Antelope Canyon, visit antelope canyon arizona

How to Visit Antelope Canyon – Best Times & Tours

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Walking through Antelope Canyon’s maze of sandstone walls, with the breathtaking rays of sunlight peeking through from above, is one of the most mesmerizing experiences.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, is a unique treasure in the American Southwest, and as soon as we saw photos of this place, we knew we had to see it for ourselves. Plus, since it’s in Page, just 10 minutes from Horseshoe Bend, we could easily visit Antelope Canyon during our 10-day West Coast road trip.

Antelope Canyon light beam, the best antelope canyon tour

How to visit Antelope Canyon – Best times & tours

Remember, Antelope Canyon, Arizona, is on Navajo Nation land, so you must book a tour to see this natural wonder. We’ve toured all the different sections, and they’re each worth checking out, although it depends on your preferences.

This guide will help you find the perfect Antelope Canyon tour, and I’ll share tips on the best time to visit Antelope Canyon and how to get there from several popular cities.

How to visit Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, Arizona

Below, I’ll help you plan your itinerary with tips on the best time to visit Antelope Canyon, how to get there, and which section to visit.

Most people go to Antelope Canyon on their own, but if you’re in Las Vegas and short on time, consider taking an Antelope Canyon tour from Vegas. We have a complete article on that, so in this guide, I’m sharing everything you should know about touring Antelope Canyon on your own:

Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon – Which section is best?

Before you visit Antelope Canyon, you should decide which part you want to see: Lower Antelope Canyon vs. Upper Antelope Canyon. Of course, you can always visit both, which is what we did during one of our trips.

Both sections are worth seeing, so your decision will likely come down to your budget and preferences.

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon is the most famous part of this attraction, bringing in lots of tourists who want to see the Antelope Canyon light beams. If you want to see the rays of sunlight poking through the sandstone, as well as falling sands, this is where you need to go.

Upper Canyon, antelope canyon in page arizona

Upper Antelope Canyon

The entrance to Upper Antelope Canyon is at ground level, and it’s about a ¼-mile walk through the slot canyon. Please be aware that this is now a one-way path. To avoid the previous crowds of tourists going both ways in the canyon, the Navajo Nation has created a new route that involves using a small set of stairs and hiking ½-mile around the canyon back to the starting point. The path has soft sand and areas with narrow metal ramps and walkways, so it’s not suitable for wheelchairs or people with mobility issues.

Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon is just as magnificent as Upper Antelope Canyon, even though you can’t see the light beams here. On the plus side, the path through the slot canyon is wider, and the tours aren’t as rushed.

Lower Canyon, visit antelope canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon

The downside is that the Lower Antelope Canyon hike is longer and more challenging since you must go up and down several staircases and ladders. The tour guide will help you navigate these obstacles, but if you have limited mobility, it’s best to skip this section.

Upper vs. Lower Antelope Canyon

During one of our trips, we visited Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon on the same day. Both sections of Antelope Canyon were worth it, but there are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you want to save money, consider taking the Lower Antelope Canyon tour.
  • For the Upper Antelope Canyon tour, plan your visit for the summer, during midday. This is the best time to visit Antelope Canyon to see the spectacular light beams and reflections.
  • If you can afford it, it’s worth seeing both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon since they each offer unique views and features.

In the chart below, you can compare the highlights and features of Lower Antelope Canyon vs. Upper Antelope Canyon:






Tour duration

1 hour, 40 minutes

1 hour, 30 minutes





0.75 miles

1.1 miles

Distance to entrance

20-minute 4x4 ride

5-minute walk


• Narrow path
• Metal staircases/walkways

• Longer hike
• Metal staircases/ladders


• Light beams
• Falling sands
• Excellent photo opportunities

• Fewer crowds
• Fiery sandstone walls
• More time for photos


 *Prices and tours may vary depending on the season

Antelope Canyon X, a lesser-known slot canyon worth visiting

Before you commit to an Antelope Canyon tour, consider the third option: Antelope Canyon X. This lesser-known section is part of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, but it’s not as frequented by tourists.

Stairs to the canyon, antelope canyon hike

Antelope Canyon X, a lesser-known slot canyon worth visiting

Despite going deeper into the canyon, it’s a bit more accessible than Lower Antelope, and the price is cheaper, too. Here, you can capture amazing photos of the red-orange walls and the distinct “X” formation in the rock ceiling.

Best time to visit Antelope Canyon

You can go to Antelope Canyon year-round, but I recommend planning your visit so you can make the most of your time, the weather conditions, and the availability of tours. Below, I’ll share the best time to visit Antelope Canyon.

Best time of year to visit Antelope Canyon

If you want to see the Upper Antelope Canyon light beams, the best time to go is between late March and early October. On the other hand, you can avoid the tourist crowds if you visit Antelope Canyon between November and March. The downside is that you’ll miss the light beams.

Light beam through slot canyon, antelope canyon tours

Best time of year to visit Antelope Canyon

In reality, Antelope Canyon is becoming more and more popular, so even the low travel season brings in lots of tourists. If you have your heart set on photographing the rays of sunlight peeking through the slot canyon, you’ll have to brave the crowds.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the monsoon season in Arizona lasts from June to September. During these months, the weather at Antelope Canyon can get super rainy and increase the risk of flooding. It’s not too common, but the canyon can close if there is too much precipitation.

Best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon

Now that you know the best time to go to Antelope Canyon, let’s zero in on what time of day to visit the Upper Canyon.

Sandfall in the canyon, antelope canyon navajo tour

Best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon

To see the light beams at Antelope Canyon, you should visit between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This is when the sun is perpendicular to the canyon, giving you the best chance of seeing this famous natural phenomenon. Also, try to plan your visit on a clear, cloudless day so the sunlight can poke through the canyon walls.

