Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon, Explained

Are you planning a summer road trip to Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona? Here is everything you need to know including upper antelope canyon vs lower antelope canyon comparison, the best time to visit Antelope Canyon to see the light beam, our recommended Antelope Canyon itinerary to see both in one day, where to stay near the Antelope Canyons, and other important visitor information. This article on Antelope Canyon is part of our 7-Day Zion Bryce and Grand Canyon National Parks Road Trip Itinerary.

Visiting the renowned Antelope Canyon is a must on any Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary. Like most, the first time I heard about the stunning canyon was on a list of ‘Most Beautiful Places to See Before You Die’. At that time I could not believe that such a brilliantly colored natural canyon exists. Then I read more about it and realized that it is located in the famous Grand Circle – an area filled with intense, vibrant, otherworldly landscapes. That’s when I also discovered that the Antelope Canyon actually comprises two separate slot canyons, both of which can be visited while in the area. The Antelope canyon lower vs upper decision is an important part of planning your Page / Grand Canyon trip. Here’s everything that you need to know about Antelope canyons to help you choose between them:

Upper Antelope Canyon vs Lower Antelope Canyon: Which should you visit?

Dotted Globe contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you!

“Between the colors of earth and sky, the landforms jutting out of the ground like primordial skyscrapers and the history of indigenous peoples who have called it home for thousands of years, it is unlike any other place you will ever see”
– Thomas D. Mangelsen, the famous natur photographer

Where are the Antelope Canyons located?

Both the lower and upper Antelope Canyons are located close to each other outside of Page in Northern Arizona. The canyons are located on Navajo Nation near the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is just a few minutes drive from most hotels in Page to the Antelope Canyons but most tour operators provide pick up and drop off services as part of the tour. While Page does have an airport it is not that well-connected to major cities, so your best bet is to fly to Las Vegas or Phoenix and then rent a car for a memorable Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion and Bryce road trip – just like us!

How far is Antelope Canyon from Grand Canyon?

As mentioned, Antelope Canyon is located close to Grand Canyon National Park and visitors can see both on the same trip. The drive time between Antelope Canyon to Grand Canyon is about 2 hrs (~115 miles). When driving from Antelope Canyon, you will be entering Grand Canyon National Park through the Eastern Desert View Drive entrance. If you are driving directly to the Grand Canyon Village entrance then the distance is about 140 miles and the drive takes a little over 2.5 hrs. However, we do not recommend seeing both Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in one day since you won’t be able to devote enough time to both the attractions. A better plan is to tour the Antelope Canyons, overnight in Page or Tusayan and see the Grand Canyon on next day. You can read more about this in our Vegas – Antelope Canyon – Grand Canyon itinerary.  

Antelope Canyons can be easily seen on a Grand Canyon Road Trip

Slot Canyon 101

So what exactly is a slot canyon and how is it different from most other canyons? A slot canyon is narrow compared to regular canyons and formed due to erosion caused by water rushing vertically through the rock with great force as in the case of flash floods. On the other hand, regular canyons like the Grand Canyon are formed due to the gentle erosion of a plateau caused by the horizontal flow of river water. As a result, slot canyons are significantly deep than wide. They are mostly formed in soft, easy to erode rock such as sandstone or limestone. The southwestern US contains many beautiful slot canyons, of which the Antelope Canyons are the most famous.

Did you know that the hidden entrance to the famous archeological site of Petra in Jordan is through a beautiful, mile-long slot canyon? Southern Utah contains a major percentage of the world’s slot canyons: the famous Narrows Hike in Zion National Park is also through a slot canyon!

Antelope Canyon History

The Antelope Canyons have a unique history. The area where the canyons exist was covered in sand dunes in prehistoric times. Over time, the sand dunes were compressed and metamorphosed into red sandstone rock. During thunderstorms, the mesa upstream of the canyons flooded and the runoff water rushed through the porous sandstone rock carving unique passageways of the Antelope Canyons. The water created whirlpools and funneled down the opening in the ground, leaving patterns and flowing curves on the canyon walls.

