Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous slot canyon formations in the world. This slot canyon is a true paradise for every photographer or nature enthusiast. Located in Arizona, the canyon is full of breathtaking sights, stone carved stairs and a mix of soft bright colors.
If you are not sure how to get to Antelope Canyon, you should know that this magnificent place is located east of Page Arizona and lies on Navajo land. However, Antelope Canyon is not a national park, which is why you can only get there by driving yourself or with a guided tour.
Home to the Navajo Nationa tribe, the supernatural appearance has also made Antelope Canyon one of the most famous slot canyons in Arizona. Once upon a time, it was filled with water, which is how the rocks got eroded and eventually turned Antelope Canyon into a slot canyon. Both mysterious and unique, the rock formations are a paradise for every photographer and a reason why many Arizona tourists book the Antelope Canyon Tour.
Visiting Antelope Canyon is a great experience. Different from the popular Grand Canyon, this amazing place has two separate and scenic slot canyon sections with solid rock formations which are curvy and picturesque. Also, there are many attractions nearby, including the Upper and Lower Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Glen Canyon Dam, Hanging Garden, and others.
Las Vegas and Phoenix are among the common starting points for people who plan to drive themselves. In order to reach it, you need to drive to Page, AZ (4.5 hours to the Antelope canyon from Las Vegas and 5 hours from Phoenix).
About Antelope Canyon
If you are having trouble figuring out how to get to Antelope Canyon by car, you should know that the famous canyon is separated into two smaller canyons: the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon.
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Also known as the Upper and Lower Antelope areas, these places will help you figure out what is the best way or how to get to Antelope Canyon and explore both of them at the right time.
Upper Antelope Canyon
The Upper Antelope Canyon is a place where the water is flowing through the rocks, forming a narrow passage between the 120-foot high canyon walls. These formations are one of the reasons why people visit Antelope Canyon – they are truly breathtaking, especially when the beams of direct sunlight shine some of their magic on them.
The Upper Canyon is also the most visited canyon in the entire place. The entrance and most of the sights are at ground level, which makes being surrounded by the massive rock formations a great adventure.
Lower Antelope Canyon
The Lower Antelope Canyon is full of spiral rock arches. The area is V-shaped and shallow. Direct sunlight does not occur here that often, which is why you can expect some breathtaking shades of red and orange. Since there is no ground level entrance, you need to visit Antelope Canyon’s Lower Canyon by climbing the ladders to reach the canyon floor.
The journey may be more difficult compared to the Upper Antelope Canyon but is absolutely worth it. Tourists love this Antelope Canyon Tour because of the quietness of the Canyon, which is why every time to visit it is a good time. Also, the Antelope Canyon lower region feels less claustrophobic and sometimes more fun to walk because of the narrow pathways.
The Lower Antelope Canyon is also the part famous for its ladders, so if that is something you are looking forward to, you should not miss it. If you want to go for the Canyon Lower Antelope journey, you will also need a guided tour. Keep in mind that this part is less likely to sell out, but you should still consider booking in advance.
Visit Antelope Canyon
Whether you are going to visit Antelope Canyon’s Upper Canyon , Lower Canyon or both the Upper and Lower parts of this area, you should know that the best time to do it is when the weather is sunny and the light beams put shine on the rock formations.
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So, there is really no best time to visit Antelope Canyon – you can enjoy the beauties in every season, but if you want to make most of the unique colors that the rocks have, we recommend doing it when the weather is warm, sunny, and there are not many people.
Visiting Antelope Canyon is an experience that will leave you speechless. Below, we are giving you some details on the best time to visit Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas, Phoenix, or anywhere else.
Best Time To See Antelope Canyon
If you plan on visiting Antelope Canyon but don’t know when, the best time to visit the place is from the end of March to the beginning of October, just because of the sunny days. During this period, you can expect light beams entering the Upper Antelope Canyon which are visible and clear, creating magnificent colors. If you don’t want to see any crowds (that are usual at these times of the year), it is best to book your Antelope Canyon tours from November to March.
What Time Of The Day Is Best For Your Antelope Canyon Tours?
According to experts and reviews, the best time to visit Antelope Canyon is during mid day, or anywhere between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM. At this time of the day, the light beams are strong and you can capture them clearly on your camera. The reason for that is simple – sunlight is perpendicular to the canyon during mid day, meaning that the light effects are the most visible as more sun rays strike through the massive rock formations inside the canyon.
To See Antelope Canyon At Night: Yes Or No?
Some people also want to visit Antelope Canyon at night and see the unique colors. Luckily, the option is available and there isn’t much crowd during evenings. The best way to do this is on a bright summer day, especially when the sky is clear and you can glare at the stars, too. Clear sky is the best way to have an Antelope Canyon guided tour at night, too.
Tickets And Guided Tours For Antelope Canyon
There are many tour operators working at the Antelope Canyon and offering tours where you can visit the Upper Canyon, Lower Canyon, Upper and Lower parts, and any other national parks in the region as part of multi-day tours.
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However, if you want to get the best guided tours of the place, you need to book tickets in advance. This can help you choose your tour company wisely and avoid any chaos before it’s too late.
Keep in mind that your tour guide does not set the entrance fees to the Antelope Canyon – the national park’s operators are doing that. So, you will be charged for the type of tour that you select from your tour guide, but the ticket fee to the Antelope Canyon always varies according to the services they offer.
Other Places To Visit Near Antelope Canyon
There are many great places that you can visit in Arizona if you are going for a tour on the Antelope Canyons. Nearby, you can find other spots that you can explore such as:
- Horseshoe Bend: Another popular tourist destination and a great spot among photography lovers. Located near the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, this area is horseshoe-shaped (hence the name) and around 980 feet deep. Over the years, Colorado River helped carve out the cliffs which look amazing on every photo. Be extra careful when visiting this place, though, as there are no guard rails and the area is full of huge drop offs from cliffs.
- Zion National Park: The beauties of the Zion National Park are exceptional. Located in Southern Utah, this amazing place offers breathtaking mountain panoramas and is a great way to mix your desert tour with some mountainous activities.
- Lake Powell: Lake Powell is a tranquil place for a day trip. Some of the best tips are to take a boat tour, get your camera for a photo session, and book a tour at least a few weeks before if you want to explore the best bits of the lake. It is also among the best lake attractions in Arizona, and a perfect way to balance things with your canyons’ tours and activities.
- Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States and a perfect stop if you are visiting all the canyons from Las Vegas, Phoenix, or any other place. Known for the breathtaking cliffs, the Grand Canyon is also one of the world’s largest canyons and has an average depth of 5,200 ft (1,600 metres) and a volume of 147 trillion cubic feet!
- Colorado River: Plenty of tour companies offer boat rides on this amazing river – rafting in it is a great way to get some adrenaline boost and explore the region from the water. The tour at the Colorado River can be of one hour, two hours, half-day, or even full-day for the biggest enthusiasts. Besides a tour, there are plenty of rafting excursions and available tours for a trip like this.
- Glen Canyon Dam: The Glen Canyon Dam is a must-do on your “Arizona trip” list. Bring your camera here as well to take a photo, because this tourist attraction will leave you breathless. The top of the Glen Canyon Dam is a place you can visit, too, but you have to sign up for the half hours tour which occurs several times per day.
- Hanging Garden: Hiking enthusiasts who want to spend some hours to explore the natural parks’ beauty from the ground can visit the Hanging Garden. This is a short 1-mile and easy to do hiking tour from the Glen Canyon Recreational Area, taking you to some of the most stunning Navajo sandstone cliffs and giving you a chance to see the Lake Powell from up above. There is a trail of rocks laid on the sides that serves as your guide.
Best Places To Stay & Food To Eat When In Antelope Canyon
If you want to stay in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon and take a different day trip excursions to any of the above-mentioned attractions, you need a place to stay near Page, Arizona or the slot canyon. Even though options are limited most of the time, you can consider the following hotels and suites:
- Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell
- Red Rock Motel
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- La Quinta Inn & Suites
- Hampton Inn & Suites
- Clarion Inn
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
When it comes to visiting Antelope Canyon’s best culinary spots, the choices are great. Good food comes in different shapes and forms and is always delicious, especially when you are finished with your Canyon Tours and want to eat something in the national park. You can choose from the following:
- Slackers: A great fast food restaurant serving burgers, warm soup, chicken strips and fried fish.
- Birdhouse: Fried chicken and especially the Chicken Box is what you should eat here – you can choose from original, honey butter or spicy flavors.
- Big John’s Texas BBQ: If you are a fan of barbecue, this is among the best restaurants in Page, Arizona for that. With big plates and tons of smoked meats, you can try finger-licking ribs and complement them with salads, sides, brisket, or pulled pork.
- Safeway: This is a supermarket where you can buy foods and other supplies for your canyon tours or private trip to Antelope Canyon.
In the end, it is safe to say that the Antelope Canyon is one of the most stunning places in Arizona. Some of the best tips are to come in early, take as many photos of your trip as possible, and see as many rock formations as possible. Also, it is recommended to book your tours in advance and if you can, see some other nearby attractions such as the Arizona Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, etc.
Note: Due to COVID-19, the Antelope Canyon is closed. The best way to check for a re-opening date is by visiting the canyon’s official website.