Antelope Canyon ticket prices and opening hours

Tickets to Antelope Canyon sell out quickly, so once you decide which section you want to visit and when, make sure to book online. The Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon tours include the $8 permit to enter Navajo Nation. If you plan to visit Antelope Canyon X, keep some cash on hand to pay the permit fee upon arrival.

Below, you can see the prices and hours for the Antelope Canyon tours. However, I recommend double-checking the costs and schedules online since they may vary throughout the year.

Upper Antelope Canyon tickets and opening hours

The Upper Antelope Canyon tickets are the most expensive, at $125 per person. That said, this is the most popular tour because you can see the Antelope Canyon light beams, and the path is a bit easier. The tour lasts about 1 hour and 40 minutes and is available at 7:50 a.m., 9:50 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:10 p.m.

Lower Antelope Canyon tickets and opening hours

The Lower Antelope Canyon tour is becoming more popular, so make sure you book in advance. It costs $84 per person ($10 for kids 3 and under). The tour lasts 90 minutes and runs every 30 minutes from 7:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m.

Can you visit Antelope Canyon without a tour?

While you may prefer to visit Antelope Canyon on your own, it’s not allowed. This natural monument is located on Navajo Nation land, so an Antelope Canyon Navajo tour is required.

Slot canyon walls, antelope canyon slot tours

Can you visit Antelope Canyon without a tour?

If you book one of the tours above, you can reserve your spot with a knowledgeable Navajo guide, who will walk you through this magnificent place. Plus, the $8 Antelope Canyon permit is included in the tour price.

Antelope Canyon tours

Although many people call it Antelope Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon is not actually managed by the U.S. National Park Service. Rather, it’s located on Navajo Nation land, so you must book an Antelope Canyon Navajo tour to visit.

There are a few options depending on your budget and preferences. The Upper Antelope Canyon tour is the most popular, while the Lower Antelope Canyon tour is more adventurous. There is also the Antelope Canyon X tour, which is the cheapest option and quite underrated.

Upper Antelope Canyon tours

Upper Antelope Canyon is the most popular section and the easiest to access. It is the most expensive option too, but it’s where you can see the famous light beams and falling sands.

The tour starts with a short 4×4 ride to the mouth of the canyon. Your Navajo guide will share details about Antelope Canyon’s history and formation before you begin the walk through the slot canyon. Inside, it’s about a ¼-mile stretch with mostly flat terrain, although the ground is sandy. The hike is now one-way, so you don’t have to worry about running into people coming from the other direction.

Light coming through canyon, best month to visit antelope canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon tours

Once you reach the end of the canyon, you’ll climb a small set of stairs, then complete the hike around the canyon, back to the starting point. This is about another ½ mile of walking, and there are narrow metal ramps and walkways to navigate, so you must be careful.

The photography tour here was my favorite thing to do at Antelope Canyon, but the Navajo Nation stopped offering it. According to the official statement, this is “to free up space in the canyon and make the experience more enjoyable for the visitors.”

antelope canyon


I really hope they start these photo tours up again because now the guided tour is a bit rushed, making it difficult to capture photos of the light beams and reflections on the canyon walls. Even so, I still think visiting Upper Antelope Canyon is worth it.

Lower Antelope Canyon tours

A Lower Antelope Canyon tour is a great alternative if you want to save money and avoid the tourist crowds. Just keep in mind that the hike through this part of the canyon is more difficult, with uneven terrain, metal staircases, and steep descents.

Antelope Canyon, when to visit antelope canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon tours

As long as you’re physically capable of climbing up and down the stairways, you will be fine. The Antelope Canyon guide will assist each person in your group one at a time, and the effort is worth it. Lower Antelope Canyon is deeper than the upper section, as well as longer and wider, so you have more space to move around.

Even though you can’t see the light beams here, the shapes and patterns on the walls are gorgeous. You’ll also have more time to explore and take photos, so it’s a good deal if you’re looking to save money on your Antelope Canyon tour.

Antelope Canyon X tours

Yet another option is the Antelope Canyon X tour. On this excursion, you’ll visit a different part of the slot canyon that includes Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. In addition to being less crowded and hectic, the tour is cheaper.

Canyon X, antelope canyon where to stay

Antelope Canyon X tours

Touring Antelope Canyon X feels a bit different since you’re deeper in the canyon. This gives you the feeling of really being immersed in the environment, so you can admire the fiery sandstone walls and the unique “X” shape of the rock formations.

This Antelope Canyon slot tour costs $65, and you’ll have to pay for the $8 permit separately in cash. The tours run every 40 minutes from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Other things to do near Antelope Canyon

You only need a few hours to enjoy all the things to do at Antelope Canyon. The tours last about 1.5 hours, so if you want to explore the nearby area afterward, there are plenty of things to do.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is just a 15-minute drive from Antelope Canyon, so you can easily visit both attractions in one day. Lake Powell is a manmade reservoir in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where you can go swimming, waterskiing, and boating. There are also hiking trails around beautiful sandstone walls and formations, so it’s worth stopping by.

Lake Powell, can you visit antelope canyon without a tour

Lake Powell, a place to visit near Antelope Canyon

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are in Page, Arizona, so you can lump them together in the same visit. I recommend taking an Antelope Canyon tour in the morning and then hiking to the Horseshoe Bend lookout to watch the sunset.

Horseshoe Bend, things to do at antelope canyon

Horseshoe Bend, another attraction to see by Antelope Canyon

We have a complete guide to visiting Horseshoe Bend, but I’ll tell you now that it’s worth checking out. This horseshoe-shaped meander was carved out by the Colorado River over thousands of years. The lookout point is almost 1,000 feet high, so the views are insane. You can even combine a tour of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend by booking this excursion.

Antelope Canyon boat tour

If an Antelope Canyon hike is too much for you, consider taking a boat tour instead. This cruise goes through the Navajo Canyon, during which you’ll get scenic views of the massive Glen Canyon Dam, the colorful sandstone walls, and Lake Powell.