The canyons got their name from the herds of American pronghorns (antelopes) that once grazed in the area. The antelopes used to seek shelter inside the canyons during summer to escape the heat and that’s where the Navajo people found and hunted them. Hence, the name. The canyons also served as a hiding place for Navajo people during their skirmishes against the US Army. Many other Navajo legends exist about the Antelope Canyons; you will often hear them during the guided tour.

Pronghorn Antelope grazing in the area used to seek shelter inside the canyons, hence the name (Credit – Pixabay)

Both the Antelope Canyons are so extraordinarily beautiful that they are often called the Eighth Wonder of the World. The water rushing through the red sandstone has created undulating, smooth curves and vivid textures inside the canyon that leaves all who visit it speechless. The Navajo people have long worshipped the canyons as sacred and spiritual, and have a traditional blessing ceremony every 4 years to thank the natural elements.

Prior to 1997, the canyons could be seen on a self-guided tour of the area. However, the sheer number of people visiting the canyons began putting a strain on these natural attractions. In addition, thunderstorms caused sudden flash-flooding in the canyons and drowned tourists. As a result, the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park was created on the Navajo Nation in 1997 to protect the canyons and create safe-viewing environment through guided tours for those who wish to visit them. Today, the Antelope Canyons are a significant source of tourism for the Navajo Nation.

Monument Valley and Antelope Canyons, both, are part of Navajo Nation (Credit – Pixabay)

Upper Antelope Canyon

We love knowing the Native American names of attractions whenever they exist because the people who discovered them first have unique, beautiful names for such attractions. The Navajo people have lived near and worshipped the Antelope Canyons are sacred places for thousands of years. The original Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní which translates to ‘the place where water runs through rocks’. Another name for the Upper Canyon is ‘the Crack’.

Lower Antelope Canyon

The Navajo name for the Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí which means ‘spiral rock arches’. The lower canyon is also popularly known as ‘the Corkscrew’. The lower antelope canyon is located a few miles away from the upper canyon. The lower canyon has a regular V shape, making it quite narrow at the bottom. Because of its shape, the lower canyon is generally better illuminated than the upper canyon throughout the day. The lower canyon runs in north south direction.

When is the best time to visit Antelope Canyons?

Most visitors wonder about the best time to go to antelope canyons. In general the summer season reveals more vibrant colors inside the canyons since more light enters the canyons. In contrast, the winter colors are more muted. However, most visitors wish to see the famous light beams inside the canyons.

Light beam inside Upper Antelope Canyon (Credit – Pixabay)

Best time to visit Antelope Canyons to see the Light Beam

Most visitors want to see the famous Antelope canyon beam of light during their tour. The light beams can be seen when the sun is shining high over the canyons i.e. in the summer months around noon. While the light shafts can be seen in both the canyons, they are more frequent in the upper canyon because of its upside-down V shape. The beams start entering into the canyons from March 20 till October 7. That’s why your best bet to see the light beams is in Upper Antelope Canyon from April to September from 10:30 am to 1 pm. We recommend booking a tour that fits into this time slot as early as possible since then sell out in advance. For Lower Antelope Canyon, we recommend the tours past noon as the canyon is more vividly lit in the afternoon light.

Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon: Which should you visit?

Geologically, both the Antelope Canyons are the exact same type of slot canyons. They were formed in the same way: due to erosion by flash floods. They are formed in the exact same type of red sandstone rock and both feature vibrant patterns and colors. The natural differences are only in their sizes: lower canyon is longer and narrower than the upper canyon. They both are at an elevation of 4000 feet. However, while the canyons may be similar, the way the tours are structured, they offer quite different experiences for most visitors. Here are the most significant differences between the upper and lower antelope canyon tours:

The Upper Antelope Canyon is always crowded compared to Lower Antelope Canyon (Credit – Manop / Flickr)

Tour cost and availability

One important consideration when deciding between upper or lower antelope canyon is your budget and preferred time of viewing. You can tour the Antelope Canyons from anywhere between $30 to $160. However, the cheaper tours are for the lower canyon. Upper Antelope Canyon tours are more expensive because of their popularity. The upper canyon photo tours are the most expensive ones. Similarly, upper canyon tours book out far in advance. If you plan a last minute trip around major holidays like 4th July or Christmas, then you might find that all upper canyon tours are sold out. In that case, we recommend checking lower canyon tour availability to view the antelope canyon.

