Home to the Navajo Nation, and serving as the backdrop of legends that date back several centuries, Antelope Canyon is a remarkable slot canyon formation that no trip to Arizona and southern Utah is complete without. While smaller than some of the other canyons in the region, with Upper Slot Canyon measuring in at only 100 yards, it attracts thousands of visitors and photography enthusiasts each and every year.
Things to Know about Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon was formed as a result of wind and water erosion, and provides visitors with an interesting science lesson about how Mother Nature is always changing the facade of the land. Antelope Canyon is most known as a photography destination where visitors can capture pure magic as the sun shines upon the sandstone casting glares that bounce around the walls and provide a phenomenal light show. The Navajo Nation opened the canyon up for tours in 1997, and this landmark has been attracting nature lover’s ever since. Antelope Canyon is comprised of two slot canyons, Upper Antelope Canyon, which is known as “The Crack,” and Lower Slot Canyon, which is known as “The Corkscrew.” For those who are interested in Navajo culture and the natural marvels of Earth, reserve a spot on one of the thrilling tours offered at Antelope Canyon, and let the adventure begin!
Cultural & Environmental Considerations
Antelope Canyon is a highly-respected natural area among members of the Navajo Nation. Members consider the canyon to be an outdoor cathedral and a gift from the spirit world. While photography is permitted within the canyon, items such as selfie sticks and certain other electronic items are prohibited on the tours. The Navajo Nation asks that visitors respect the land and refrain from defacing the stone structures or leaving garbage in the canyons.
Guided Tours of Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a special place that is best explored with an expert tour guide. In fact, that’s the only way visitors can tour Antelope Canyon. The canyon is owned and operated by the Navajo Tribe, and all travelers who wish to visit, must be accompanied by a registered tour guide service. While on a tour, your tour guide will share information about the science of the rock structures, as well as the history of the region. You will get to learn about the Native American Tribe that calls this place home and see artifacts and evidence of the canyon’s ancient inhabitants. Here are some guided tours to consider taking while visiting Antelope Canyon.
Antelope Canyon Tours – by Carolene Ekis
For those who have a love of the great outdoors and would enjoy the opportunity to explore Upper Antelope Canyon by way of 4-wheel drive tour trucks, Antelope Canyon Tours – by Carolene Ekis offers the perfect tour options. An expert guide will take you up to Upper Antelope Canyon where you will then get to participate in the adventure of a lifetime. They offer narrated sightseeing tours as well as special photography tours where guests will learn about the geology and history of the sandstone structures. On the tour, expect to see beautiful landmarks such as Lake Powell and “The Corkscrew” rock formations.
Tour prices start out at just $54 per person, and reservations are required.
Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
Independently owned and operated, Antelope Slot Canyon Tours is the premier Antelope Canyon guided tours provider of the area. This tour company provides guided tours that allow visitors to explore the canyon by land, air, and water. Day tours offered by Antelope Slot Canyon Tours include:
- Cathedral Canyon Tour – A two-hour tour that departs from the shop multiple times a day. Visitors will head to Upper Antelope Canyon to check out rock formations such as Four Sisters, Thumb Rock, Pucket Rock, and the slot canyons. Tour guides share information about native plants and animals and how they have been used by Native Americans for generations.
- Antelope Slot Canyon Scenic Tour – For those who love photography and would like the opportunity to take amazing photos with the assistance of a guide, this is the tour to sign up for. Antelope Slot Canyon Scenic Tours is a 1.5 hour tour of the upper canyon where a guide shares information about the rock formations and Native American history. There are photo stops along the way and the guides provide training on taking the best photos.
- Upper Antelope Expedition Tour from Las Vegas – An exhilarating 10- to 11-hour tour on a sightseeing airplane where guests will first pass over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Glen Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs and then enjoy sweeping views of Antelope Canyon from the sky.
