This guide breaks down everything you need to know about Antelope Canyon and features some expert advice to help you have the best visit possible.
Antelope Canyon: The Basics
Antelope Canyon is a unique type of canyon known as a “slot canyon.”
These tiny canyons form when water gets into cracks or fissures in bedrock. Over thousands of years, the water erodes the rock and creates a narrow canyon.
Slot canyons are most common in deserts and other areas that receive minimal rainfall. With this in mind, it’s no wonder Arizona is home to one of the most famous canyons.
Antelope Canyon includes five separate, scenic slot canyon sections: Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon, Owl Canyon, and Rattlesnake Canyon.
It’s not clear exactly when Antelope Canyon was discovered.
One of the most well-known and widely accepted stories says that it was discovered by a Navajo girl during the Great Depression. The girl was herding livestock and wandered into a crack in a sandstone wall.
Navajo elders also say that holdouts from the “Long Walk” — which took place in the 1860s and involved over 10,000 Navajo being forcibly removed to the Bosque Redondo Reservation — hid in the canyon during the late 1800s. They believe that spiritual beings from this time continue to watch over the area today.
Tips for Visitors
Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo lands. Because of this, visitors are not allowed to just drive up and wander around. They must go on a scheduled tour with a Navajo guide.
How to Book a Tour
Tours take place daily and last about 1.5 hours. Tickets cost $82 for adults and $72 for children. You can purchase tickets and schedule your tour in advance online.
When to Visit
Antelope Canyon is open year-round. However, most people visit between March and October. Temperatures are slightly milder during this time, and you can also see impressive light shafts in the canyon.
Keep in mind that if you visit during peak season, there will be larger crowds, and it may be harder to take photos.
What to Pack
Wear sturdy walking shoes for this tour. Apply sunscreen before you visit, too, even if you’re exploring during the winter months.
You may also want to wear a hat and pack a bandana to protect your nose and mouth from the sand. Those who wear contacts may also prefer glasses for this experience.
The following items are prohibited in the canyon: Bags, purses, fanny packs, tri and monopods, selfie sticks, food, and drinks (except for one water bottle per person).
How to Get the Best Pictures
You can still snap great pictures without a tripod, monopod, or selfie stick. Photography experts recommend a DSLR camera with a high ISO setting and a wide aperture.
If you want to capture beams of light, plan to be in the canyon between 10 am and 1 pm from May to October.
Check Out Antelope Canyon Today
Are you ready to see what Antelope Canyon has to offer? If so, book a tour through the Antelope Canyon website today.