OK Google, how do I get to Antelope Canyon?
The mystical, sweeping curves of Antelope Canyon are at the top of many adventurers’—and photographers’—lists of places to visit. Despite its notoriety, this easy-to-miss slot canyon won’t appear on your GPS, leaving many would-be visitors wondering how to get there.
We’ve got you covered.
Keep reading to get answers to all your burning questions about Antelope Canyon, including:
- Where is Antelope Canyon?
- How to get to Antelope Canyon?
- What kind of guided tour should I take?
- How much do Antelope Canyon tours cost?
- Which is better—Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?
- When is the best time to visit?
- What else is nearby?
1. Where is Antelope Canyon?
Antelope Canyon is located just east of Page, AZ. It is located on Navajo land, and is not a national park.
2. How to get to Antelope Canyon?
There are two main ways to get to Antelope Canyon: drive yourself or guided tour.
Phoenix and Las Vegas are both popular starting points if you’re planning to drive yourself, Regardless of where your journey begins, to reach Antelope Canyon, you’ll drive as far as Page, AZ:
- The drive from Las Vegas to Page is about 4.5 hours one way, and you’ll travel past numerous other iconic Southwest viewpoints along the way, including the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
- Phoenix is about 5 hours’ drive from Page. This route will take you past Flagstaff and Sedona—two very popular Southwest spots.
From Page, the only way to actually enter and see Antelope Canyon up close is by guided tour. You must be with a guide to enter Upper OR Lower Antelope Canyon. Guided tours are available from Las Vegas, as well as from Page, AZ. Some guided tours from Las Vegas even fly to Page, so instead of a 4.5 hour drive through the desert, you’ll reach Antelope Canyon in under two hours—in the comfort of a specially-designed sightseeing airplane, to boot. When you arrive, you’ll join one of the guided tours that departs from Page.
Skip the long drive and fly to Page instead on our Antelope Canyon Expedition. Your 90 minute flight will pass over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Glen Canyon before landing in Page, where you’ll join your guided tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. Finish your adventure with a stop at Horseshoe Bend before returning to Las Vegas by airplane.
3. What kind of guided tour should I take?
You have four options when it comes to choosing a guided tour of Antelope Canyon:
- Standard tour of Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon
- Photo tour of Upper Antelope Canyon
- Night tour of Upper Antelope Canyon
- Boat tours
Standard tours are available for both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. A dedicated Navajo guide will lead you through the Canyon, pointing out some of the best formations along the way. They’ll also be able to give you some tips on how to snap a great shot with your smartphone or compact camera.
NOTE: DSLR cameras and tripods are not permitted on standard tours.
If you want to snap that perfect sunbeam shot or capture a photo without wandering tourists in the background, you’ll need to book a special photo tour. Your Navajo guide will block other tourists from passing for 1-2 minutes while you snap your photos. They’ll also explain the ideal settings for your camera, and can offer other useful tips for getting that perfect shot.
NOTE: Mobile phones, GoPro cameras, compact cameras, gorillapods, and monopods are not permitted on photo tours. To book a photo tour, you will need to have a camera with an interchangeable lens and a tripod. If you don’t have this equipment, you’ll be re-grouped onto a standard tour.
If you plan to sell your photos of Antelope Canyon, you’ll need a permit from Navajo Parks Management. Permits cost $50 if you purchase them in advance, but if you get caught selling a photo without a permit, the cost jumps to $200.
Photography tour tips
- Book a 10:30 AM tour—this is the best time to ensure you’ll be well-positioned for optimal light. Plus, you’ll still have time to explore Lower Antelope Canyon in the afternoon.
- Bring a rain sleeve or plastic bag to protect your equipment from dust inside the Canyon.
- No bags are allowed, so you’ll have to carry your camera already mounted to your tripod. Pack accordingly.
- Don’t change your lens inside the Canyon to avoid damage from dust and sand.
- Bring tools to clean your camera, such as lens wipes or a rubber squeeze air blower.
Explore Upper Antelope Canyon after sunset. Your guides will paint the sweeping walls of Antelope Canyon with light from an LED light panel so you can snap an otherworldly long-exposure shot. Photo and non-photo tours are available.
See the waterside of Antelope Canyon on a boat tour. Boat tours typically last 60-90 minutes. There are two boat tour operators: Antelope Point Marina and Wahweap Boat Tours.
You can also take a kayak tour with Hidden Canyon Kayak Tours. All equipment is provided, and no previous kayaking experience is required.
4. How much do Antelope Canyon tours cost?
The Navajo Indian Reservation sets Antelope Canyon entrance fees, so all companies that operate guided tours offer roughly similar prices.
The cost of your Antelope Canyon tour depends on what time of day you want to visit, and whether you are taking a photo tour.
|Standard Upper Antelope Canyon Tour||$65|
|Standard Upper Antelope Canyon Tour with light beams||$75|
|Upper Antelope Canyon photo tour||$150|
|Standard Upper Antelope Canyon night tour||$80|
|Upper Antelope Canyon night photo tour||$265|
|Standard Lower Antelope Canyon Tour||$40|
In addition to the cost of your tour, you’ll be required to pay $8 for a permit to enter the Navajo area. You only need to pay for one permit to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, so hold on to your voucher.
5. Which is better—Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?
Antelope Canyon is technically two separate canyons: Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Both locations feature the same smooth, sweeping red curves, but they differ in other key ways.
Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyon is more widely known thanks to the ghostly sunbeams that stream through the canyon’s narrow opening to the floor below. It welcomes more visitors than Lower Antelope Canyon, but despite being busier, the journey through Upper Antelope Canyon is easier—a flat, roughly 100 yard walk—making it the ideal spot for adventurers with concerns about mobility.
