Antelope Canyon is an incredible slot canyon in northern Arizona. With two canyons to choose from, both make for an experience you’ll never forget.
Antelope Canyon has been on my bucket list for a long time. Seeing pictures of the gorgeous canyons all over the internet has only made me want to visit more. For various reasons, we’ve never been able to fit a visit in our schedule. Finally, last week, we had the chance to take the family and it was even better than I expected.
First, I’ll give you all of the information you’ll need to know about visiting. Then keep reading until the end to see how I used points to offset a lot of the cost.
Where Is Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is located on the Navajo Indian reservation in northern Arizona just outside the city of Page. The location is definitely what makes visiting the canyon a challenge. Unfortunately, none of the major airlines fly into Page, so it’ll be a drive no matter where you’re coming from.
The closest major airports are Phoenix (PHX) or Las Vegas (LAS). Both airports are about a 4.5 hour drive. If you fly in and rent a car, be sure to use Autoslash to save some money.
Booking A Tour
There are two different canyons you can visit; Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. Regardless of which on you visit, you will need to book a tour in order to visit the canyon.
We decided to visit the lower Antelope Canyon and booked our tour with Dixie’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours. Our tour guide Stacy was the absolute best! She made our visit the best it could be! At the time of publishing, the price was ~$60 for adults and ~$30 for children.
I would recommend booking directly with Dixie (or the other companies). I’ve seen tours on other sites but they were always more expensive.
Which Canyon Should I Visit
A lot of people ask what the difference is between Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. Here’s what I’ve found based on my research and by talking with our tour guide.
Upper Antelope Canyon – The upper canyon is the more popular of the two canyons because of the light beams that can be seen during the spring and summer. While both canyon tours last about the same amount of time, the length of the upper canyon is about half the size of the lower canyon.
The upper canyon doesn’t have any stairs, so this could be a factor for those with mobility restrictions. We had young kids in our group and climbing the stairs wasn’t an issue, so I wouldn’t let that be a deterrent for those visiting with small children.
Lower Antelope Canyon – The lower canyon is located right next to the visitor’s center, so it’s only a 5 minute walk to the entrance. If you visit the upper canyon, your tour company will drive you to the canyon entrance.
The lower canyon is also more narrow along the canyon floor and wider at the top. This will allow more sunshine to enter the canyon and really highlight the color of the canyon walls.
How Far In Advance Should I Book My Tour – Antelope Canyon has definitely become more popular lately, so I would recommend booking as soon as you can. Right now tours are operating at 50% capacity, so they’ll fill up even quicker. Dixie had a very generous cancellation policy, so there really isn’t any risk to booking far in advance.
When Should I Visit – The summer time is the most popular because of the light beams that can been seen from about March thru October. Summer is just a popular time for travel, so it will also be more crowded. Keep in mind there can be a line to enter the canyon, so if you go in the summer it can get hot. We visited in December and had an incredible experience.
What Time Of Day Should I Visit – If seeing the light beams is a must, then I would recommend visiting between 10 – 1 to give yourself the best chance of seeing them.
What Should I Bring On The Tour – Right now, they don’t allow you to take backpacks, purses or other bags. Really, the only thing you can bring is water and your camera.
Where To Stay
You’ll find several hotel options from all of the major chains in Page. No matter which hotel points you have, you’ll be able to find a property to stay at. Just book your stay as soon as you can to give yourself the best chance of finding availability.
Marriott – If you like Marriott properties, they have a Courtyard hotel that will run about 30k points per night. There are a couple Marriott credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card that can help you earn points quickly.
Hilton – Hilton also has a couple locations in Page to choose from that will cost approximately 25k points per night. The Hilton Honors American Express card’s welcome bonus can get you a chunk of points fast.
IHG – There’s a Holiday Inn Express in the middle of town that costs a modest 12k points a night. If IHG is the brand you prefer, I’d recommend the IHG Club Premier card as a way to earn more points for your trip.
If Antelope Canyon hasn’t been on your travel bucket list, it should be. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been and it’s perfect for all ages and abilities. If you ever find yourself near northern Arizona, I’d highly recommend you plan to stop and spend a day or two here and enjoy these incredible sites.