Antelope Canyon boat tour rainbow bridge

Antelope Canyon boat tour

Another option is this day tour, which includes a sightseeing cruise along Lake Powell, a walk to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and a picnic lunch. Both tours depart from the marina at Lake Powell Resort, about a 20-minute drive from Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon kayak tours

Another way to tour Antelope Canyon is by taking a kayaking excursion. This will allow you to admire the sandstone walls and formations from a whole new perspective.

Kayak tour, antelope canyon ticket

Antelope Canyon kayak tours

This half-day tour includes a guided kayaking trip along Lake Powell and a visit to the secluded Water Antelope Canyon. Plus, a shuttle service from Page, AZ, is available.

If you prefer to organize your own Antelope Canyon day trip, you can go to Lake Powell Paddleboards and Kayaks by the Page Airport and rent a kayak, paddleboard, or inflatable stand-up paddleboard for the day.

Closest airports to Antelope Canyon, Arizona

If you want to fly into an airport near Antelope Canyon, you have a few options. The Page Municipal Airport is super close by, but there are others in the vicinity. For example, if you fly into the Harry Reid International Airport, you can spend some time enjoying Las Vegas’ top attractions and then visit Antelope Canyon.

In summary, these are the closest airports to Antelope Canyon:

  • Page Municipal Airport (Page, AZ) – 7 miles away
  • Cedar City Regional Airport (Cedar City, UT) – 105 miles away
  • George Regional Airport (St. George, UT) – 115 miles away
  • Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (Flagstaff, AZ)– 135 miles away
  • Harry Reid International Airport (Las Vegas, NV) – 280 miles away

How to get to Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is in Page, Arizona, and most tours depart from downtown Page or the entrance to Antelope Canyon.

Getting to Antelope Canyon from Page Municipal Airport takes about 12 minutes by car. From the airport, take Sage Ave to Coppermine Rd, then turn left onto AZ-98 E. Stay on AZ-98 E for 4.5 miles until you see the Antelope Canyon parking lot on your right (for Upper Antelope Canyon) or left (for Lower Antelope Canyon).

Of course, many people visit Antelope Canyon from other cities. Below, you’ll find directions on how to get to Antelope Canyon from popular cities and attractions like Las Vegas, Sedona, and Zion National Park.

Sin City is a popular vacation spot, and the closest major airport to Antelope Canyon is in Las Vegas. The city is about a 4.5-hour drive (278.5 miles) from Antelope Canyon. Many tourists choose to stay in Las Vegas and use it as a home base while they explore nearby attractions.

If you decide to do the same, you can rent a car in Las Vegas and drive to Antelope Canyon on your own. Use I-15 N to go towards State Hwy 59 S and AZ-389 E. This’ll take you to US-89 S/E, which you can follow to AZ-98 E in Page.

Another option is to rent an RV in Vegas, which allows you to save money on transportation and accommodation. This way, you can travel at your own pace and create a Vegas road trip itinerary with all the attractions you’re interested in.

If you can’t drive or don’t want to, don’t worry. Another way to get to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas is by booking a guided excursion. There are several Antelope Canyon tours from Vegas, but I recommend this one. It includes pickup service from your hotel, a tour of Antelope Canyon, and a stop at Horseshoe Bend.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, and it’s not too far from Antelope Canyon. It’s worth adding this stunning natural landmark to your itinerary, either before or after visiting Antelope Canyon.

I highly recommend dedicating at least a couple of days to visiting the Grand Canyon so you can explore its most famous viewpoints. Then, stay overnight at the Grand Canyon for a good night’s rest and leave early in the morning to see Antelope Canyon.

From the South Rim, the drive takes about 2.5 hours (~130 miles). Take AZ-64 E to US-89 N and continue to Page, then turn right onto AZ-98 E. From the North Rim, the drive is a bit shorter (2 hours and 20 minutes). Take AZ-67 N to US-89A S, then turn left onto US-89 N before turning right onto AZ-98 E.

If you’re staying in Vegas and want to visit both of these parks, you’re in luck. This excursion goes to the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in one day, making it an amazing day trip from Las Vegas.

Another great option, if you’re already in Grand Canyon Village and want to visit Antelope Canyon, is this excursion. It includes a Grand Canyon air tour to Page, where you will see Horseshoe Bend from the air, followed by a Lower Antelope Canyon tour with a Navajo guide. Then, you’ll take an 18-mile rafting tour through Glen Canyon, where you’ll pass by Horseshoe Bend again, this time from the water, for a different viewpoint. Doesn’t it sound amazing?

Flagstaff and Sedona are popular tourist cities in Arizona that also happen to be close to Antelope Canyon.

Flagstaff is 132 miles from Antelope Canyon, so the drive takes about two hours, following US-89 W to AZ-98 E. Sedona is just a bit further away (146 miles), and takes three hours via US-89 N to AZ-98 E.

There are also Antelope Canyon tours that depart from Flagstaff or Sedona, including this one. It includes hotel pickup service, a guided tour of Antelope Canyon, and stops at Horseshoe Bend and the Painted Desert.

Phoenix and Scottdale are two other major cities in Arizona that are close to Antelope Canyon.

Phoenix is 276 miles south of Antelope Canyon, while Scottsdale is about the same (285 miles). Visiting Antelope Canyon from either of these cities takes about 4.5 hours by car. Follow I-17 N to US-180 W/N, then take US-89 N to AZ-98 E.

As for tours of Antelope Canyon from Phoenix or Scottsdale, I recommend this one. You can choose your departure point, and the excursion includes hotel pickup, lunch, and visits to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are close neighbors, so it makes sense to see both attractions in one trip. After all, they’re just 10 minutes apart!

You can visit Horseshoe Bend on your own and book a separate Antelope Canyon tour. However, it’s easier to book a combo tour like this one, especially if you don’t have much time.