Number of tourists

The Upper Antelope Canyon Tours are more widely photographed and hence more popular with tourists. In fact, many people who visit the Upper Antelope Canyon do not know about the existence of Lower Antelope Canyons. Consequently, the upper canyons tours are quite crowded outside of non-peak winter season. Compared to that, Lower Antelope Canyon tours offer a more tranquil and intimate viewing experience.

Length of Tour

The Upper Antelope Canyon tour is the shorter one and the walk is about 100 yards long. You will enter and exit the canyon through the same entrance. So the total hike is about 225 yards or about 1/8th of a mile – quite short and easy, even for those with limited mobility. Compared to that, the lower canyon tour is roughly 600 yards long and unidirectional, meaning you will descend into the canyon through ladders and walk out the other end. So the total walk is a mile long. Along with stair / ladder climbing, the tour also involves walking in deep sand, stepping over rocks, and overall uneven terrain.

Light beam inside Lower Antelope Canyon (Credit – Pixabay)

Best photography opportunities

While the light beams can be seen in both the canyons, they are more common in upper antelope canyon due to its inverted V shape. The upper canyon also offers photography tours which the lower canyon does not. Upper canyon also has more vivid colors but less light. On the other hand, lower canyons photographs have less chance of tourists coming in photographs due to lesser crowds. On the whole, if you want to capture the most popular style photo of a light beam in the canyon then the upper antelope canyon is the one you should visit.

Ease of accessibility

The Upper Antelope Canyon hike is quite easy since the entrance and entire length of the canyon are at ground level. The canyon is narrow on top, wide at the bottom, and has high sloping canyon walls. As a result, its cross-section looks like an inverted V shape. The wide bottom creates a wide walking path for the canyon trail. The canyon walls are 120 feet high in some places. Compared to that, the Lower Antelope Canyon hike is much more hectic (see below). That’s why the Upper Antelope Canyon tour is better for those who prefer a less strenuous walk and the elderly.

Stairs inside Lower Antelope Canyon (Credit –
CC2.0 / Wikipedia Commons)

Adventure Travel experience

For those seeking an adventure travel experience, the lower antelope canyon tour is a perfect fit. As mentioned above, the lower canyon has a V shape. The canyon bottom is quite narrow in some places creating a claustrophobic (what I felt was something like ‘canyon wall is closing in on me’ – still loved every moment of it) feel. That means, on the lower antelope canyon hike you will often have to squeeze through the curving canyon walls and have sand falling over your head through the wide opening depending on wind conditions. Add to that, the uneven terrain of the canyon bottom and bolted metal stairways to enter the canyon; the Lower Antelope Canyon promises an adventurous hike.

The tour involves walking a quarter of a mile from the canyon parking lot to the entrance. Instead of walking inside the canyon at ground level, you will descend vertically down using the metal ladder. Once past the series of ladders and staircases, you will reach the canyon floor where the guided tour begins. Once inside the canyon you will walk over deep sand, gravel, and boulders. You will also need to bend under hanging rocks.  As a result, lower canyon tour is great for those who prefer the excitement of the hike and getting some thrilling pictures for the ‘gram!

Entrance to the lower antelope canyon is through a ladder that descends to the canyon floor (Credit – Wikipedia Commons)

Antelope Canyon with Kids

Both the Antelope Canyons can be toured with kids. For families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers – we recommend the upper canyon. The upper canyon is also a better fit for preteens because of ease of access. Because of the sand, we do not recommend strollers inside the canyons. Some tours allow them while some don’t but it’s not a good idea. Instead, we suggest bringing baby backpacks or child carriers so you don’t need to carry your children the entire time and have your hands free to take photographs. Toddlers and preschoolers will also mostly be able to walk the short hike through the upper canyon.

Even lower canyon tours allow infants and toddlers (and baby backpacks) but we do not recommend a lower canyon tour for kids under 4-5. There is a lot of chance of falling and getting hurt in the lower canyon tours because of the nature of the canyons. That said, we have seen people with a baby in carrier climb those steps and… we might do the same on another visit in the future with Baby G! Best to determine according to your comfort level. On the other hand, active preteens and teenagers will love the rigorous climbing, twisting and turning passageways, and adventurous nature of the lower canyon tours.

