when the sun shines through the narrow gap between the canyon walls and lights up the smooth rock.

Specifically, in Upper Antelope Canyon between the months of April and August the angle of the sun is just right to allow the beams to reach the canyon floor. Please note: this only happens when the sun is directly overhead so you must book a tour between 11 am and 1:30 pm to see the incredible light beams in Upper Antelope Canyon.

You can visit Antelope Canyon all year and you’ll find it much less crowded from November through to February.

ANTELOPE CANYON: UPPER VS LOWER

Upper Antelope Canyon is better for photographers IF you book a lunchtime slot well in advance. It is also a more relaxed experience with a smaller group giving you more time to line up better shots.

Lower Antelope Canyon is better for selfies due to the increased light in the canyon. It’s a more family-friendly experience with a slightly more adventurous trail that the kids will love.

We have a full review of the 2 canyons in our guide: Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon.

ANTELOPE CANYON TIME ZONE

Antelope Canyon Tours run on Arizona Standard Time (MST), sharing the same time zone as Page, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, and Phoenix.

Please be aware that if you drive from Monument Valley or Utah during Daylight Savings Time (middle of March to the beginning of November) you’ll need to move your clocks forward 1 hour.

lower antelope canyon
LOWER CANYON

UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON TOURS

Upper Antelope Canyon Tours are run by several different Navajo providers. They are located in Page and will drive you to the start of the canyon walk in their 4×4.  Remember to book in advance and try to get a slot from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm.

LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON TOURS

There are 2 tour providers for the lower canyon. They are located next to each other near the entrance to Lower Antelope Canyon.

TOP TOURS

COMBINED TOUR OPTIONS


If the tours appear fully booked, make sure you check GetYourGuide and Viator who have additional timeslots and provide a wider range of experiences in the area.

COST

Prices can vary by tour guide, but below is a 2023 estimate of what you can expect to pay to visit the upper and lower canyons. All tickets incur an additional $8 Navajo Park fee. Between April and August, the lunchtime tour of Upper Antelope Canyon is $120.

CANYONCOSTDURATION
Upper$85 adults | $75 kids¾ mile | 2 hours
Lower$55 adults & kids1 mile | 45 min

WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU?

Although the walk through the canyons is not difficult, you are walking over sand and there are some stairs to navigate, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for your visit to Antelope Canyon.

  • Sturdy closed-toe shoes – You’ll be walking a good distance on sandy surfaces.
  • Layers – It can be hot in summer and cooler in winter so wear layers.
  • Sunscreen – Important in both summer and winter.
  • Hat and handkerchief – It’s very sandy, particularly on the drive, so bring something to protect yourself.
  • Camera protection – Bags are not allowed on the tour, so you need to bring something to protect your camera from sand on the drive out to the canyon.
  • 1 bottle of water – No other food or drink is allowed in Antelope Canyon.

WHAT YOU CAN’T TAKE WITH YOU

You’ll see when you book there is a long list of things you can’t take with you on the tours. These are:

  • Bags, purses, fanny packs
  • Tripods
  • Selfie sticks
  • Other food or drink (except 1 bottle of water)

It’s also important to note that there are no trash cans or toilets on the tour.

WHERE TO STAY?

There’s plenty to see in the area including Horseshoe Bend, so it’s worth staying a night or two to enjoy the area. Here are some recommendations from us.

LAKE POWELL

HYATT PLACE PAGE

This full-service hotel features an outdoor pool with a bar and lounge and a 24-hour fitness center. It’s a 15-minute drive to Antelope Canyon.


OUR PICK

LAKE POWELL

LA QUINTA INN & SUITES

Just a 10-minute drive from Antelope Canyon, this resort-style property has an outdoor pool and hot tub for the ideal way to relax after a day seeing the sights.


LAKE POWELL

BAYMONT BY WYNDHAM

This very well-rated hotel is in a great location with large comfortable rooms, some of which have views over the Glen Canyon Dam. It’s 8 minutes to Horseshoe Bend and 12 minutes to Antelope Canyon.


upper antelope canyon exit
UPPER CANYON ENTRANCE

MAP | ANTELOPE CANYON

Below is a map of the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon area where we have indicated the offices of the tour guides.  

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.  


WHERE NEXT AFTER ANTELOPE CANYON?

Antelope Canyon is part of an amazing area of landscapes spread across Utah and northern Arizona. They can be explored on a wonderful 2-week US road trip that includes Utah’s Mighty 5, Monument Valley and Las Vegas. 

Here are our recommendations on how to see it all:

paul mark 1
ANYWHERE WE ROAM IS
READER-SUPPORTED

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Thanks for your support.

You can also buy us a coffee, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook.

- Paul & Mark.