- Antelope Canyon Boat Tour – Join an expert guide on a relaxing boat troll around Lake Powell on this one-hour tour. An expert guide circles around the lake while sharing interesting information about the history and geography of the region. Visitors are welcome to take photos and examine the walls of the canyon up close.
- Scenic Canyon River Adventure – Get aerial views of both the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon, plus a day of rafting down the gorgeous Colorado River, on this 12.5-hour tour.
Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
Get an inside look at the traditional Navajo Nation way of life while admiring one of the most breathtaking natural wonders of America on a scenic tour with Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours. This tour company has been in business for over 20 years and is owned and operated by members of the Navajo Tribe. Guests to the area are invited to hop aboard one of the fully-loaded 4X4 tour trucks and embark on a journey into the canyon with a knowledgeable guide who will talk about history, geology, and the culture of the Navajo people. Be on the lookout as you are bound to see lots of wildlife and native plants along the journey. Each tour is about 1.5 hours in duration and takes you through some of the most popular formations of Upper Antelope Canyon.
Ken’s Tours Lower Antelope Canyon
While most visitors spend a majority of time exploring Upper Antelope Canyon, Ken’s Tours introduces visitors to all of the magic of Lower Antelope Canyon. Guests can choose between a standard sightseeing tour that is approximately an hour in duration or splurge on the deluxe package which includes more sites and a special gift. Each tour is about a mile long and is appropriate for visitors of any age. Guests will be treated to a glimpse at many beautiful sandstone formations that create natural light shows when the sun glares upon them. The guides will talk about the science of the formations as well as the canyon’s significance in Native American history.
Hiking Trails at Antelope Canyon | Permits & Guides
Antelope Canyon offers scenic hiking trails that are easy to navigate and provide beautiful views of the landscape. However, all sections of the canyon are considered to be sacred grounds of the Navajo Nation, and visitors are required to travel with a guide at all times while visiting the canyon and any of its outlying nature trails. The hiking trails within the canyons wind through sandstone structures and caves, around the lake, and up to vistas where one can take photos or get lost in their thoughts for a while. The most convenient way to hike the trails of Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon is to sign up for a private tour with one of the tour services instead of a group tour. Along with guide service tour fees, all visitors will pay an $8.00 Navajo Nation permit fee to gain access to the canyon grounds.
Attractions and Landmarks Near Antelope Canyon
Looking for more exciting ways to have some fun while visiting Antelope Canyon? This region of Northern Arizona offers many activities that will connect you to the culture and history of the region. Here are some popular activities to do while you are in town.
Navajo Village Heritage Center
Celebrate the culture and history of the Navajo Nation at Navajo Village Heritage Center in Page. At Navajo Village Heritage Center visitors will learn about the lifestyle and history of the Navajo Tribe while joining in hands-on activities. Navajo Village Heritage Center also features a community homesite so visitors can see what life was like among generations of the past. Tribe members put on music and dance shows for guests as well as provide presentations that engage and inspire travelers from afar. Learn more about the important role Antelope Canyon plays in the Navajo Nation and how it has helped to develop the tribe’s spiritual beliefs.
Located in downtown Page, the Powell Museum is a non-profit organization with the mission of sharing the life legacy of Major John Wesley Powell. Inside the museum, guests will find exhibits with documents and artifacts that showcase the accomplishments of Major Powell and the history of the region. From archaeological specimens to building plans for some of the most iconic landmarks of the regions, this museum showcases the region’s fascinating history.
Note: Powell Museum has been temporarily closed for renovation since June 19, 2019. Guests are welcome to visit the information center and gift shop next door, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Located just a few miles from Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Bridge National Monument is a natural rock formation that is revered by the Navajo people. The bridge is made of red sandstone and is located in the desert region of Lake Powell. The Navajo Nation believes that the bridge was delivered by the spirits to bring rain to the region, which is needed for their ongoing survival at Antelope Canyon.
Shaped like a horseshoe with a cascading sandstone tower in the middle, Horseshoe Bend is a picture-perfect natural wonder that visitors must see while they are visiting the Lower Antelope Canyon region. Whether you opt to take a boat tour around the tower or would like to get out and do some hiking, your tour guide will provide you with an exceptional adventure, and one that you will want to be sure to capture on film. Horseshoe Bend is located in the mandatory tour guide section of the canyon, so ask your guide about what tours are available while planning your trip.
More Breathtaking Hiking Trails in Southern Utah
Visitors who can’t get enough of all the natural beauty of Arizona’s canyons can head north into southern Utah and let the canyon adventures continue. Southern Utah is full of breathtaking red rock canyons, and hiking trails are in abundance. Here is a look at some of the most popular hiking trails in southern Utah.
- Zion National Park – Less than a two-hour drive from Antelope Canyon, the national park offers hiking trails that appeal to hikers of all skill levels. Take the five-mile round trip adventure up to Angels Landing, and gaze at the spiral rock structures that appear to reach up into the heavens.
- Devil’s Garden Trailhead – For those who enjoy a good old-fashioned road trip, Devil’s Garden Trailhead is located within Arches National Park and is a scenic four-hour drive from Antelope Canyon. Devil’s Garden Trailhead is a scenic seven-mile hiking trail where visitors will pass by seven breathtaking rock structures and several canyon vistas. This tour is great for those who want to take in all of the natural beauty of the Southwest.
- Coyote Gulch – For hardcore hikers, or those who are just looking for a fun all-day activity, Coyote Gulch trail is located approximately three miles north of Antelope Canyon, in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, in southern Utah. This trail is 17 miles long, and hikers will encounter sandstone arches, rolling hills, canyons, and desert wildlife while on the adventure. Be sure to bring a camera to capture all of the beauty!
- Neon Canyon – A “trail” that is perfect for those who want explore the desert off the beaten path, Neon Canyon is a hiking area that is void of any official trails. Neon Canyon is located within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, just up the road a few miles from Antelope Canyon. Visitors can spend hours exploring the canyon and taking in all of its natural formations.
Hotels Near Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the United States and provides visitors thousands of acres of untouched wild country to explore. After a long day of sightseeing, check in to one of these local hotels, and rest up before stepping back out to Antelope Canyon.
Best Western Plus at Lake Powell
Located just a short distance from Upper Antelope Canyon, Best Western Plus at Lake Powell offers rooms as low as $68 per night. This contemporary hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness room, free Wi-Fi, and each guest receives a complimentary breakfast in the morning. The suites are adorned in modern furnishings and feature luxury touches like hardwood floors and plush bedding. Guests can choose from an assortment of rooms featuring queen and king size beds.
Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell
For as low as $84 per night, travelers can rest up in a comfortable suite at Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell. Guests have several room options available to them including standard rooms with king and queen size beds or deluxe suites with a view. Each room is decked out in modern furnishings and has a spacious feel to it. While staying at this hotel, enjoy amenities such as a complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a hot tub, fitness room, swimming pool, and close proximity to shops and restaurants downtown.
Pet-Friendly Adobe – 7 Miles to Lake Powell!
For those who have ever dreamed of walking in the footsteps of authentic cowboys of the old west, Pet-Friendly Adobe – 7 Miles to Lake Powell! is a private home-stay that delivers! This rustic adobe home is located in the desert and provides excellent views of the slot canyons beyond. While staying here, guests can sit on the front porch deck and enjoy the simple life with a cold beverage in hand. The home features plush bedding, a full kitchen, complimentary coffee and air conditioning. Guests can do some horseback riding on the nearby trails or go fishing. This home-stay can be reserved for less than $150 per night.
Suites on 10th
For less than $100 per night, travelers can unwind and rest their feet in a spacious air-conditioned room at Suites on 10th in downtown Page. This hotel offers relaxing features such as natural stone accent walls, modern furnishings, and free parking. Each room comes with a large kitchenette set up for easy meal prep. Suites on 10th is located just a short distance from several restaurants and local attractions.
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