The most important thing to remember is that it will get quite sandy, so we suggest covering the baby’s head and ears, wearing long-sleeved onesies, and carrying a few wipes for the sand. We also recommend taking kids to the bathroom before the tour as there are no bathrooms near the canyon. I love giving my almost 4-year-old his own toddler camera on trips and he can ‘take’ his own pictures. For more information on visiting Antelope Canyon with kids, read here.

Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in one day: Here’s how to do it!

If you are like us, you are already wanting to see both! The light beam, yes please! Lots of ladders, here I come! Well, the good news is that with careful planning, it is possible to see both the upper and lower antelope canyons in one day and we’re here to tell you how!

First of all, we recommend staying in Page for 2 nights and 1 day to see both the canyons in one day without feeling rushed. Also, it will be easier to experience the canyons to their fullest and also see nearby attractions like Horseshoe Bend Overlook during the summer months since you can take advantage of the daylight hours.

After having a heavy breakfast in Page – trust us you will need it since you will be on the Navajo Tribal Park for the better part of the day – head out to the park entrance for the 10:30/11 am upper antelope canyon tour. Alternatively, your tour operator can pick you up in Page an hour and a half before the tour. Remember, most tours need up to an hour prior check-in, so plan accordingly.

After visiting the upper canyon on the guided tour and seeing the light beams in the canyon, head to Lower Antelope Canyon. Keep a minimum of 3 hours difference between both the tours. You can book Lower Antelope Canyon for 1:30 or 2 pm. You can also try the 1 pm tour, but you will need to hurry between the tours. Fortunately, the lower canyon is well-lit in the afternoon and you will be able to see its vibrant colors quite well.

Keep an eye on the sunset time. In late spring to fall, you will have enough time after the canyon tours to visit Horseshoe Bend Overlook around sunset. Alternatively, you can even take a sunset boat cruise on Lake Powell and visit the waterside of Antelope Canyon.

Upper Canyon is vividly colored than the Lower Canyon (Credit – Pixabay)

Antelope Canyon Tours

Due to their location on tribal land, Antelope Canyon Private tours are the only way to see these world-famous slot canyons. While all the tours are operated by tribal operators, there is some difference between upper and lower antelope canyon tours. We recommend tipping your Navajo tour guides for the wonderful job they do. Here are some important things to know that apply to almost all tours:

1. Entrance to the Tribal Park is $8 per person and the tour cost is extra depending on the operator. Most guided tours will require you to pay the entry fee separately in cash at the entrance, so keep the cash handy.

2. Most tours require guests to check-in at the Navajo park entrance an hour before the scheduled tour time.

3. The upper canyon tours start with a 4 X 4 vehicle from the point of pickup and transport guests to the Antelope Canyon entrance where the guided hikes begin. While the tours are an hour long, you should allow 20-30 mins from Tribal Park entrance to the canyon entrance.

4. The Navajo guides lead tour groups through the canyons, discussing the geology and cultural history of the canyons and pointing out unique canyon features.

5. The tours stop at various famous photography points in the canyon and the Navajo guides assist in photography including pointing special viewing angles, taking a photo of the guests, showing light photography tricks etc.

6. Most tours last an hour long except for photography tours which are usually 2 hrs long. If you are taking a photography tour then a DSLR and tripod is a must.

7. The tours do not allow any kind of bags including money belts, wristlets, backpacks, purses, and foods inside the canyons. Also not allowed are tripods, monopods, Go-Pros, drones, and selfie sticks.

8. Antelope Canyons are in Arizona Time. The surrounding Navajo Nation and Utah observe daylight saving while Arizona does not. As a result, people often arrive late since their phones show Utah time. We recommend setting watches to Arizona time and not missing out on your tour.

9. Flood season is from July to September. While flood occurrences are rare and very closely monitored, an unprecedented storm / rainfall can close the canyons for hours and all tours will be cancelled.