Lake Powell is right next to Page, Arizona, so getting to Antelope Canyon from here is easy. The drive from Lake Powell takes about 15 minutes via US-89 S.

Also, given Lake Powell’s proximity to Page, and its undeniable natural beauty, consider taking a tour of the area. This boat cruise is a relaxing way to explore the lake and see the marvelous Glen Canyon Dam. Another option is this day tour, which includes a scenic cruise along Lake Powell, followed by a guided hike to the Rainbow Bridge, a stunning natural monument.

Did you know that you can visit Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in the same trip? Monument Valley is about 120 miles east of Antelope Canyon, and the drive takes less than two hours. Take US-163 S to US-160 W and follow that for 40 miles until you get to AZ-98 W, which will take you to Antelope Canyon.

If you want to visit both places in the same day, I recommend going to Antelope Canyon around midday and arriving at Monument Valley in time for sunset.

Also, while both attractions are in Arizona, they observe different time zones during the summer, so keep that in mind when booking your Antelope Canyon tour.

Bryce Canyon is one of the most underrated places we’ve seen in the U.S., and it’s 150 miles northwest of Antelope Canyon. The drive takes less than three hours, so you could combine both in a single trip. However, I recommend dedicating a full day to Bryce Canyon, if possible.

To get to Antelope Canyon from Bryce Canyon, take UT-12 W to US-89 S, and follow that to Page.

Zion National Park is 120 miles west of Antelope Canyon, and the drive takes about 2.5 hours. Take UT-9 E to US-89 S and follow it to AZ-98 E.

You need at least a day to visit Zion National Park, so stop there before or after touring Antelope Canyon. If you have limited time or don’t want to drive, this multi-day tour is a great alternative. It departs from Las Vegas and goes to Antelope Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley.

Where to stay near Antelope Canyon

With both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in the area, there are plenty of places to stay in Page, Arizona. From campsites to comfortable hotels, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a suitable accommodation, but I recommend booking in advance.

Slot canyon, visit antelope canyon

Where to stay near Antelope Canyon

As for camping near Antelope Canyon, Arizona, I suggest staying at the Page Lake Powell Antelope Canyon Campground. It accommodates tents and RVs, and it even offers a covered wagon “glamping” experience.

For a more traditional accommodation, check out one of these hotels by Antelope Canyon:

  • Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell: Located by the airport near Antelope Canyon, this cozy hotel has an on-site restaurant, a sun terrace, and a seasonal outdoor pool.
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson: Just outside downtown Page, this accommodation offers quality at an affordable price. Its highlights include free parking, a gym, a communal lounge, and a hot tub, making it one of the best places to stay near Antelope Canyon.

Our experience: Is Antelope Canyon worth it?

We’ve visited Antelope Canyon several times. We have toured Upper Antelope Canyon once, Lower Antelope Canyon twice, and the last time we visited Antelope Canyon X too.

Each section has something unique to offer, so you’ll enjoy your visit no matter which part you go to. As for me, my favorite was Upper Antelope Canyon, especially when they did guided photography tours. However, they don’t do these anymore, so it’s more difficult to take pictures now.

Canyon light beams, best time of day to visit antelope canyon

Our experience: Is Antelope Canyon worth it?

Upper Antelope Canyon is definitely the most popular section, so it’s very crowded. The tour feels a bit rushed since the guides hurry you along in an effort to accommodate all the visitors. That said, I loved seeing the gorgeous light beams and falling sands.

Since we last visited, the Upper Antelope Canyon hike has changed and is now a one-way path. This seems like it’s much more convenient for thinning out the crowds, but there are now metal walkways you need to go across, so I don’t think it’s as accessible as before.

Lower Antelope Canyon is just as beautiful, even though you can’t see the rays of light here. The tour of Lower Antelope Canyon is less rushed, and there are fewer crowds, so you can take your time to admire the sandstone walls and natural formations. However, this tour requires more walking, as well as climbing up and down stairs and ladders.

Antelope Canyon, the best guided tours of antelope canyon

Our review of Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, Arizona

As for the Antelope Canyon X tour, it was quite a different experience since we went deeper into the canyon. There were way fewer people, so the place felt more intimate and immersive. We got to see the striking “X” shape of the rock ceiling and appreciate the fiery red-orange color of the walls. This tour is also cheaper, so it was a great deal all around.

I think Antelope Canyon is a must-see, and it’s worth seeing both the Upper and Lower sections if you can. Canyon X is also worth visiting, but only if it fits your budget after visiting the other two sections of the canyon.

Tips for visiting Antelope Canyon and Navajo Nation in Arizona

Visiting Antelope Canyon is a one-of-a-kind experience, but you should come prepared so you can thoroughly enjoy it! Here are some tips to make the most of your trip:

  • Decide if you want to visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon, or Canyon X.
  • For the most spectacular views and photographs, visit Antelope Canyon in the summer. The best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon is between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Book your Antelope Canyon tour in advance since spots usually fill up quickly.
  • Bring your camera so you can capture the stunning Antelope Canyon light beams and colors.
  • Don’t forget to wear sturdy walking shoes and comfortable, lightweight layers.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Remember that you can’t bring tripods, selfie sticks, GoPros, drones, or live-action cameras.
  • Bring only what you can put in your pocket or wear around your neck since backpacks and bags are not permitted.
  • Pets are not allowed in Antelope Canyon.
  • Be aware that no section of the Antelope Canyon is wheelchair-accessible.
  • You can’t bring strollers into Antelope Canyon, so babies or toddlers must be in a carrying pack or sling.
  • Take advantage of nearby attractions like Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have an unforgettable time exploring this beautiful slot canyon.

Antelope Canyon map

Keep this map of Antelope Canyon handy while you plan your trip. It shows the locations for Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Canyon X, and the attractions and hotels I mentioned in this guide.

FAQs – Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Finally, here are some common questions about Antelope Canyon tours, tickets, and hours. If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to leave me a comment below!

Antelope Canyon is in Page, Arizona.

Antelope Canyon is open year-round, although it may close during inclement weather.

The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is between the end of March and the beginning of October.

May and September are the best months to visit Antelope Canyon.

If you want to tour Upper Antelope Canyon and see the light beams, visit between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

It depends on what you want to see. Upper Antelope Canyon is more expensive, but it’s where you can see the Antelope Canyon light beams.

No, you can’t visit Antelope Canyon without a tour. Since it’s on Navajo Nation land, you must book a guided tour of Antelope Canyon.

The price of an Antelope Canyon ticket depends on which part of the slot canyon you’re visiting:

You only need one day for an Antelope Canyon trip. Plan to spend a couple of hours here.

Visiting Antelope Canyon is worth it, but if you’re looking for a low-cost alternative, check out the different slot canyons at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, such as Zebra Canyon, Peek-A-Boo Canyon, or Spooky Canyon. They are 3 hours from Page by car, and you’ll need a vehicle with 4WD.

Each Antelope Canyon tour lasts about 1.5 hours.

Antelope Canyon is about nine miles from Horseshoe Bend, less than a 15-minute drive away.

The closest city to Antelope Canyon is Page, Arizona. Flagstaff, Arizona, is the closest big city to Antelope Canyon.

The closest airport to Antelope Canyon is the Page Municipal Airport, but the closest major airport with international flights is the Harry Reid Airport in Las Vegas.

Antelope Canyon involves about a mile of walking, so it’s not suitable for people with mobility issues.

Antelope Canyon is worth a visit, especially if you want to capture unique photographs.

Yes, both Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon require walking on uneven terrain and climbing up and down metal staircases, so you must be in good shape.

Yes, you must book your Antelope Canyon Navajo tour in advance. I recommend reserving your spot a couple of weeks in advance since spots fill up quickly.

Make sure you wear sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothing. You’ll also want a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring water and your camera!

Antelope Canyon was formed over thousands of years as water and wind wore down the rocks.

Antelope Canyon was discovered by a Navajo girl named Sue Tsosie in 1931. However, there is a Navajo tradition that mentions the canyon back in the 1860s.

Antelope Canyon tours aren’t recommended for people who are pregnant.

Antelope Canyon requires walking on sandy surfaces and metal staircases and walkways, so it’s not suitable for people with limited mobility.

No, you can’t bring a stroller through Antelope Canyon, but you can wear a baby sling or carrier.

No. The last Antelope Canyon tour is at around 4:15 p.m.

That wraps up our guide to Antelope Canyon, Arizona. I hope you feel better prepared to plan your trip, or you’re inspired to share this article with your travel companions.

If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’d also love to hear about your experience touring Antelope Canyon.

Stay safe, and have a great trip!

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Hey there, I'm Ascen, your personal trip planner on a mission to help you craft the most incredible adventure of your life. While I'm based in Las Vegas, you won't find me there often. As a full-time traveler, I'm always on the go, exploring new destinations and capturing the world through my lens. From the enchanting shores of Almeria, Spain, where I grew up, to the far reaches of the globe, I'm here to provide you with detailed travel guides and practical tips to make your trip planning a breeze. Find out more about me here.
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66 replies on “How to Visit Antelope Canyon – Best Times & Tours

  1. Tara Hudson says:

    Hello and thank you so much for the article!
    Hubby and I are going on a two week trip out west next month. I was planning to do South Rim and Horseshoe bend on the same day and Antelope the next morning then driving to monument valley for the night.
    First question: Can I do lower canyon without a guide? I would like to do both but don’t want to pay for two tours. Do you think it’s worth it to pay for 2 if necessary?
    Second question: Would I be better off adding Horseshoe Bend to the Antelope canyon day?

    Thanks for your help! I’m so excited!

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      You need a guide for both tours. For me it was worth paying them, but I think that is a personal question. And yes, you can do Horseshoe Bend in the same day.


  2. Eitan Ivan says:

    Wow! One of the most comprehensive, educating and useful guides. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to create this wonderful guide. Moving to read your other articles.

  3. Tomek says:

    Hi guys, thank you for an incredibile amount of practical information! I have two additional questions:

    1. While visiting the area, I wanted to see Horseshoe Bend, as well. But it seems that Goosenecks State Park may be a better idea? Almost as deep as Horseshoe, maybe less colorful, but there’re two bends instead of one and it’s much less crowded. What do you think?
    2. People say that Canyon X is better to go than Lower Canyon if you don’t like crowds. The views are similar, but it’s not so popular and I would avoid crowds. But according to my research it’s pretty small and you only need few minutes to go through. I’m confused… What would you pick? Lower Canyon or X?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Tomek,

      Thanks for your message!

      To be honest, I’ve never been to Goosenecks State Park or Canyon X, so my opinion is based just on what I saw online.

      Both places look quieter than Horseshoe/Antelope. Some friends have been shooting Canyon X and they really enjoyed it since they had the canyon all for themselves with no crowds and no rush.
      Antelope Canyon can be stressful for some people and photographers, but to me it was worth it and I think that you have to visit it at least once in a lifetime.

      That said, I recommend to do your research and check which can best suit your needs, the Southwest is full of river bends and slot canyons, so there are even more options 😉

      Have a nice trip!

  4. Naty says:

    Thank you so much for all the detailed information! We are planning to visit Antelope Canyon in late April from Vegas. Never been to Grand or antelope canyons before. My kids are 9 and 11 years old. Would you recommend two separate day trips, one to west rim Grand Canyon and another one to antelope canyon? Or the overnight tour to both? From what I read, the day trips to each one provides more stops and time to be in each location more time and visit more thorough. Thank you!

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Naty,

      If you are staying in Las Vegas I think it’s best to take two separate one-day tours. For Antelope Canyon, this is the best tour from Las Vegas.

      Regarding the tour to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, there are hundreds of kinds. The West Rim is the most touristic but I prefer the South Rim. However, if you are traveling with kids, maybe is easier to visit the West Rim that is just a couple of hours from Las Vegas and you will have more time to explore. This is my favorite tour to West Rim from LV.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  5. Inz says:

    This guide is incredible thank you so much.
    We were planning on travelling early April to Sedona. Leave Sedona early am to drive 2.5 hrs to Antelope canyon and pick between upper or lower and then grab lunch and do Horseshoe bend.

    We want to fit monument valley in somehow? Would this work. The other thing is we have a 14 month old with us he can walk but not extensive amounts and we will have his stroller with us so we could use this but cab we get down to antelope canyon easily? And travelling with a little one and doing all three in one day might be much ? Maybe do a night stay and split it?

    Thanks a lot for all your help xx

    • Capture the Atlas says:


      I would split Antelope + Horseshoe Bend in one day and Monument Valley on another day for sure, even if you are not traveling with an infant. However, I think that visiting the Antelope Canyon may not be a safe/good activity to do with a baby.

      In Upper Antelope Canyon, you will need to carry your baby since strollers and backpack carriers are not allowed. You will need also to provide a toddler’s car seat since you will be taken to the canyon in a jeep through a bumpy dirt road.

      If you choose Lower Antelope Canyon, you will descend into the canyon via a staircase that passes through a narrow topside opening (some simple bouldering is required) Backpack carriers are allowed for infants, but the tour company will assume no responsibility for injuries your child might sustain by bumping his head on a low-hanging rock ledge…

      I would suggest watching this full walkthrough video to make a decision.


  6. Anna says:

    Thank you for the informative and in depth review! Reading through the comments were quite helpful too.

    Question1: We have a 2.5 years old and planning to visit the Upper Antelope Canyon this Spring. I understand backpack carriers like the hiking ones are not approved but is a soft/front baby carrier allowed? I read somewhere that it was allowed but the article was 7 years ago.

    Question 2: We are planning in on flying into Vegas. Next morning drive to Zion, then Upper Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend.
    What are your recommendations? Shall we stay overnight in Page or elsewhere.

    Thank you very much.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your message and your nice words, I’m glad to see you found our info useful!

      As regards your first question, I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for that. My advice is to call the Upper Antelope Canyon tour company and ask them, they’re very helpful and will provide a quick answer to your question 😉

      Related to your second question, it depends on the time you want to spend in Zion. It’s perfectly doable doing Zion, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend in a day, but if you’re driving the same morning from Vegas, it can be a pretty exhausting day (especially with a 2.5 years old).

      Hope you have a wonderful trip!


  7. Rajat says:

    WOW, I am reading up all your pages on the West Coast Tour – so give me some pointer Dan/Ascen on my planned trip.

    Firstly, its in February – so plan to Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon VIsitor Center on 15th Feb and drive onto Horse Shoe Bend by sunset and stay overnight at Page.
    On 16th after relaxing at Glen Canyon Dam and have booked the Upper Antelope Canyon tour for 11:30 am slot, plan to do Bryce and drive back to Las Vegas by night. I have skipped Monument Valley as I do not have much more time as on 18th drive to LA to catch a flight home.

    Any suggestions? Its intense but is it doable?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Rajat,

      Your itinerary is doable but, please, bear in mind that you’ll be moving and driving during most of the 3 days, with almost no time for having a break or sleep.

      I think leaving aside Monument Valley is a good option considering your tight schedule, and I’ll probably consider leaving off Bryce Canyon as well so you can have more room to see places like the Grand Canyon or Antelope Canyon.

      Hope you have a memorable trip!

  8. Ramya Manickam says:

    Such detailing in every aspect we will think of. This definitely helps and is a precursor for my planning. Thanks much.

  9. saketh says:

    excellent information god bless you for writing such a detailed info, i was totally confused between lower and upper canyon, now i got full clarity.You suggested few companies in an order for the tours so is that order by the way their reviews are? can you suggest one good one for upper canyon, i am going next week on a weekday.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Saketh,
      I usually recommend specific companies but in Antelope Canyon all are the same thing. Actually, all the companies follow the same rules, have the same price, spend the same time at the canyon and allow the same things. The only difference is at what time you want to take the tour. I did the tour with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tour but you can choose whatever you want. All are the same 🙂

      I hope you love it. We cannot wait for coming back.


  10. Husen says:

    Hello! Love your informative article! I have the following trip schedule in mind:
    Nov 30 Drive from Las Vegas To Bryce Canyon taking 4 hours. Tour Bryce Canyon for the rest of the day
    Dec 1 Bryce Canyon Hiking, Drive to Horseshoe for the sunset, Drive to Antelope Canyon Lodging Place
    Dec 2 Tour Antelope Canyon for the day, Drive to Monument Valley and stay at Monument Valley
    Dec 3 Catch the sunset and tour Monument Valley? and Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim after the sunset.

    Is it worth to just spend one day at Monument Valley? Do you have any suggestions?

    We want to do both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Should we do both in one day? If we do it in one day, would we be not getting the full impact of each Upper and Lower Antelope canyon? Should we do one for each day separately? Thank you!

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Husen,

      I like your itinerary.

      One day is enough for Monument Valley. Regarding doing in a same day Upper and Lower Antelope canyon is what we did, and I recommend. I wouldn’t take the tours on different days.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  11. Raquel says:

    Could you give me your advice?

    We are 2 pax and we only have 1 day – October 24th – to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
    We will be sleeping in Page on the 23rd and moving to the south rim at the end of the day on the 24th.

    Do you think is feasible to do both Upper and Lower Antelope + Horseshoe? If not, what do you think is more interesting in October and at what times?