Because of its greater popularity, Upper Antelope Canyon tours are more expensive. You’ll pay extra if you want to visit during prime sunbeam-viewing time (between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM), and if you’re a photographer looking to capture a stunning shot sans other tourists, you’ll pay even more.
Tours to Upper Antelope Canyon are offered by one company: Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours. No DSLR cameras or tripods are permitted on a standard tour—if you’re carrying this gear, you’ll need to take a special photo tour. Smartphones and compact cameras are allowed.
Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon may not offer the mystical sunbeams, but that comes with a few advantages—there are fewer crowds, tours are more leisurely, and they’re less expensive.
Lower Antelope Canyon is also longer and wider than Upper Antelope Canyon (about 600 yards long), and offers a more physical experience than its easy-to-traverse counterpart. You’ll need to descend a steep metal stairway to enter the canyon, and once you’re inside, you’ll have to climb ladders and navigate a few rock scrambles to reach the exit on the other side.
Lower Antelope Canyon tours are operated by two companies: Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours and Dixie Ellis Antelope Lower Canyon Tours.
Should you visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon?
Short answer? It depends. Use this chart to help make your decision:
Upper Antelope Canyon
- If you want that perfect sunbeam shot
- If you have mobility concerns—Upper Antelope Canyon is shorter and flatter, and easier to traverse
- If you are well-prepared and able to book your tour in advance
Lower Antelope Canyon
- If you don’t like crowds or confined spaces
- If you aren’t too concerned about seeing sunbeams
- If you’re visiting last minute—it’s usually easier to book a Lower Antelope Canyon tour on short notice
If you want to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, you’ll have to book two separate tours.
6. When is the best time to visit Antelope Canyon?
For sunbeams, the best time to visit Antelope Canyon is around mid-day (between 11 AM and 1:30 PM), when the most light enters the Canyon. You’ll pay extra to visit around this time, but this is the only time the sun is high enough to reach the Canyon floor.
If you’re looking for sunbeams specifically, plan your trip so that you visit Antelope Canyon between the end of March and the beginning of October. If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, aim for November to March instead.
7. How long are guided tours?
Standard guided tours are about 1.5 hours long for both Upper and Lower Canyon. Photo tours are about 2.5 hours.
8. What else is nearby?
There are lots of other things to see and do near Antelope Canyon. Here are some highlights:
- Horseshoe Bend: This well-known horseshoe-shaped meander in the Colorado River is about a 15 minute drive from Antelope Canyon, and just 10 minutes from Page.
- Lake Powell: Lake Powell is 22 minutes from Antelope Canyon (and 10 minutes from Page). There are numerous activities to enjoy on Lake Powell, like renting a power boat, camping on the beach, and exploring the many back canyons that surround this picturesque lake.
- Grand Canyon South Rim: The Grand Canyon Village, situated at the heart of the Grand Canyon South Rim National Park, is roughly 2.5 hours drive from Antelope Canyon. If you’re staying in Page, we recommend taking a full day to explore the South Rim and its many viewpoints.
Find out what else you can discover near Page, AZ in our Quick Guide to Grand Canyon East.
You may recognize names of popular overlooks like Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, but there’s more to the east rim than these two beloved sights. So what exactly makes the east rim so special? Keep reading to find out.
Tips for Visiting Antelope Canyon
- Always book a guided tour. Antelope Canyon is a popular spot and the only way to see it is by guided tour. The best way to guarantee that you’ll be able to see it when you’re in the area is to book your guided tour well in advance.
- Be patient. Hundreds of tourists visit Antelope Canyon every day, and some report feeling as if tour guides are “rushing” them through the Canyon. Instead of getting upset, go into your tour with the expectation that you’ll have less time than you’d prefer (everyone wants more time, right?), and remember that your tour guides are doing their best to make sure you—and everyone else—have a great experience.
- Space is tight. No backpacks are allowed inside the Canyon, so try to carry only essential items, such as a water bottle and your mobile phone or camera equipment.
- Stay calm and be flexible, especially on a photo tour. You’ll have limited time—just 1-2 minutes—to snap your shots, so be prepared to adjust positions at a moment’s notice.
- Confirm your tour time. Navajo lands operate on a different time zone than the rest of Arizona, which doesn’t observe daylight savings. Make sure you arrive on time by calling to confirm your departure when you arrive in Page.
- It can get quite hot, especially on your short walk to the mouth of the Canyon. Wear a hat and sunglasses and bring water along for your tour.
- It’s dusty. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. If you have camera equipment, bring protective gear—your tour guides will actually throw sand in the air to help you capture that perfect sunbeam photo.
- Bring cash to cover the $8 entrance fee to the Navajo Reservation, and to tip your tour guides (as appropriate—no pressure).
Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular sights in the Southwest. With its mesmerizing, sweeping red stone walls and ethereal sunbeams, it’s easy to see why. If you’re planning a trip to Antelope Canyon, keep these tips in mind:
- Antelope Canyon can only be reached by guided tour. Guided tours are available from Las Vegas, and nearby Page, AZ.
- If you want to see sunbeams, visit Upper Antelope Canyon between mid-March and October, and around mid-day if possible.
- If you would prefer to avoid crowds or are travelling on a tighter budget, head to Lower Antelope Canyon instead. There are no sunbeams, but it’s not as busy and guided tours are cheaper.
- Leave time to explore other nearby spots, such as Horseshoe Bend or the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
Want to see Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas? Skip the long drive and enjoy your trip on a 90-minute flight on our Antelope Canyon Expedition:
Want to visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas? Hop on board our guided airplane tour. Enjoy a 90 minute flight from Vegas to Glen Canyon in Page, AZ, before your guided tour of Upper Antelope Canyon and a stop at Horseshoe Bend.