Tour groups going to the entrance of upper canyons in an open 4WD vehicle (Credit – Pixabay)

We recommend booking the tours far in advance to select your desired time slot – Antelope canyon walk in is a very risky plan, especially during the peak summer season. There are 4 tour operators providing guided tours to the upper canyons and 2 operators providing guided tours to lower canyons (as of Jan 2019). Here is a list of main tour operators for regular guided tours (for information on photography tours, read below):

Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours (Upper Canyon)

Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours are offered from the entrance to the Tribal Park. You will need to drive to the entrance and park there. They offer on the hour sightseeing tour for $60 per person for adults and $30 per child for infants and children under 12. The tours start at every hour and are an hour long. You can reserve them on their website. They also have 2 hour long photography tour from 11 am to 1 pm.

Antelope Canyon Tours (Upper Canyon)

Antelope Canyon Tours is another outfitter providing tours into upper canyon. Their tours are also an hour long and start from Page so keep an hour and a half for the tours. The rates are $75 per adult for the peak 11 am tour. For other tour times and child rates, check their website.

Antelope Slot Canyon Tours (Upper Canyon)

Antelope Slot Canyon Tours offers tours at more times than most other outfitters. If you are in Page at odd times and want to see the Antelope Canyons as a bucket list item then you can even book tours at 6:30 am or 5:00 pm. This operator does not allow infants and children under 6. Their prime sunbeam tours start at 10:30 am, winter rates are $58 per person.

Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours (Upper Canyon)

Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours provides prime time and other regular sightseeing tours into the canyon. The cost is $77 per adult for prime sunbeam viewing tour and slightly lesser for other times. They also provide photo tours and tours in other nearby canyons.

Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours

For many years, Ken’s Tours was the only company offering tours inside Lower Antelope Canyon. Their general tours cost $40 per adult and $20 per child aged 8-12 years. Infants and children under 8 are free. The tours are an hour long and run every 30 minutes, usually there are 10 people in one tour group. Ken’s also has more intimate tours limited to group of 4 which costs $80 per person for adults.

Dixie Ellis’ Lower Antelope Canyon Tours

The other company offering lower antelope canyon tours is Dixie Ellis. Their rates are exactly the same as Ken’s Tours: $40 for adults, $20 for children aged 8-12, and free for kids under 8. This tour also lasts for an hour to hour and a half.

Vivid patterns in sandstone created by swirling flood water (Credit – Pixabay)

Antelope Canyon Photography Tours: Should you do them?

The red glowing canyon walls, shadowy corners, dancing beams of light, shimmering sand particles in the beams have all attracted photographers to Antelope Canyons since decades. Most tourists want to go on an exclusive photo tour of the Antelope Canyons. However, these tours are quite expensive (over $150 per person) and there’s just one photography tour in the day when the light beam has a maximum chance of occurring. In that case, should you opt for the photography tours? Here is some information that will make your decision easier:

Guided Photography Tour times and cost

Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours conducts guided photography tours from 11 am to 1 pm for $160 per person in the Upper Antelope Canyon. Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours also conduct photography tours for $158 per person. Antelope Canyon Tours also offers photography tours for $125 per person. The Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tour operator also offers special night photography tours inside the canyon.

You will notice that all the photography tours are at the optimal time of the day, which almost assures a chance of capturing a light beam inside the canyon. However, you can also schedule a regular tour at this time if you want to see the light beam but photographing it without a tripod will be trickier.

Night photography tour is a great option to experience Antelope Canyon in a different way – (Photo – Pixabay)

Required Photography Equipment

The special photography tours require a DSLR and a tripod, one per person. Regular tours do not allow tripods, monopods or selfie sticks. Photographing the Antelope Canyon without a tripod is not easy since the colors are often muted for a major part of the day and the vivid coloring cannot be easily captured. That’s why the photography tours will give you the best pictures. That said, it is possible to take a good enough photo of the Antelope Canyon using a smartphone or point and shoot or without a tripod. Rather it is impossible to take a bad photograph of the stunning canyons. Our point is that if you take a regular tour, you will still come out of the canyons with pretty good pictures.