      • raquel says:

        Hello again,
        I read the info on your webpage – very good, by the way! – but I still have one question:

        I read on your website that Horseshoe is more impressive during sunset and Antelope at midday, right? Since we are visiting both on the same day (october 24th), I was thinking on going to Horseshoe at sunrise, in order to catch Antelope by noon – what do you think?

        THU 24 Oct
        First Light
        6:56 am

        7:22 am

        6:19 pm

        Last Light
        6:45 pm

        Horseshoe is always open? Could we visit the Horseshoe at 7:00am or is it closed?

        You also speak on your website about Monument Valley – but it’s impossible to do everything on the same day, right?

        Thank you in advance!!!

        • Capture the Atlas says:

          Hi Raquel!

          Horseshoe bend is more impressive at sunset. During the sunrise, the light is very different.

          It is always open, so you can go at any time. Our plan was sunrise at Monument Valley, Upper Antelope Canyon by noon, Lower Antelope Canyon by 4, and Horseshoe bend at Sunset.
          It was intense but probably one of the best days in our US West Coast trip!

          Hope you also have a great time!


        • raquel says:

          Hi Dan,
          Thank you for the tip. Yes, I imagine but the problem is that we are sleeping that same night at South Rim (around 2h30 hours by car, right?)

          So, given these circumstances, what do you think is feasible and what not to be missed?

          Thank you!

        • Capture the Atlas says:

          Hi Raquel,

          If you are sleeping that night at the South rim I would probably leave out Monument Valley and focus on the Antelope Canyon tours and Horseshoe bend. Even though it’s technically doable I wouldn´t recommend to pack so many things on a day. If you have extra time, around the Page area you also have Lake Powel which is also interesting, especially for chillin and having some rest.



  12. Susanne says:

    I paid for the photo tour and it was completely cloudy. We couldn’t see any light beam 🙁

  13. Shruti says:

    Hello There
    This is the first article of you that I read and fell in love with the article
    This is the best a Visitor can ask for , we a family of 4 from Texas are planning to Visit west coast for about 12 days and we have Grand canyon and Antelope on our to do list along with lake Tahoe and Yosemite Park. We plan to be here during the end of November and not sure if that the right time to visit the Canyons and Antelope
    Can you please guide us if we should do the Grand canyons and Antelope during this period of year ?
    If Yes do we need to Book the Antelope trip in Advance ?
    we have 1 day for grand canyons so it would be great if you can point us the major things that we need to look for
    Just as you know we are Nature lovers and want to explore and get the best out of our trip

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Shruti,

      What a great itinerary you have planned!

      You can find some snow in Grand Canyon in November ( it is not normal but it can happen). If you have just one day I recommend you to hire a Grand Canyon Helicopter tour!

      Antelope Canyon Won’t be overcrowded in November but the best time to visit is in summer, when the sunlight enters and the canyon and you can see the lights beams in Upper Antelope Canyon. Anyway you will love it.

      I also recommend you to visit Monument Valley that is not far from there and completely worthy.

      Let me know if you have any other question,


  14. Luke says:

    Thank you very much for this informative article.
    I am planning to see lower antelope canyon and horseshoe band from Las Vegas and after seeing them we will comeback to Vegas.
    What time is the best time to visit antelope canyon? Only 2PM and 4:30PM tickets are available.

  15. Catherine says:

    Awesome Article. Just breathtaking. On our bucket list this summer. Have a week to tour all of the sites. Is there a tour company you would recommend?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Catherine. If you are planning for this summer you are a little late. Book wherever is a spot available. Almost all the tours are already sold out!


  16. Alicia says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this article!! Very informational with beautiful pictures!

    I’m planning my day-trip visit soon from Vegas. Is 1-day to visit lower antelope and horseshoe bend doable without a tour guide? Thanks!


    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Alicia,

      1-day is enough but you have to hire a Navajo tour to visit Antelope Canyon. There is no other way. The entrance by your own is not allowed.


  17. Keren Harris says:

    Amazing article, well constructed and includes all the information I was looking for in an easy to follow and logical format, very informative! Beautiful photos as well, they have inspired me to get to know my camera better before my trip.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    All the best


    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Thank you for your comment Keren,
      I hope you enjoy your visit to Antelope Canyon as much as we do.

      It is a wonderful place, sometimes overcrowded but worthy at all!

      Let us know if you have any other question.


  18. Irina says:

    Hello, we are planning to see from Las Vegas – Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend.
    What if the best way to arrange this? How many minimum days we will need (we are not going to have much days..)? Is it really necessary to stop at Grand Canyon Parashant and Grand Staircase Escalante? or just Grand Canyon National Park would be enough to see?
    Should we book couple of nights in Page? Do we have to buy any attraction / admission tickets in advance? We would appreciate your advice.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Irina.
      To do that tour I would suggest min 4 days. We didn’t visit Grand Canyon Parashant and Grand Staircase Escalante in our 10-day West Coast USA road trip and if you don’t have more time, I don’t suggest you to go there.

      To see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon you only need 12 hours. You can spend just a night.

      Regarding the attractions, you need to book in advance the Grand Canyon helicopter tour and the Antelope Canyon tour (in this article you can see all the companies offering this tour. All the companies are the same price and quality. Just select the one you prefer in terms of schedule).

      Also you will need a rental car and you are set up to enjoy your road trip.

      Let us know if you have any other question!

  19. Pallabi says:

    Hi Ascen, that is one brilliant guide to Antelope I must say & the pictures are breathtaking!! Great job!! Just wanted to know one thing, is it possible for wheelchair-bound people to explore lower and upper Antelope Canyon?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Pallabi, thank you very much for your words!

