Planning a family road trip through Arizona and making a stop at the famous Antelope Canyon? Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ can be quite busy. Follow these travel tips to get a virtually private Antelope Canyon tour in Page, Arizona!
A week before an impromptu family road trip through Arizona I researched the Antelope Canyon tours. The pictures were gorgeous, and I just had to know where this amazing place was and how I could get my hands on it and if Antelope Canyon is worth it.
We spent a few days in Page and wanted to hit all of the highlights. This small town on the border of Arizona and Utah is full of incredible outdoor activities perfect for any family vacation in the Southwest. While we loved the Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, other national treasures, like Horseshoe Bend, were, unfortunately a major disappointment.
After our disappointment over Horseshoe Bend we were concerned the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon wouldn’t live up to expectations, either. Well, we loved it! We had an incredible time wandering the Lower Antelope Canyon and learned a lot of tips to help you have the best tour, too! Read on for our tips, how to book an Antelope Canyon tour, and all about our experience.
Here’s everything you need to know about why the Antelope Canyon is worth it!
How to book an Antelope Canyon tour in Page, Arizona
Before we spill the secret to avoiding the crowds at Antelope Canyon for a private canyon tour, there are some things we should clear up.
Where is the Antelope Canyon?
The Antelope Canyon Tour is in Page, Arizona (follow this Page, Arizona travel guide for all the best things to do while you’re in town!) It’s on Native American property and run by the Navajo Nation tribe. Included in the price of admission is a flat fee for entering Navajo land, so if you’ve previously paid this fee on your trip you may present a stub to reduce the price of Antelope Canyon entrance.
Antelope Canyon is a combination of two parts: Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon. Upper Antelope Canyon is known as The Crack and Lower Antelope Canyon is known as the corkscrew. The Upper Canyon is generally more popular with tourist and photographers as it presents a more striking overhead sunbeam, which means the Lower Canyon is perfect for people interested in seeing this gorgeous landmark with less crowds.
Buying Antelope Canyon tour tickets online or in person
Tickets for the tours can be bought online. Advanced reservations on the Canyon website is recommended, but we showed up at the Lower Canyon at 7:45 that morning and were placed in the 8:10 am group with no problem.
Follow Google Maps to Lower or Upper Canyon. There are a few different small tour operators at the turn off, where you can ask for tour spots if you didn’t but tickets online. The different groups coordinate very well. They pre-arrange 15-minute intervals to take each group out, which means you are only ever in the company of your own group while walking through. This also means there is very little time for lagging around, as there are plenty of tours waiting behind you for their turn.
Tickets were $33 per adult, but all children 5 and under are free.
How to get to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas
If you want to make a day trip to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas we suggest hiring a driver to make the day much easier. Get Your Guide offers a great all-day Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend tour which includes hotel pick up, breakfast and lunch, and transport in a wifi-enabled van. This way you can relax with your family on your vacation and still see everything you want to see! Book your Antelope Canyon tour from Las Vegas here.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Antelope Canyon Tour
- Go on a weekday
- Book your Antelope Canyon tour a day in advance or the morning of for the earliest time slots! Our 8:10 am tour was virtually empty, while the 9:10 am tour we passed was packed.
- Bring a DSLR (even if you don’t know how to use it. Ask questions and your guide will show you the best settings)
- Bring a smart phone (The guides will point out which shots are actually BETTER through the phone’s auto photo settings!)
- Don’t bring a tripod. (They are only permitted on the dedicated photography tours)
- Wear tennis shoes. There are 5 staircases to climb of varying narrowness. Sand blows through the open slot and can cover the stairs, which makes them pretty slippery.
- If your tour is empty enough feel free to ask for extra time to take photos around the canyon, but be respectful of the tourists around you and of your tour guide. Don’t take too much time or slow things down- others deserve the right to take their own pictures in special spots, and the tour needs to move on so the next group can come in.
- Be respectful of the Navajo culture and of your tour guide and those operating the tours. Be nice.
Antelope Canyon tour pictures
But pictures speak louder than words, so here you go… Antelope Canyon Tour: WORTH IT!
I’m NOT a professional photographer. In fact, our tour guide happily showed me how to use my own camera settings to capture anything in there. She even showed me the exact angles for some of these Lower Antelope Canyon pictures.
The point is, I love beautiful, unique places and now I have pictures to remember that experience forever. I love these pictures. The fact that we went to this special place, had it to ourselves, and have incredible photo evidence makes me feel so special!
Our Antelope Canyon Tour Experience
A little research showed that the canyon is controlled by the Navajo Native American Tribe, and that the tours could be packed and kept fast-paced. Additionally, I read that the peak time to visit is around noon every day (when a strong beam of overhead light filters through the underground canyon), and that any other time doesn’t provide the best colors and light.
When I realized we had planned a trip to the exact city of the Antelope Canyon tours, I honestly wasn’t too excited to go. At that point I was convinced that the entrance fee wouldn’t be worth it, and that we’d be left feeling exploited and disappointed. Ben, however, felt strongly about trying it out, so we took our chances.
My expectations of the Antelope Canyon tour were understandably low. I’m not too proud to say that I WAS WRONG and the Antelope Canyon tour was completely worth it! My low expectations were blown out of the water, but I think even high expectations would have been exceeded. It was THAT good.
We walked 1/3 mile across the canyon top to one end, then spent around 1 hour slowly walking the 1/3 mile back through the canyon to end at the same spot we began. There are two sections of the canyon, and about 5 sets of stairs. The stairs were easy to use, but you do have to watch for sand blowing over your head from the top of the canyon.
I think the reason our experience was so amazing is that we were in the 8:10 am tour group. The tour gets more popular later in the day when the sun gets closest to shining overhead, so our time slot was pretty sparse. We three had a tour guide all to ourselves, as did two other groups of 2-5 people around us. All together there were only about 20 people in the canyon during our time slot, and our guides spaced us out enough to feel like we had it to ourselves! I was amazed! Not only was it paced perfectly, but our guides were really generous with camera help and the best photo locations. PERFECT!
More of a visual person? Watch this Antelope Canyon video to see what a tour is really like
All things considered, the Antelope Canyon Tour is WORTH IT and pretty much one of my favorite hours EVER.