Special Photography Tricks

Yes, if you take a photography tour, you will mostly get a picture of the sand slowly falling from the canyon walls. And no, you won’t be able to take this picture properly on most regular tours. The reason is that the Navajo guides deliberately throw the sand at the canyon walls so that photographers can take the coveted pictures – while some tour guides throw the sand even on regular tours, you need a tripod to clearly capture the slow fall of sand. The guides also often tell photographers exactly where to stand and in what direction to photograph to take a desired image. You will often have less time to exercise your own ingenuity to photograph the canyons.

Often wind blows the sand inside canyons, if not the Navajo guides throw sand to create the falling sand effect (Credit – Pixabay)

Fewer crowds? Not really

You might reason that the high cost and longer tour time might deter a lot of tourists and you will find relatively fewer crowds on a photography tour. However, that is very unlikely, especially during peak season (late spring to September end). The canyons are extremely popular and visited by over thousands of tourists every year. Most of them want to spend more time in the canyons and opt for a photography tour of the world-famous slot canyons.

Not for families

The photography tours are actually planned only for professional photographers. Participants need to have DSLR / SLR / Mirrorless camera and a tripod to take the tour. If 2 of you are joining the photography tour, then you will need 2 digital cameras. You will not be allowed to join a photo tour with point and shoot or smartphone cameras. You need to know your camera well and cannot fumble in the canyon for desired settings. Also, children are not allowed on the photography tour. As a result, these tours are not a good fit for families.

The 6.5 Million Dollar Photograph

The most expensive photograph in the world is a black and white image of the Antelope Canyons taken by famous landscape photographer Peter Lik for a whopping 6.5 Million in December 2014. If you can take a photo even half as good as that, who are we to stop you from taking a photographic tour?

However, for the rest of us, we would recommend taking a regular tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon which still gives you decent photos of these beautiful canyons. Instead of becoming fixated on taking the perfect photograph, spend more time experiencing the natural beauty of these canyons. Enjoy the time admiring these priceless treasures and admire the work of Mother Nature. Use the money you saved to see Lower Antelope Canyon on an adventurous hike or spend half a day floating on the Colorado River in Glen Canyon. That’s what we did and don’t regret it one bit!

The unique patterns and vivid colors of the Antelope Canyons have long drawn photographers (Credit – Pixabay)

Antelope Canyon by Boat / Kayak

Not many visitors know about this, but you can also visit the Antelope Canyons via guided kayak / boat tours. Some of the companies offering kayak rentals and boat tours include Antelope Canyon Boat Tours, Dixie Ellis – they offer combination packages for kayaking and lower canyon hiking tours, Antelope Slot Canyon Tours, Lake Powell Resort Boat Tour, An important thing to note is that you won’t be able to enter the Antelope Canyon Walking Tour area from the waterside. You will see a different side of the canyons but it is not a substitute for the upper or lower antelope canyon hiking tours.

The pontoon and other boat tours will take you on an hour long cruise of Lake Powell and offer opportunity to see the waterside of the Antelope Canyons. The boat tours take visitors close to the canyon walls and are usually an hour long. While the colors on this side are not as vivid and beautiful as the canyon hike tours, you will be able to see the canyons from a very different viewpoint. Antelope Canyons are 10 mile long and a boat tour usually takes you up first 5 miles. While the peak season for cruises is summer, off-peak winter tours will offer unique chance to get closer to the canyons since there are less boats on the water. We suggest the sunset boat tour for a romantic, tranquil experience and capturing the sandstone in vibrant colors.

A great option to the boat tours is self-guided kayak tours to the canyons. You may be also able to find a Navajo guide for guided kayak tours. On kayak tours, you can paddle much nearer to the canyons. You can rent kayaks at Antelope Canyon Marina and paddle on Lake Powell to where the canyon starts. You can spend the entire day on the water and visit hidden coves and beaches on Lake Powell. While we haven’t done the kayak tours due to our kids, our friends and few readers have – and they loved the experience. If you want to know more about real traveller experiences of kayaking into the canyon, then this post and this post will be quite useful.

Kayak or boat tour to the waterside of the Antelope Canyons will lead you to views such as these! (Credit – Pixabay)

How should you dress for an Antelope Canyon tour? What to pack for Antelope Canyon?

Summer temperature in Page, Arizona can easily reach over 100F. Antelope Canyon temperature is fortunately 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature and hence visiting Antelope Canyon in summer is a soothing experience. In winter, the canyons feel significantly cooler and hence we suggest dressing in layers. Also must are good hiking shoes, especially for the climbing required in lower antelope canyon. Because of all the snake and the small probability of rattlesnakes in the canyon, we recommend close toed hiking shoes.

You definitely need to bring a good camera, preferably a DSLR – we have the Canon Rebel T5i and love it! Adjust your cameras to flash off setting before you enter the canyon. Alternatively, you can also bring a point and shoot camera or just your smartphone. It is seriously impossible to take a bad picture of the canyons. We recommend a cheap protective cover for the camera otherwise sand is going to get in everywhere.

Arizona summers are very harsh and so you absolutely need to bring a water bottle, hat, and sunscreen. We suggest applying the sunscreen just as you reach the tribal park entrance. I also like to keep protein bars in the car while we are roadtripping and eat one before going on any tour. You know, I’m the always little bit hungry type of person!

Entrance to the Upper Antelope Canyons (Credit – Pixabay)

Antelope Canyon Lodging

Are you wondering, where to stay when you visit Antelope Canyons? The canyons are located outside of Page, Arizona and the city makes a great base for exploring the canyons. Page also has many other attractions nearby including the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, Lake Powell Recreation Area, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, etc. We suggest staying in Page for a minimum of 2-3 days to fully experience the things to do near antelope canyons.

Page has a variety of lodgings for all types of travelers including motels, inns, resorts, and B&Bs. Most of the hotels in Page are about 7 miles from Antelope Canyon / Navajo Tribal Park entrance. If you are getting to Page late in the evening from Bryce Canyon National Park – like us – then Marriott is the first hotel you will come across. We stayed here and it was quite easy to find. We had dinner on our way, so we just checked in and settled in our beds right away. The room was clean and the staff was helpful.

On another occasion, when we were traveling with kids, we stayed at Days Inn in Page. It was also located on Route 89 and we just had to take a left exit as we entered the city. We chose this hotel mainly because of the Wal-Mart located right across. I needed to buy a few diapers and other supplies and this proved very convenient. If you are looking for a luxury, out of the town experience – then we suggest Lake Powell Resort. It is right on the lake, and about 5-10 mins from the city but the beautiful views make up for it.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Page is also worth a visit (
Credit – Pixabay )

Things to do near Antelope Canyons

The canyons are located in the famous Grand Circle area and there are lots of beautiful places to see near Antelope Canyons. Here are the three most popular attractions to do when in the area:

Other slot canyons

While the Antelope Canyons are the most popular canyons in the area, there are many other slot canyons in the close vicinity of Antelope Canyons. A few are even part of the same canyon system. Some of these canyons have equally spectacular colors and red sandstone walls but far fewer tourists. All of the canyons are located on Navajo land and require guided Navajo tours to see them. The most popular alternatives to upper or lower antelope canyon are Canyon X, Secret Canyon or Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon, Cathedral Canyon, etc. You can read more about other slot canyon tours in the area here.

Horseshoe Bend Overlook

The scenic horse-shaped bend of the Colorado River can be easily seen from the Horseshoe Bend Overlook Trail. The parking lot for the trail is located a short distance from Page on Highway 89. There is a dirt road to the parking lot. After the parking lot, you need to hike a 1.5 mile round trip trail to the overlook. The views from the overlook are very beautiful. Horseshoe Bend is often called as the Grand Canyon East.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The bridge spans over 200 feet and is the highest natural bridge in the world. Rainbow Bridge can be reached by a 2 hr long boat ride on Lake Powell. From the marina, its a mile long hike to the bridge. The natural arch bridge is very scenic and worth the trip.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park is undoubtedly the premier attraction in the area. You cannot visit Page without visiting the Grand Canyon. It’s 2 hrs 30 min from Page to the South Rim while it is 2 hrs 45 mins to the North Rim. However, the North Rim is closed in winter and does not offer the most popular majestic views of the Grand Canyon, hence we recommend visiting the South Rim and Grand Canyon Village. You can see easily see them both along with other attractions such as the famous Zion and Bryce Canyons in an epic road trip through the area.