      I think Antelope Canyon is not wheelchair accessible. Lower Antelope Canyon is underground, so you need to descend through a very steep stair that can be dangerous even if you don’t need a wheelchair. Regarding Upper Antelope Canyon, it is narrow and very crowded always. The only option is if you talk with some of the tour operators to get a private tour (I don’t even know if this is possible) so they can close the canyon for you. The entrance of Upper Antelope Canyon is wide for a wheelchair and worth a visit!
      Let me know if you need more information about Antelope Canyon. I will be happy if I can help you to visit this wonder 🙂


  20. Kornel says:

    Thanks for this great article! I have a question regarding the Navao fee. As far as I’ve found you have to pay in advance to book these tours, and both of them include the Navajo fee by default. How can you avoid paying the fee twice in those cases? Or do they give back the amount in cash when you show them that you have already paid this for another tour?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Kornel,

      Thank you very much for your comment. You are right, they include the Navajo fee by default. What we did was purchase the Upper and Lower tours and sent a request to the Lower tour to be reimbursed for the Navajo fee (send them a copy of your Upper tour so they can check you have already pay the fee).

      Let me know if you have a question and enjoy Arizona 🙂


      • Katarina says:

        Hi! The article is amazing!! So informative and detailed.
        I wanted to ask whether it’s possible to enter with a kid? (1yo) I wonder cause it was written that backpacks are not allowed. We are going to travel with a baby and for couple of years we want to visit Antelope canyon.
        Thank u

        • Capture the Atlas says:

          Hi Katarina,

          For Upper Antelope Canyon, three of the four companies offer options for kids:

        • Antelope Slot Canyon Tours
        • Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours
        • Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours
        • You have to select the age of your kid and make sure you bring a car seat for toddlers since the parents will be expected to provide them. Remember that the tour begins with a two-mile ride down an unpaved dirt road in a Jeep vehicle. Once in the canyon, you need to carry your kid in your arms. Strollers or backpack carriers are not allowed.

          Regarding Lower Antelope Canyon, you can drive there on your own and kids don’t pay a fee from 0 to 7 years old. Backpack carriers are allowed but you will assume the responsibility for injuries your child might suffer. Besides, you need to be prepared for somehow difficult ladders you need to pass. Your physical condition should be good to carry your kid for different ladders during the tour.

          If I were you, I think I would do my husband to carry the kid and I know he is fit enough to do it.

          Let me know if you have any other question.


        • Katarina says:

          Thanks again for the information. Though, as u wrote, some of these companies do not provide guided tours with kids. And the rest have no free sports for booking.
          Checking the second day for reservation but everything is sold out. Other companies do not accept kids from 7yo.
          If there are some private tours? May be more expensive, but who accept kids and less crowded?

        • Capture the Atlas says:

          Hi Katarina,
          No private tours are provided at Antelope Canyon. Only 4 companies for Upper Antelope and 2 companies for Lower Antelope can operate there. You need to book months in advance to get a spot. If everything is filled out I recommend you to visit other of the many slot canyon are in the area. Please contact Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours to see if kids are allowed at the other slot canyon tours.


  21. Sara says:

    What is the best time to visit the Upper/ Lower Canyon?
    Is it allowed to take a camera and take pictures of my friends for example? or is there any rules regarding taking this?


    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Sara,

      The best time depends on what you are looking for and the tour you are taking. If you want to see the light Halos in Upper you should go during the summer. All this is explained throughout the article.
      If you are taking the normal tour, you can perfectly take pictures of your friends with your smartphone. Please bear in mind that the canyon is usually crowded in the normal tour, so taking pictures without people is a real challenge.
      Please let me know if you have any questions.



  22. Tim says:

    In the photographer tour, do they allow you to take pictures with people in it? I only see pictures of the rocks itself.

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Tim,

      In the Photo tour, the guide stops at the main highlights of the Canyon and keep other visitors from entering the frame. All the photographers will be in line by your side, so it is not supposed to be a tour to take pictures with people on it.
      During my tour, our group was exceptionally small (just 3) and at the end of the tour, we agreed to take a picture of ourselves, but that it is not something common.
      Hope this helps,


  23. Tracey says:

    Hello! Thank you the information. If pressed for time, is it advisable to visit both Upper and Lower, or one over the other? I’ve read Lower is less crowded?

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Tracey,

      Nowadays both canyons are crowded, and the decision to visit one or another depends on different factors and your personal taste. If I were not a photographer and I had to choose one of them I would probably go for lower, but, as I said, it entirely depends on your goals. Throughout the post you can see a comparison between Lower and Upper that might be helpful to make up your mind 😉

      Wish you all the best during your visit,


  24. regina says:

    do you know anything about Canyon X? I hear its a lot less crowded, and I was thinking of going there instead of upper and lower canyon while I am in page in may

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Hi Regina,

      Canyon X is another section of the same Antelope Canyon so it may be as amazing as the most crowded upper and lower.

      We didn’t visit it but it should be a good option too and less crowded so go ahead and come back to let us know how was the experience.


  25. Doris says:

    Wow! Congratulations to these pictures, they’re breathtaking!
    We’ve just passed the canyon and even though we would have loved to take pictures like these, after a little research we decided to skip it. Really sad that such a beautiful place is so overrun. And charging 151$ for someone bringing a camera and then chasing him/her through this place anyway is rather exorbitant in our opinion. But obviously, everyone needs to decide for themselves!

    For everyone who’s more interested in the experience than the photo motif, we can very much recommend Peek-a-boo and Spooky Canyon in Staircase Escalante National Monument. Both are very adventurous to hike through, extremely narrow in some sections and provide lovely pictures as well. And we hardly met anyone else there 😉
    Thanks for your very informative article!

    • Capture the Atlas says:

      Thank you very much for your comment Doris. I had already pointed Spooky Canyon on my map of places that I want to visit, but I hadn’t heard about the Peek-a-boo canyon before. I understand that it is not the same trail that has the same name and starts at Bryce Canyon National Park, right?

      Any other place you can share with us will be more than welcome.


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