Northern Arizona's pristine slot canyon invites visitors to step inside a monumental natural sculpture.
Guided tours are required to visit Antelope Canyon, located on private land within the Navajo Nation. Several authorized tour operators in the area lead groups to the canyon and impart their knowledge about the area’s history and geology. Shaped by millions of years of water and wind erosion, the magnificent canyon was named for the herds of pronghorn antelope that once roamed the area. The Upper Antelope Canyon tour is the more popular route because more sunlight enters the canyon and the walls reach up to 120 feet. The Lower Antelope Canyon tour is equally impressive, immersing visitors in the swirling embrace of sandstone walls.
While the hiking terrain in the area is mostly flat, the sand and sandstone surface is always tricky on your footing. Upper Antelope Canyon is the easier section to hike, with ground-level entry. To get back to the parking area visitors take a 20-minute trek on sandy trails with sections of steep metal stairs and walkways along the way. Lower Antelope Canyon attracts the more adventurous, who navigate a longer sandy hike to get to the canyon and maneuver several elevation changes with stairways and ladders to get into the canyon. Hikers can find more trail time on the 9.8-mile Page Rimview Trail. The trail leads to views of the canyonlands, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam and dramatic rock formations in the area.
Nature photographers head to this area of Northern Arizona to capture the natural beauty of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell. But the biggest prize for photographers is Antelope Canyon, one of the most photographed destinations in the Southwest. Guided tours are offered year-round, but professional photographers plan ahead to arrive at the canyon midday March through October. That’s when the position of the sun creates light shafts that reach the canyon floor and illuminates the pink, red, orange and gold patterns on the canyon walls. Winter colors are more muted but no less spectacular. And remember, even with fellow visitors all around you, the best shots of Antelope Canyon are always taken looking up.
Make the city of Page your home base for an astonishing tour of Antelope Canyon and other slot canyons and geologic wonders in the area. Located on the south shore of Lake Powell, the area’s natural beauty is a year-round draw for road trippers. Turn your scenic road trip into a weekender with visits to other attractions just a short drive from Page. Horseshoe Bend and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument add to the memories made during a road trip through Northern Arizona.