Antelope Canyon: The Best Time to Visit
Featured on Home - April 27, 2022

When is the best time to visit Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona? Keep reading to find out how you can experience this beautiful natural wonder.

woman standing in Antelope canyon
Antelope Canyon

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful and photogenic places on Earth, look no further than Antelope Canyon in Arizona. This stunning canyon is known for its colorful sandstone walls that change hue with the light, making it a popular destination for photographers.

Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land in Page, Arizona.

When it comes to Antelope Canyon, timing is everything. Whether you’re looking to catch light beams or get the best views, plan your visit around midday during the summer or the off-season from November to March. With a little planning, you’re sure to have an amazing experience at this natural wonder!

Where is Page, Arizona?

Page is a small city located in Northern Arizona, about four and a half hours from Phoenix and two hours from the Grand Canyon. It’s a little over 2 hours from Flagstaff and 2 hours and 45 minutes from Williams.

If you’re coming from Camp Verde, Arziona, it will take you 3 and a half hours to drive to Page, Arizona. The closest airports are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Mccarran International Airport in Nevada. Both are about 4 and a half hours away.

If you are coming from Phoenix, stop in Sedona or Flagstaff and kill two birds with one stone – it is on your way!

Page, Arizona

If you are flying to Arizona and need a rental car, reserve it at the airport.

Page is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the heat of the desert or enjoy some winter activities like snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

The rock formations are beautiful and the drive is breathtaking. For myself, the the best time to visit Antelope Canyon is all the time!

Where to Stay in Page, Arizona

There are a few places to stay in Page, Arizona. If you’re looking for a hotel, we recommend the Holiday Inn Express Page Lake Powell. This hotel offers great views of Lake Powell and is within walking distance of many restaurants and shops.

For those looking to camp, there are several camping options available in Page. One option is the Wahweap Campground, which is located on the shores of Lake Powell and has direct access to boat ramps.

I stayed at the Mariott Courtyard and it was lovely. Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend are close by. There is also Kayaking and scuba diving. Biking and hiking/biking trails nearby. But most importantly, Antelope Cayon is just minutes away.

Respect Navajo Nation‘s Local People and Traditions

Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land, so be sure to respect the culture and traditions of the local people. When visiting, be sure to stay on designated trails, refrain from touching the walls or taking rocks as souvenirs, and avoid making too much noise.

The Navajo tribe has been living in the area for centuries and has a deep spiritual connection to the land. By respecting their traditions, you can help ensure that this amazing place will be around for future generations to enjoy.

Navajo Nation (Navajo Indian Reservation) is located in the Four Corners region of the United States and includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. The Navajo people have their language, culture, and history.

sweat lodge
Sweat Lodge

In the Navajo culture, local leadership was structured around clans, which are matrilineal kinship groups. Children are considered born into the mother’s family, and their social status is derived from her and her clan. The eldest brother has historically had a decisive impact on the rearing of the children.

traditional Navajo home called a Hogan
Traditional Hogan

You can learn more about the culture, ceremonies and housing when taking Deluxe tour with Ken’s Tours.

How to Get to Antelope Canyon

I took a road trip by myself from Phoenix, Arizona. I started out late which was a mistake because I ended up driving for two hours in the dark.

I didn’t plan on starting late, and next time I will leave much earlier. I drove via I-17 N which takes about 5 and a half hours. Since I stopped in Cameron to eat. So, the whole trip took about 6 and a half hours.

Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land. When you arrive in Page, the only way to access the canyon is through a guided tour. Make sure you set that up before you get there.

Lower Canyon vs Upper Canyon

There are two sections of Antelope Canyon: the Lower Canyon and the Upper Canyon. The Lower Canyon tours are shorter and easier to access, making them more popular with visitors. However, this also means that when taking the Lower Antelope Canyons Tours, it is usually more crowded.

Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon

If you want to avoid the crowds, plan to visit the Upper Canyon instead. The best time to take the Upper Antelope Canyon Tour is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

You can also take a half day tour and do Lower Canyon and Upper Canyon.

Antelope Canyon only does Guided Tours

Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land and visitors must go on a guided tour to enter the canyon.

Antelope Canyon Lower

It used to be a self-guided tour, until 1997, when a flash flood hit a group of tourists, taking their lives. It was a tragedy that changed the course of how Antelope Canyon was run.

You can’t just go to Antelope Canyon by yourself. You have to have a tour guide and he/she stays with you the whole time.

When to see the Light Beams in Antelope Canyon

Light beams are a natural phenomenon that occurs when the sun’s rays pass through openings in the canyon walls, creating shafts of light that illuminate the canyon floor. These beams are only visible for a few minutes each day, so timing is key if you want to see them.

The best time to catch light beams in Antelope Canyon is around midday between 11 am and 1:30 pm, March through to October.

However, I had light coming through at the time I went which was after 3.

Tour Operators

There are many tour companies located in both Page, Arizona, Las Vegas, and Kanab, Utah that offer Antelope Canyon tours. As I said the best time to visit is during the offseason, from November to March. During this time, tour prices are lower and there are fewer crowds.

The high season is the summer and there are more crowds. You will need to have sunscreen and water on you at all times if visiting Arizona.

I recommend Ken’s Tours if you are looking for a tour company. It was recommended to me and I wouldn’t tour with anyone else.

Photography Tour at Antelope Canyon

There are two types of tours offered, a photography tour and a sightseeing tour. The photography tours are restricted to a smaller number of people and last up to four hours, giving you plenty of time to take photos. These tours cost more than the sightseeing tours, but they’re worth it if you’re serious about photography.

Antelope Lower Canyon

Sightseeing Tour at Antelope Canyon

The sightseeing tours are the most popular option and they last up two hours. These tours are great if you want to see the canyon without spending a lot of time taking photos. However, be aware that the tour groups can be large, so you might not get the best views of the canyon.

Hogan
Hogan

The Deluxe Tour at Ken’s Tours

There are different tour companies, but I was referred to Ken’s Tours. They have Lower Antelope Canyon Tours and Upper Antelope Canyon Tours. Cody was my tour guide and he was amazing.

I did the Lower Antelope Canyon tour (Deluxe Tour) with Ken’s Tours. The Lower Antelope Canyon is stunning, and my guide was able to share a lot of fascinating information about it during our 1 hour guided tour.

Guided tour at Ken's Tours
Guided Tour

When you go inside to confirm your tour, you will have you will do a Covid screening, and sign a paper. I was only with 2 other people and Cody, my tour guide.

I highly recommend taking bottled water, however, on this tour, they gave me bottled water attached to a string so I could put it around my neck.

What to Bring at Ken’s Tours

You can only have a clear plastic bag with essentials inside, like your phone, money, and car keys and you can bring a water bottle.

Learn the Best Settings for your Phone to Take Images

If you want to take amazing pictures, do the Deluxe Tour where you will get the best, most experienced tour guides. Cody immediately took my phone and showed me the best settings to take the best images of Antelope Canyon. He took time out to take pictures of me with the best backgrounds and showed me some tricks.

Learn about the Navajo Culture

After the tour, I learned more about the Navajo culture through the Hózhǫ́ Haz’ą́ Heritage site and enjoyed a traditional Navajo taco and the yummiest ice tea with Cody as he told me about the Navajo tribe.

What is the Best Time of Day to Visit Antelope Canyon?

I chose to book the last tour at the time slot around 3 pm, knowing that the light would be nice and soft. The best time of the day to go if you want to take pictures and catch the light beams is early morning or late afternoon. I caught lots of light but not any major light beams, per se. Nevertheless, it was magnificent!

Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon

note – No go pros allowed! No videos allowed. Masks are mandatory.

Planning the Best Time to Visit to Antelope Canyon

When planning your visit to Antelope Canyon, keep in mind that the best time to go is during the summer or the off-season from November to March. If you’re looking to take photos, book a photography tour so you can have plenty of time to snap some amazing shots.

The peak season is between May and September. It is super hot and crowded.

It used to be a self-guided tour, until 1997, when a flash flood hit a group of tourists, taking their lives. It was a tragedy that changed the course of how Antelope Canyon was run.

antelope

You can’t go to Antelope Canyon by yourself. You have to have a tour guide and he/she stays with you the whole time.

There is also plenty of space to park in Ken’s Tours parking lot.

When to Avoid Crowds

If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to visit Antelope Canyon are in the cooler months from October to March. Fewer people are visiting at that time.

Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is nice during the winter months because it’s not as crowded, but keep in mind that the tour might be canceled due to weather conditions.

If you go in the summer months, It will be super hot, but you won’t have to fight with crowds. Keep in mind that the summer months have monsoons which also bring in flash floods.

How many Days Should you Stay in Page, Arizona?

I went in March and it was perfect. I stayed two nights but did Horsehoe Bend around 10 am, Antelope Canyon at 3 pm, and drove through Lake Powell National Park around 5:30 pm, just in time to see the sunset.

Lake Powell
Lake Powell

No matter when you decide to go, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at this natural wonder!

Looking for more things to do in Page, Arizona?

Lake Powell

Antelope Canyon is located near Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River. This lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. The best time to visit Lake Powell is during the summer when the water levels are high and the weather is warm.

Lake powell
Lake Powell

If you are looking to stay on Lake Powell, check out the beautiful Lake Powell Resort. Lake Powell offers boat rentals and jet skis rentals.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a U-shaped meander of the Colorado River located just outside of Page, Arizona. This popular spot is best known for its stunning views of the river and red rock canyon walls.

Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend

The best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and to get the best light for photos.

Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend

A great way to see Horsehoe Bend is on a Helicopter Tour. But I recommend combining Horseshoe Bend with Antelope Canyon Tour to experiece both.

Horseshoe Bend

Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River in northern Arizona. The dam is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is administered by the National Park Service.

The best time to visit Glen Canyon Dam is during the summer when the weather is warm and the water levels are high.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation Tribal Park located on the Arizona-Utah border. This park is best known for its iconic sandstone formations, which have been featured in many movies and TV shows. The best time to visit Monument Valley is during the off season from November to March when the weather is cooler and the crowds are smaller.

What do you think? Are you as blown away as me?

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