Visiting Antelope Canyon was one of the most breathtaking natural wonders I’ve ever seen. These canyons are gorgeous and are growing in popularity every year. During my recent trip I met people from all over the world making special detours to Page, Arizona just to see it. I put together the top 10 tips I found to be helpful before my trip, enjoy!
1. Guides are Mandatory
It’s good to know that Antelope Canyon is part of the Navajo Tribal Park, and is not a U.S. National Park. The Navajo Tribal Park rules state that a Navajo Guide is required when visiting the canyons.
When booking your tour, you can choose between a general hiking tour or a slower-paced photography tour.
TIP: Tripods are only allowed during the photography tour.
2. Book in Advance
I recommend booking your tour in advance, since tours can sell out weeks or months in advance. This is especially true for the summer months and weekends. The most popular times to visit are 11am – 1:30pm for a chance to see a light beam.
TIP: Even if you book in advance, expect to wait at least 45 minutes in the Arizona heat for your tour to begin.
3. Upper Canyon is More Popular and But also More Crowded
There are pros and cons to visiting any of the canyons, however Upper Antelope is more popular due to the light beams and wider walkways.
Upper Antelope: Light beams, wider walkways, well-lit for photos, very crowded, more expensive
Lower Antelope: Light beams are rare, darker, less crowded, less expensive
However, I highly recommend booking with Antelope Canyon X for the best overall experience of the slot canyons.
4. Entrance Fees
Touring the canyons is quite expensive, with prices ranging from $38 – $100+ per person. Upper Antelope Canyon is the most expensive, especially if wanting to take the photography tour. Sometimes the tour includes the $8.00 Navajo Park fee, however it is wise to bring cash just in case.
5. Light beams
Light beams are seen from mid-March to early October. The best months to view a light beam are June, July, and August. They are visible between 11am – 1:30pm on sunny days only. Chances are greater of seeing a light beam at Upper Canyon and Antelope Canyon X. They can be seen in the Lower Canyon as well, but it’s very rare.
6. Flash Floods
Flash floods do happen, and as the name eludes, can occur quite suddenly. They are extremely dangerous and people have died in the canyons in the past because of them. Because of this, tours can be cancelled or cut short unexpectedly. It’s inconvenient, but ultimately for your own protection.
7. No Toilets
I recommend using the bathroom before your tour begins as there aren’t any during the tour.
8. Not Recommended for Pregnant Woman
Depending on which canyon you choose, you may have to take a ride in a 4WD truck or other off-road vehicle across the desert to reach the canyon. On top of that, climbing up and down ladders and some hiking may be required. For safety reasons these tours are not recommended for pregnant woman.
9. Time Zones
The Navajo Nation uses a different time zone than Arizona. It’s a good idea to call your tour guide ahead of time to find out if your tour is on Navajo time, or Arizona time.
10. What to Bring:
- Water – Some tours provide water, however in the event they do not, I highly recommend bringing your own.
- Backpack – Get excited, the slot canyon tours are adventure tours! But because of this, hiking and sometimes climbing up ladders are required. For this reason I recommend bringing a backpack for ease and agility during your tour.
- Hat & glasses – It is very hot in the Arizona heat, and oftentimes very little shade is offered.
- Cash – If you book your tour in advance cash might not be required, however it’s better to be safe than sorry. There may be an additional $8.00 Navajo Park fee and bringing extra cash for your tour guide will be appreciated.
- Camera Equipment – Do not forget camera equipment, this place is gorgeous!
- Tripods – Tripods are only allowed on the Photography tours (see#1)
Since you’re already in the area, I would highly recommend visiting Horseshoe Bend also in Page, Arizona, during your visit!
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Do you have additional tips for visiting Antelope Canyon? Love to know your thoughts below!