7 Things to Know Before Visiting Antelope Canyon

One of the places that can most impress those of who travel to the national parks in USA is Antelope Canyon. It is located in Navajo territory and is one of the most photographed canyons in USA. It is a complete beauty to the eyes with narrow passages and sandstone walls. It is a spectacular natural landscape located in northern Arizona, next to the town of Page, a town located on the boundary between northern Arizona and southern Utah.

It is about three hours north of the Grand Canyon of Colorado and the recreational park of Glen Canyon, which is considered a tribal park for the Navajo Indians, and specifically, on the shores of Lake Powell. The walls of this small canyon in the middle of the Arizona desert are so full of magic and softness, which through the photographs taken by travelers who visit it transmits an impressive beauty.

The canyon used to be the habitat of pronghorn antelope. Antelope often roamed in the valley, so it was named Antelope Canyon. It is also an Indian reserve. Until now, some old Navajo people still meditate here to complete communication with the spirit of the earth.

Located just 5 hours north of Phoenix, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is widely considered one of nature's most beautiful wonders. A desert oasis is one of the unique places this world offers and is very easily accessible. There are many reasons why Antelope Canyon usually makes the list of top 10 places to visit. But there are some things you should know before planning a trip to this beautiful place.

antelope canyon how to visit

So, to help you out, we have put together a list of things to know before visiting Antelope Canyon.

1. There are two Antelope Canyons

Most people don’t realize that Antelope Canyon is separated into two sections. With only about a mile apart, there is the Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon. Antelope Canyon is divided into two zones, the upper canyon and the lower canyon. The most visited and most appropriate in order to take pictures is the upper canyon, whose tour lasts an hour and a half.

If you have the time, we warmly recommend visiting both. However, if we had to choose one, the lower canyon would win easily. The Upper Canyon is the one you see all of the pictures of, and it attracts a lot more tourists.

The Lower Canyon is just as beautiful (if not more), and you won't have to push through as big of a crowd of tourists to enjoy it. Still, whichever you decide to visit, we recommend you know the precautions before you travel in COVID times. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are two Antelope Canyons, of which the Upper is more popular and is the one you usually find pictures of online. Since for the visit there is usually a large influx of tourists that coincide by the narrow canyon, this can make it difficult to take pictures without people in front.

To visit this natural enclave you have the option to sign up for a Antelope Canyon tour from Las Vegas. The tour involves riding a large SUV that travels a few miles along a very sandy road until you reach the shore of Lake Powell, from where you can access the entrance to Antelope Canyon.

2. Time of day matters

Located in the north of Arizona, Antelope Canyon is one of the top ten geological wonders. It is divided into two parts: the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon. This peculiar terrain makes the light here beautiful and strange. Some parts of the valley bottom can only be exposed to sunlight at noon.

When it comes to the Lower Canyon, it’s important to remember that the Lower Canyon doesn’t take reservations. It functions entirely on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it can be challenging to pick a good time. The best time to go would be in the early morning to avoid the crowds; while not as big as the Upper Canyon, crowds can still be annoying.

On the other hand, many tour companies accept reservations on the Upper Canyon. So, it's best to visit the Upper Canyon around noon, with the sun directly overhead, so you have the best chance of spotting rays of light peeking into the canyon. Remember to think about your belongings ahead of time, and don't leave them in a hotel room. If you want to have your belongings safely stored away, it’s best to rent out a local storage unit short-term.

It is highly recommended to try to make the visit at noon, about 12 o'clock, because it is the moment in which the light enters more deeply in the canyon, causing the most beautiful scenes. Of course, it is important to avoid the first hours of the day and holidays.

3. Bring water and hiking shoes

Before planning anything concrete, remember that this is Arizona. If you’re not prepared, you’ll get dehydrated incredibly quickly, and while traveling, it's essential to think about your health. Knowing how to protect yourself while traveling is important on many different levels. Having sturdy shoes is also necessary since visiting either canyon will involve a hike.

This is especially important in the Lower Canyon, as it has a lot of ladders to go down and small openings to climb through. So, remember to prepare for this visit as you would for any other hike.

While the canyons are relatively dark, Arizona weather is still sweltering, and the hikes are long, so prepare accordingly.

4. A guide is required

When visiting Antelope Canyon, you will have to remember to prearrange a guide ahead of time. Especially if you are planning on visiting with family, you need to remember that a guide is required to visit the canyon. This is because the canyon is located on Indian Reservation land, and it can get dangerous.

Also, keep in mind that experts from ustantini.com remind you that you should always think ahead about the safety of your belongings and yourself.

5. It can be dangerous

Arizona is known for flash floods, especially during monsoon season. Unfortunately, this also applies to the Antelope Canyon. It isn’t unheard of for a 50-foot-tall wave of water to sweep through the canyon, as it did in 1997. Back then, 11 visitors drowned due to the flash flood, and it took nine months for the Lower Canyon to reopen with improved security measures.

All visitors have to be accompanied by a guide qualified to assess weather conditions. And remember, avoid Antelope Canyon during rainstorms; even if it isn't raining in the canyon, flash floods can travel miles.

Arizona is known for flash floods, so avoid the canyon during monsoon seasons and whenever it rains.

6. The Upper Canyon is more accessible

Generally speaking, the Upper Canyon is much more accessible to the public. While we recommend visiting the Lower Canyon if you can only choose one, the Upper Canyon has its own merits. It's located above ground, with a wide base and narrow opening, so it's pretty dark. Like in the Lower Canyon, the only light here is when the sunshine comes through the opening in the canyon's roof.

This creates beautiful light rays throughout the canyon. However, visiting the Upper Canyon is also more expensive than visiting the lower canyon. So, knowing how to get money for your travels if you plan to come here more than once is preferable.

7. Bring a camera

When visiting Antelope canyon, remember to bring a camera. After all, it would be a shame to see one of the most beautiful places in the world without snapping some photos. Also, since you will be going with a guide, you will have someone to help you point out the most beautiful scenes to take a picture of. Making memories should be one of the priorities when visiting a place like this.

Visiting Antelope Canyon – conclusion

Antelope Canyon is famous for being one of the most beautiful places globally. If you enjoy traveling, and you ever get the chance to visit it, don’t hesitate to make a trip to this canyon. But remember to prepare for the journey properly. We hope you found this list of 7 things to know before visiting Antelope Canyon helpful.

Kalyan Panja