• Menu
  • Menu
antelope canyon
Blue sky peeking through the dramatic sandstone walls in Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is Gonna Get You: World’s Most Visited Slot Canyon

As the world’s most visited and photographed slot, Antelope Canyon holds a place on most bucket lists. Located on Navajo land in the remote Northern Arizona desert, a little planning and reservations ensure it tops the experience list too!

Book ahead to ensure your spot

With an upper and lower branch of the canyon, the first step to visiting is deciding which to see. Lower Antelope Canyon is a wider V-shape with a more open feel and more climbing. Terminating into Lake Powell, some lower canyon tours even include kayaking.

Super narrow and cave-like, Upper Antelope Canyon feels more labyrinthian with the uber dramatic lighting photographers flock to. Located on tribal land, access requires an authorized tour, and we chose Navajo Tours. Advanced booking is highly recommended, and their site is super user friendly.

Dark shaddows of antelope canyon
Dramatic shadows in narrow parts of canyon.

Loading into the trucks

After checking in, we waited on shady benches until our brief orientation. Then we hopped into adventure pickups and headed into the canyon. The cool October breeze felt great as we drove, but with no A/C or trees, this experience would be sweltering in the summer. About 10 minutes into the drive, we arrived at what appeared to be a dead end. But the adventure was just beginning.

antelope canyon entrance
Behind this unassuming slit lies the most photographed slot canyon in the world!

Amazing tour guides

While our 4-year-old was bummed about disembarking from the truck, he was fascinated by the storytelling from our guide Abraham. Gathering a pile of sand, he showed how ancient sand dunes had been compacted into sandstone under the ocean millions of years ago. After rising above sea level, small cracks in the rocks were carved deeper by the inconsistent but heavy rains of the southwest. Thousands of years later, this and many other slot canyons in the area continue to deepen with each monsoon. Indeed, guides must be aware of local weather to ensure they aren’t trapped in the canyon during a flash flood.

Gorgeous Shadows Among the Structures

Since everyone wants gorgeous photos, the guides are careful to navigate visitors slowly through the canyon ensuring everyone gets their money’s worth. Abraham skillfully included the kids in “I Spy” looking for figures in the rocks. Surprisingly, we also got a photography tutorial as he gave us camera tips, pointed out great shots and encouraged us to gather for group photos.

antelope canyon
Midday is the best time for dramatic pictures inside slot canyons.

Emerging from the other side

Then, like emerging from a dream, we found ourselves exiting into a wide wash similar to our entry. An eerie, but intriguing wall bears the hand impressions from decades of visitors instantly drew in the kids. Once our group was gathered, we were ushered to the stairs leading up and over the canyon and back to the trucks.

More Ways to Explore

While Antelope Canyon is the most famous slot canyon in the area, it’s certainly not alone. Other great slots include:

  • Canyon X, Waterholes & Cardiac Canyon all require Navajo Land guides and passes.
  • Buckskin Gulch in the Paria Wilderness requires a $6 self-pay pass at the Wirepass trailhead parking lot.

Other hikes of interest in the Page Area:

  • Horseshoe Bend is the easiest hike with the most stunning view in the area.
  • Toadstool Hoodoos in Grand Staircase Escalante are free and feel like visiting a Star Wars planet.
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument is free, but best accessed by boat from Lake Powell.

Have you been to Antelope Canyon?

Share your experience in the comments:)


Eternally on the hunt for the science in every adventure.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *