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Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours

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Antelope Canyon…you’ve “been there and done that.” Even if you haven’t, second-hand accounts of teeming hordes of people being herded along, reminiscent of the lines at Disneyland, are enough to turn you off to this attraction completely. A recent review on TripAdvisor even went as far as to say that “Wal-Mart on Black Friday isn’t this chaotic!” Still, you know that a vacation to the Page/Lake Powell area wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of these “small wonders” that make Northern Arizona and Southern Utah like no other place on Earth.

So the question is this: are there any other slot canyon tours in the area that bear even a slight resemblance to Antelope Canyon, without all the people? Happily, the answer is “absolutely yes!” Read on to learn which Antelope Canyon Alternative Tour would be most appropriate for your family to explore on your Grand Canyon or Lake Powell vacation.

Canyon X

Also known as “Antelope Canyon X” because it is “technically an upper segment of the same canyon” (DesertUSA.com), Canyon X brings back memories of how Antelope Canyon used to be: a quiet, relatively unknown crack in the ground whose narrow, convoluted walls have been carved into soft, swirling shapes by wind, water and time. Its ever-changing colors, determined by the angle of the sun overhead, make the visitor feel like they’re in another world. A few days of the year, you can even experience the shaft of light that Upper Antelope Canyon is so famous for!

So why aren’t more people here? For one thing, getting to Canyon X isn’t entirely a walk in the park. Like so many canyons in Arizona, what goes down, must come back up. In the case of Canyon X, a descent down a 150-foot fissure in the riverbed is required to access the “tiny but stunning” (American Landscape Images) canyon, followed by a similar climb back up to exit. While it is manageable for most people, a recent review on TripAdvisor cautioned that “if you, like me, are middle-aged, overweight, out of shape, or not used to the altitude, you may have trouble, but I considered it part of the adventure!”

Canyon X is situated on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. You must travel with a licensed tour outfitter. Sightseeing and photographic tours to Canyon X are offered by Taadidiin Tours. Tour groups of no more than 9 passengers per departure meet 10 miles southeast of Page, AZ on Highway 98 at milepost 307.8. For pricing and other information, visit www.antelopecanyon-x.com.

Secret Canyon

We love Antelope Canyon. We wouldn’t have named our site after it if we didn’t! But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s on the verge of being loved a little too much. A Yelp reviewer even dared to say that “you shouldn’t even waste your time or money on the overcrowded, photo bombed, rushed through Antelope Canyon tour just because it may be ‘cheaper.’” Ouch. So where should you go instead? To a place so obscure, so off-the-beaten-path and seen by so few eyes that only one name comes to mind for it: Secret Canyon!

OK, so it’s also called “Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon” due to its relatively close proximity to the world-famous Colorado River overlook, but it’s actually a branch of the upper drainage of Waterholes Canyon (more on that in another post) that “rivals Antelope Canyon for nicely lit, swirling formations” (American Southwest.net) A unique feature of Secret Canyon is walls that gradually rise as you navigate the 450 foot length of the slot. Unlike Antelope Canyon, however, “there are no chambers here – just one long, narrow canyon requiring some minor rock scrambling.” (Sedona Monthly)  Some sections of Secret Canyon are a mere 8” across. The trail through the canyon is relatively flat, with a few notable exceptions, it is quite sandy, which can be difficult to walk through for those unaccustomed to such conditions. Access to Secret Canyon requires an 8-mile drive down an unpaved road, which is an adventure in and of itself, but with tour groups limited to 6-7 people at a time, you’ll feel as though you’ve been let in on Northern Arizona’s best-kept secret!

Secret Canyon is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation. A licensed tour outfitter is required to visit this area. Tours to Secret Canyon are offered by Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Adventures. For tour and pricing information, visit www.horseshoebendslotcanyonadventures.com

Mountain Sheep Canyon*

What’s your idea of adventure? One thing’s for certain, jockeying with busloads of people in a narrow slot canyon for the perfect photo op isn’t it. You don’t mind going a little further, expending a little effort and getting a little dirty in exchange for a more intimate and personal slot canyon experience. If this describes you, then Mountain Sheep Canyon is your kind of place!

Like Canyon X, Mountain Sheep Slot Canyon is also a part of the Antelope Canyon drainage system, but unlike Upper Antelope Canyon, it’s no leisurely 100-yard stroll. At 1.5 miles in length, this slot canyon is aptly named as it requires a fair amount of scrambling, scaling and “high-stepping with 30-40 inch climbs at times and one ladder climb of about 8 feet or so.” (A Kona Hawaii Scuba Diver Blabbers On)  While that may sound a little nerve-wracking, most hikers report feeling perfectly safe, and that “a visit to Mountain Sheep Canyon is a great way to round out your slot canyon experience and add a bit of photographic diversity to your experience.” (The Outbound) Indeed, another hiker observed that “there are a few sections in the canyon that are really amazing though you won’t find those light shafts everyone seems so fond of. The patterns and textures in one spot reminded me of a mini Coyote Buttes.” (Photo.net)

Like other slot canyons in the Page, Arizona area, access to Mountain Sheep Slot Canyon requires some off-road driving and is limited to just a few people a day traveling with a licensed guide or tour company. Tours are offered by Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours, owned and operated by the Bigthumb family, who are direct descendants of the Navajo girl who first discovered Antelope Canyon in 1931. For more information, visit https://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com

Rattlesnake Canyon*

If we lost you at “snakes,” relax. Rattlesnake Slot Canyon is named for the serpentine pattern carved by the intermittent creek that flows through it, and the striations in the colors of the rock layers. A smaller slot canyon in the Antelope Canyon drainage system that bears resemblance to both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon has been described as having “dizzying swirls of color — purple, orange, red and hues that don’t even have a name…as though a large can of mixed paint has been hurled into the canyon by some mystical hand.” (“A Hiker’s Sample of Southwest Slot Canyons,” Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2016)

Like Lower Antelope Canyon, a TripAdvisor reviewer advises potential visitors to “be prepared to do some climbing on ladders and squeezing through tight spots.” Yet another hiker asserts that “it looks more difficult than it really is. There are some gorgeous spots in this canyon!” (A Kona Hawaii Scuba Diver Blabbers On)  Another visitor reports that “after the crowds of Upper Antelope Canyon, the solitude is wonderful!” (Outdoor Project) As for the rattlesnakes, well… they’re around, but you’re not likely to encounter them on your tour. See, they don’t want anything to do with you, either!

Rattlesnake Canyon is also one of the slot canyons accessed exclusively by Carol Bigthumb’s Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours. For more information, visit https://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com

Owl Canyon*

“Who” is looking for a slot canyon adventure that’s “more of a hike than a photography experience?” (Lucas J. Pols Photography)  You? Then you’ll love Owl Canyon!

While it doesn’t possess quite the range of colors and shapes of Antelope Canyon, Owl Canyon is still worth the trip according to many visitors who have had the privilege to venture to this remote corner of the Navajo Indian Reservation. With a wider topside opening, Owl Canyon is more exposed to the sun than its sister slot canyons, but at a few hundred yards in length, it’s relatively easy for most people to navigate. There are a few tight spots to shimmy through, but otherwise, this is one of the “less slotty” of Page area slot canyons.

Of course, the highlight of a visit to Owl Canyon is a sighting of its namesake: a family of Great Horned Owls that make their home here. Though wary by nature, they have become somewhat comfortable with people in their domain. Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours, the authorized outfitter for this slot canyon, suggests a zoom lens for photographers wishing to capture the feathered residents of this memorable Antelope Canyon alternative slot canyon!

For more information on Owl Slot Canyon Tours, visit https://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com

*Owl Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon are usually toured as a package, or in combination with Upper Antelope Canyon. Ask about photographic tours or hikers’/sightseeing tours.

Cardiac Canyon

So far, all of the Antelope Canyon alternative slot canyons we’ve discussed have evocative and sometimes cryptic names like “Canyon X,” “Secret Canyon,” “Owl Canyon” and “Mountain Sheep Canyon.” But there’s one slot canyon whose nomenclature is literally as subtle as a heart attack: Cardiac Canyon.

Named for the 90’ sand dune that one must hike down to enter the canyon, then back up to exit, Cardiac Canyon’s name suits it to a tee. Its physical degree of difficulty is such a deterrent to the sedentary, it is thought that less than 100 people have set eyes on this slot canyon. Indeed, finding a first-hand account of a trip through Cardiac Canyon is like the proverbial “needle in a haystack” undertaking, but this hiker makes no bones about it: “this route is not for the un-athletic, or generally out of shape, as some serious scrambling and contorting, as well as chimneying up to ledges are required. The rewards are worth it, however. The narrow, convoluted walls are magic in the morning light, and the vertical waterfall face is amazing.” (HikeArizona.com)

If you think you’re up for it, you must visit Cardiac Canyon with a guide service authorized by the Navajo Indian Tribe, which in this case is Taadidiin Tours. Tours meet daily at milepost 307.8 on Highway 98 10 miles South of Page. For pricing and other information, visit www.antelopecanyon-x.com

Cathedral Canyon

Many visitors to the canyon landscapes of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah report feeling as though they have set foot on hallowed ground. They’d be right. Many slot canyons in the Page/Lake Powell area are spiritual places to the Navajo people, whose tribal lands surround these geologic formations. Cathedral Canyon is definitely at home on that list.

A secluded slot canyon located near LeChee, Arizona on the Navajo Indian Reservation, a visit to Cathedral Canyon requires a 20-minute drive through several river washes. The entrance to the canyon itself is quite narrow and visitors report “having to place our hands and feet on either side of the wall, which were about 4 to 5 feet apart, about 6 feet off the ground.” Your tour outfitter may opt to supply a ladder. Once in the canyon, you’ll find it “very impressive, towering nearly 100 feet over your head.” (Garth’s Travels)  In addition to classic slot canyon scenery, you’ll have ample photo ops of formations such as Four Sisters, Thumb Rock, and Pucket Rock.

Tours to Cathedral Canyon are offered from Page, Arizona by Chief Tsosie’s Antelope Slot Canyon Tours. For more information, visit www.antelopeslotcanyon.com

So there you have it! There are all kinds of Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours ranging from easy to excruciating and everything in between. Stay tuned for information on slot canyon experiences where you may not need a tour or a guide to go in them, but you may need a little more courage and upper body strength to enjoy them.

General Notes:

  • All the slot canyons featured in this article are located on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. No admittance is allowed without an authorized guide or tour company. Your tour price includes your Navajo Tribal Park entrance fee. Retain this receipt if you opt to tour other Navajo Tribal Park areas such as Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, or the Little Colorado River Overlook during your trip.
  • This is a remote desert environment. There is no running water or restroom facilities at these locations. Bring water and use the toilet before your tour.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes for walking. The interiors of most slot canyons remain cool year-round, so a light jacket or sweater should be brought even during the summer months.
  • Backpacks, camera bags and purses may be prohibited in some slot canyons. Carry important items like ID’s, cash, etc., in pockets.
  • Some tour outfitters take advance reservations; others operate on a first-come/first-served basis. For the latter, be prepared to pay for your tour in cash.

100 Comments

  1. G says:

    This website has been most helpful! I am looking for some more details. We are travelling to Sedona in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to fit in Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon if possible. We arrive in Phoenix around 11 am on Friday morning and are driving directly to the Grand Canyon. Will likely want to make a lunch stop along the way…not sure where. We are staying overnight in the park and will do a morning bike ride before we head to Sedona for Saturday evening. We’ll likely explore Sedona on Sunday maybe a jeep ride, or spend some time at the red rock slide park. Maybe Monday would be a good day to venture out to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. I know that there are 1 day tours that we can with a round trip to Sedona. Should I book one of those (we are a family of 5) or since we have a car, would we be better off getting there ourselves and picking up a guided tour once we arrive? Is this even possible? Any suggestions would be welcomed. We are staying in Sedona until Wed morning when we will head back to Phoenix to fly out in the late afternoon on Wed.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi G,
      Right now, your trip plan isn’t as efficient as it could be. It involves a bit of back-tracking, which is best avoided for obvious reasons. As for touring Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, self-driving will give you the most freedom and flexibility, and give you the option of bundling your hiking tour with a boat tour or perhaps a tour of the Navajo Village Heritage Center. I don’t know if it’s possible to change your hotel reservations, but if it is, I’d recommend doing this:
      Friday: Drive directly from Phoenix to Page, AZ (~5-6 hours), lunch stop in Flagstaff, AZ, overnight in Page.
      Saturday: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon, 2nd night in Page. Advance reservations are strongly recommended for all Antelope Canyon tours
      Sunday: Drive from Page to Grand Canyon (~3 hours), overnight at Grand Canyon
      Monday: Bike ride at Grand Canyon, drive from Grand Canyon to Sedona (~3 hours), stay in Sedona until Wednesday
      If Grand Canyon hotel or Antelope Canyon tour availability doesn’t cooperate, you could flip-flop this itinerary, hitting Sedona first, then the Grand Canyon, then Page before heading back to Phoenix. The only disadvantage to this would be that the longest drive of the trip would come at the end of your trip instead of at the beginning.
      Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. Ivy says:

    Dear Alley,

    I really appreciate all your detailed responses to all the questions. I have planned most of my trip based on your recommendations.
    We (party of three, including a 74 years old) are planning to do a 6 days self- drive tour from Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Page (2 nights)-Zion-Las Vegas in early July. For the three days, two nights stay at Page, I have booked the Tower Butte Helicoper tour on the first day in the afternoon, the upper canyon and boat tour on the 2nd day early in the morning. Can you recommend another canyon or other activities that do not require too much hiking/walking for us to visit on the 2nd day afternoon and 3rd day morning? Much appreciated.
    Ivy

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ivy!
      Your itinerary as it stands looks pretty fun, especially the Tower Butte Helicopter tour. I’m SO jealous as that’s the one tour I have yet to do myself!
      Strange as it may sound, it’s not necessary to plan every. single. minute. of your vacation out here. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with enjoying some well-earned downtime and just letting the day unfold as time, desire, and energy levels permit.
      That said, if you’re looking for some other low-intensity activities/sights to round out that second/third day, a few suggestions are:
      The John Wesley Powell Museum
      A tour of the Glen Canyon Dam
      The White House Overlook of the Glen Canyon Dam
      The Navajo Village Heritage Center
      Gunfighter Canyon indoor shooting range (yes, it’s a thing!)
      On your way from Page, AZ, to Zion, be sure to stop at the Big Water Visitors Center to see some award-winning displays of locally excavated dinosaur fossils.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Ivy says:

        Dear Alley

        Thank you very much for your prompt responses and recommendations.

        I will certainly look into these attractions. I am so excited to visit the famous Antelope Canyon.

        Thank you again!

        Cheers,

        Ivy

    • JR says:

      I think Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon would be a good fit for you. It’s beautiful, uncrowded, and a flat easy hike. The time I went, we were paired with another couple and had the canyon to ourselves. I hope this helps.

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hi JR,
        Thank you for sharing your experience in Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon with future travelers to Page, AZ!
        Alley 🙂

  3. Sue M. says:

    Dear Alley,

    I’m beyond impressed with your customer service and the time you take to provide detailed responses to each person’s inquiry. You are amazing!
    Here’s my question (I did read through, but didn’t find the answer, so apologies if this is a repeat!):
    We have about 48 hours in Page. We’d love to do something more low key on the first day, then something a bit more active on the second day. We have 4 boys between ages 10 and 13 who love adventure 🙂
    1) We are thinking to do Horseshoe Bend mid-morning, then book your combined Lower Antelop Canyon + Boat tour. How long do we need to allocate for this entire tour? What time do we need to leave Horseshoe Bend in order to make it to the tour during good sunlight hours in the Canyon? (We will be there October 18).
    2) On day 2, we are thinking of taking the morning to drive to Monument Valley, do the 17 mile self drive loop, then head back to Page for an afternoon of activity. Is this a feasible plan, or too ambitious?
    3) If we do have this afternoon of “activity” – what are fun, off the beaten path ideas you have seen visitors do? I know we could do another slot canyon, but you mentioned that one is usually fine to see on limited time. Unless you think that this free time is well spent on another slot canyon? Perhaps canyoneering somewhere, hiking, anything cool or unique you’ve seen would be much appreciated here!

    Thank you so much for your help in advance! I really, truly appreciate it!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sue and thank you for your compliments.
      As for whether this topic is a “repeat,” no need to worry about that, it’s totally fine.
      First off, October is a great time to be here. The weather is usually perfect (note, “usually” 😉 and though Page, AZ, is still busy, it’s not up to summertime craziness level.
      On your arrival day, you might consider going to the Wahweap Overlook to view sunset. It’s usually less crowded than Horseshoe Bend, and offers a beautiful view of Lake Powell. If that does not appeal for some reason, you might consider making dinner reservations at “Into The Grand.” It’s a combination dinner theatre and educational/cultural experience that will give you a more in-depth appreciation for river running in the Grand Canyon.
      Then, plan on visiting Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, then doing the Lower Antelope/Boat Tour combo. As for how long to allocate, it depends on you and what’s available. Some visitors prefer to do the tours back-to-back, in which case, that takes ~4-5 hours; others like to have a little downtime between tours to get lunch, take a nap, etc. Mid-day (between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM) is generally considered the best time for lighting in Lower Antelope Canyon, but those time slots fill up fastest.
      Visiting Monument Valley as a day trip is OK, but in October, it’s important to a. keep an eye on the time so you don’t do any of the drive at night (little to no light, animals on the road, spotty cell service, etc.) and b. remember that Monument Valley IS on Daylight Savings Time whereas Page, AZ IS NOT (you’ll “lose” an hour traveling from Page, AZ, to MV, then “regain” it coming back). In mid-October, sunrise occurs at ~6:45 AM, sunset at around 5:45 PM. The drive to Monument Valley from Page, AZ, takes 2 hours each way. The 17-mile scenic loop drive should not be attempted by those driving rental cars. A guided tour of Monument Valley is recommended for optimal safety and enjoyment. If the prospect of doing all that driving doesn’t appeal, there is still a way you might work Monument Valley in: fly over it. Fixed-wing airplanes depart from Page Municipal Airport daily, first thing in the morning is the best time to fly for best light and less wind.
      Other ideas for fun, “off-the-beaten path” activities include but are not limited to:
      Touring White Pocket
      – doing a helicopter landing on top of Tower Butte
      – hiking The “New” Wave
      – taking a 4WD tour to Alstrom Point
      Gunfighter Canyon indoor shooting range
      – a horseback ride to Horseshoe Bend
      – an electric mountain bike ride
      …just to name a few.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  4. Heidi says:

    Hi There, Thank you so much for providing great insights on alternative canyons and providing thoughtful answers for people’s questions. We (4 of us, including a 9-year-old kid) plan to visit the Antelope Canyon for the first time early July this year. I understand the weather can be very hot then. We originally planned to do the 4 Canyon tour (Mountain Sheep, Owl, Rattlesnake & Upper Antelope) on one day and do the Lower Canyon and Boat tour on the next morning. After reading the article here, I wonder if we should change our travel plan. One of us is recovering from a bad back. It seems to me these alternative canyons might be more physically challenging. This is a concern for us. Also, I find that there are many one-day trips offered from Vegas (including some w small planes). How safe is it to fly with the plane from Vegas to Page in July? Is it more relaxing to drive from Vegas and stay in Page for 2 nights? Or, is it more enjoyable to join a small group one day tour or join a plane tour to visit the area? Your suggestions/ideas/comments will be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from you. Cheers, Heidi

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Heidi,
      With an individual with back problems in your party, I’d recommend against the Owl/Rattlesnake/Mountain Sheep combo, especially in July. That’s the hottest time of the year, and can coincide with monsoon season, so many afternoon slot canyon tours can get cancelled for safety reasons. In light of the physical limitations, heat, etc., you might consider doing a combination Upper Antelope Canyon + Lake Powell Boat Tour, or using that second day to do the Glen Canyon Float Trip.
      The fixed wing airplane flight tour from Las Vegas is safe, but flying back to Las Vegas afterward, you’ll face a bumpy ride with the afternoon heat causing turbulence over the Grand Canyon. It is much more enjoyable and relaxing to self-drive, stay for 2 nights, and explore the area at a more relaxed pace.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. Alex Tan says:

    Hello,

    I will be staying at Page for 2 nights and I want to cover as much as I can. Coming in from Vegas, I am planning to go to horseshoe bend and secret canyon on day 1 and then on the second day I will be going to the upper antelope canyon, lower antelope canyon and the antelope canyon boat tour. Do you have any other recommendation to make my current plan better? I feel like I am not doing and seeing enough.

  6. Clivia says:

    Hi there!

    I plan to stay in page for two nights and hang out for a whole day on May 22th, I really want to visit Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend. Do you recommend I drive to every place and visit on walking? If you do not recommend walking alone, which part you prefer boat or air tour? And I also want to know how to book a tour online? I did not find any link for booking. Thank you!

    Best
    Clivia

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Clivia,
      Pretty much the only way to visit the iconic slot canyon scenery Antelope Canyon is on foot. If you wish to visit Lake Powell as well, a 90-minute boat tour of the water side of Antelope Canyon would be a good way to accomplish this goal, and now, you can book both a walking tour of Antelope Canyon plus a boat tour as a “bundle.” For more information, and appropriate booking links, visit How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      As for Horseshoe Bend, you can visit on foot if you wish by self-driving to the parking area and paying a one-time $10/vehicle entry fee. We strongly recommend getting there just after sunrise if you prefer to walk to the overlook to avoid the crowds and the mid-day heat. If the prospect of this does not appeal, you might indeed consider an air tour. Fixed wing airplanes and helicopters depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, usually first thing in the morning for better light and less wind.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  7. Alenka Ribič says:

    Hello,
    We are staying in Page for 2 hole days. Plans are to see Lake Piwell,Horseband shoe,Monument valley,Antelope canyon.. we don’t like crowd,love to hike and of course inyoing the great nature. Can you suggest how ro organize our plane?
    Also i heard abour archade,but can not find where they are. After Page our plan is Zion and Bryce canyon. Regards,Alenka

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Alenka!
      Thank you for visiting today.
      The way you organize your time in Page, AZ, will be largely dependent on availability of Antelope Canyon tours, or lack thereof. If you dislike crowds, as you say, then you might consider touring Antelope Canyon X instead of Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon. Or, you might consider touring Lower Antelope Canyon as a “bundle” together with a boat tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside on Lake Powell.
      As for an “archade,” unfortunately, not sure what you mean by that, something may have gotten lost in translation. The closest thing I would be able recommend is Gunfighter Canyon, an indoor shooting range where you can try out a variety of firearms, but don’t require prior shooting experience, or carry permits from your home country.
      Regarding your desire to see Monument Valley, it can be done as a day trip from Page, AZ, with careful planning and an eye on the clock. It takes 2 hours EACH WAY to drive from Page to Monument Valley and back. Nighttime driving must be avoided due to lack of ambient lighting on area roads, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses, which raises your accident risk. Another thing to keep in mind is that Monument Valley DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, but Page, AZ, does not. Therefore, Monument Valley is one hour “ahead” of Page. You will lose an hour traveling from Page, AZ, to MV, then “gain” it back traveling from MV to Page. If you wanted to do any scheduled activities in Monument Valley, you’ll need to be conscious of this. If the prospect of all that doesn’t appeal to you, you might consider flying over Monument Valley instead. Fixed wing airplanes depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily and Monument Valley overflights run ~90 minutes in length.
      Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels, guided tours, etc. well in advance.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    • Bren says:

      When you ask about “archade”, might you mean arches? There is “Arches National Park” by Moab in Utah.

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hey Bren,
        Alenka may have already traveled, but that’s a definite possibility that by “archade” he meant “Arches!”
        Alley 🙂

  8. Angela says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I am trying to plan a first trip to Antelope Canyon with an intimate group of four. All of the canyons look amazing. I definitely don’t want the over crowded experience and would like to be able to take pictures. The group can handle strenuous activity so not worried their. So my question is if time was limited to a three day trip and you could see one EVER which would you do?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Angela, and thank you for your excellent inquiry.
      If your group is in relatively good shape, as you indicate, you might consider doing a photography tour of Upper Antelope Canyon, then segueing on to some of its more remote drainages, such as Owl Canyon, Mountain Sheep Canyon, and/or Rattlesnake Canyon. These types of package tours are offered exclusively by Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours. For more information on what they have to offer, visit Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours: Photo Tours
      If you really want to go off the beaten track, and aren’t intimidated by a slot canyon that requires a few ropes and ladders to navigate, Mystical Antelope Canyon might be just the thing you’re looking for. Although this newly opened slot canyon is *technically* not a part of the Antelope Canyon drainage (it’s ~4 miles away), it still offers a more intimate experience than Upper or Lower would be able to provide, and visitors are already rating it quite highly.
      Hope that helps, I know it’s a hard choice!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  9. Canyon X says:

    Some my newest photos from Canyon X, definitely better for exploring and photographing than Upper Antelope Canyon.
    https://fotografwdrodze.pl/kanion-antylopy-antelope-canyon-x/

  10. Amy-Jae Crawford says:

    Hi!

    I really appreciate your site & all you’ve shared. We are planning on coming out there 9/28/19-10/09/19. Following your route itinerary: Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Monument Valley-Page/Slot Canyons-Bryce Canyon-Zion-Las Vegas.
    Thinking of spending 2 nights in each place because we don’t like to rush, but that leaves us an extra night somewhere & wondering where would be the most fun to further explore or is there somewhere not listed on your itinerary that we could spend a night? OR are there places we could really see a lot in one day & we’d be better off moving on after a night & seeing more places given the time we have. Also we have a 10 year old & 13 year old & tend to take our time in places. Example, if a museum says plan on 1.5-3 hours, we’ll be there for 4-5, lol!
    Thanks for any advice you share!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Amy-Jae,
      First off, you’ve chosen a wonderful time to be here! Temperatures are cooling down, crowds are thinning out, autumn is my favorite time of year. Two nights in each location is a good plan, we wish more people could do it that way. That said, you could scoot by with just one day at Bryce Canyon since, square mileage-wise, it is a small park, and most of the scenic highlights can be covered in a relatively short time.
      That said, you could allot your extra time to any number of places in Northern Arizona or Southern Utah! Not too far from Bryce Canyon — in this neck of the woods, we consider a 3-hour drive “not too far” 😉 — is Capitol Reef National Park. More cool geological formations, and some compelling pioneer history. Torrey, UT, would be where you’d want to stay as there are no hotels in the park itself. You might include a hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls on the trip there.
      Between Monument Valley and Page, you might slide in Canyon de Chelly for Native American culture, architecture, and more cool rocks! Not much lodging to work with in that area, there’s the Thunderbird Lodge inside the park, and a couple hotels in the town of Chinle, AZ. Or you might do it as a day trip from Monument Valley since it’s only a 90-minute drive from there, but getting an extra night at Monument Valley might be tricky. Between Bryce and Zion, you could hit up Brian Head, Duck Creek Village, or Cedar City so you can do the hike in Kanarra Falls. The latter does require a permit, but these tend to be relatively easy to get.
      Between Zion and Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston and/or the Valley of Fire State Park would be good candidates for an extra day’s time! The latter can be easily done as a detour between Zion and LAS; Mt. Charleston is best done as a day trip from LAS, or as an overnight at the Mt. Charleston Lodge.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  11. Arjay says:

    Just a big Thank You for such helpful, comprehensive information! Great job!

  12. Rosemary says:

    We are planning to visit early April 2019. We arrive in Phoenix on 4/5 and head to Sedona for the day and evening. On 4/6, we travel to Page. We travel to Monument Valley on 4/7 and Grand Canyon on 4/8 and 4/9. We head back home on 4/10. I have already booked a number of tours (Combo Slot Bend and Overlook, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon). The last tour to be booked is the Canyon X tour. I am trying to determine if the hiking tour is sufficient for photographs or if we need to book the photography tour. Any insight you have would be appreciated.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Rosemary,
      If you’ve already booked the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon/Overlook combo tour, IMO it’s not necessary to book Canyon X in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page. If you would like to see it, and do so with your family, you should probably stick to the general sightseeing tour. The photography tour is just that: a tour expressly for photographers. That means that a good chunk of time will be spent setting up shots, etc. Another drawback is that the tour duration could run anywhere from 2-3 hours, so if you have any time-sensitive plans immediately afterward, the two activities might overlap. The sightseeing tour is sufficient for taking good photos. The guides know where all the good spots are, and can share tips on how to set up your camera. That goes for most of the tour companies and slot canyons.
      One observation: you haven’t scheduled enough time in Sedona. Most people would suggest you stay 3 days minimum, but can spend a week and still feel as though you only touched the “tip of the iceberg.” If possible, I’d recommend dropping 1 night at the Grand Canyon, since you’ll see a good chunk of it on the drive over from Page, and give a 2nd night to Sedona.
      Hope that helps – good luck and have fun!
      Alley 🙂

  13. Jennifer McPeak says:

    I forgot to add we will be there April 20th, 2019

  14. Jennifer McPeak says:

    Hi! We are 2 couples late 20s early 30s. All very active and in shape (but not professional hikers). We have one day to spend in the Page area. We are looking for the best views and little crowds, an adventure is a great plus. We want to take neat photos and see an awesome Canyon. What do you recommend? The cost does not matter.

    Jennifer

  15. Nikhil Banka says:

    Would the upper and lower Antelope Canyon tours be as crowded on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd also. We do want to soak in the beauty but not at the cost of overly crowded areas where we are not able to enjoy the beauty. We are not very athletic and consider ourselves in decent shape. If Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon does not work out, we will look at Canyon X but we looked the not so strenuous hike of the Upper and think we can manage the ladders and climbs of the lower canyon.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Nikhil,
      Hello and thanks for asking a great question!
      The Thanksgiving holiday falls within the period considered “shoulder season.” While things are not as crowded as they are during the summer months, they will still be busy. Whichever branch of Antelope Canyon or alternate slot canyon you choose to tour, advance reservations should still be made. How To Book An Antelope Canyon Tour Ditto for hotels in Page, AZ.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    • Satya says:

      Hello, we are planning to be in Page, AZ on December 22nd and 23rd. Wondering if it is crowded in the upper/lower antelope canyons during that time. Would you suggest Upper, X, lower or horseshoe bend canyon tour during that time. Looking for less crowded options with best views. Also, any idea on weather in the canyons during late December.

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hello Satya,
        December is a great time to be here. While crowds won’t be as overwhelming as they are in summertime, it will still be busy at the time you’re here seeing as though it’s close to the Christmas holiday. As to which slot canyon you should tour, it depends on how much hiking you’re willing to do – or not do. If you’re OK with managing a few ladders and stepping over a few boulders, then you should be fine in Antelope X or Lower Antelope Canyon. If you’d prefer a smaller tour group, then Antelope X would be the way to go. If anyone in your party has mobility issues, or you’re traveling with very young children, Upper would be the better choice as it’s only 100 yards long and the trail through it is flat.
        As for weather, it will be on the cooler side, so make sure everyone has at least a coat and gloves, and maybe even scarf and hat for optimal comfort.
        Best wishes for safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
        Alley 🙂

  16. Pam Wool says:

    Hi!

    Thank you for sharing so much information and for being such a resource.

    My husband and I are taking a two week trip, starting October 7th from Las Vegas (first the North Rim for 2 nights / arriving Page on October 10th for 2 nights / Monument Valley, 1 night / Torrey, 2 nights / Bryce, 1-2 nights and Zion – 3-4 nights.

    While we are in Page, we will do the Canyon X photo tour on October 10th and a boat trip on October 11th (or visa versa).

    I have three questions:
    Any thoughts about doing the 10:30 am vs 1:00 pm photo tour, in terms of the light?
    Is mid October too cool for the boat tour? Which do you recommend?

    Thank you so much!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi again, Pam! 😉
      I’m glad to know more about your overall trip plan, and that you’re planning on spending a good deal of time in this area at the best time of year.
      As I’d indicated in my reply to your other post, it’s “six-of-one/half-a-dozen of the other” with regard to the 10.30 AM or 1.00 PM departure of the Canyon X tour. Either one would be fine. For boat tours, October remains a pleasant month for these types of activities — usually. The two most popular water-based activities are the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip and the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour. The Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour is the longer of the two, lasting ~7 hours, and, depending on lake water levels, requiring anywhere from a 2-3 mile round-trip hike to see the bridge. The Glen Canyon Float Trip lasts ~4 hours, with a short optional hike to see a petroglyph panel. The boats used for the Rainbow Bridge Tour have both enclosed and open-air sections, while the rafts on the Glen Canyon trip are completely open and exposed to the elements. Again, October is usually a fairly stable month weather-wise, marked by mostly sunny days with pleasant temperatures on the rim, and somewhat balmier temps on the water. Still, you never know what nature has in store at this point, so start monitoring Page, AZ weather about 2 weeks before you’re ready to leave.
      Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip!
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. Be sure to pick up an “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass.” For just $80, this card gets you into all the National Parks, Monuments and Federal Fee Areas in the US for 1 year’s time. The only places it won’t work are Native American Tribal Parks (such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon) and State Parks, but it will still pay for itself on the trip you’re planning to take. Purchase it at the first National Park you hit on your tour.

  17. Ali says:

    Hi Alley,

    Thanks so much for this information. My question is about Cardiac Canyon. From your list I’m very interested in this for my family (15 and 12 year old boys). This sounds like a great way to combine the scenery with an active adventure. But I do notice that the tour is 4-6 hours, significantly longer than many of the other tours. What are your thoughts on spending this amount of time to visit one slot canyon. Do you know if the length of time for this tour is more about the ride out and back or about the physical nature of the climb? We love to combine a good workout with our sightseeing as long as its worth the extra effort. What do you think? It is truly unique?

    Thanks,
    Ali

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ali, and thank you for a great question!
      The ride out to the entrance of Cardiac Canyon from the tour’s origination point (Milepost 307.8 on US98) is 7 miles one way. So the transit aspect only takes up a small part of your touring time. The rest is about the physicality of the canyon. If you like a good workout, you’re definitely going to get one on this tour! As to whether it’s truly unique, that would have to be a resounding “yes.” Access to Cardiac Canyon is limited to begin with, and up until recently, it was thought that less than 100 people had ever seen it, and the majority of those were Navajo. For a good look at what you and your family can expect, take a look at this video: Knowhere With Frank Lee Ruggles
      Whatever you decide, be sure you make reservations for any slot canyon tour in Page, AZ well in advance of your arrival.
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  18. Daniel C says:

    Hi,

    We’re getting up to Page late on a Monday night in September and are considering doing two slot canyon tours the next day. Do you think it is feasible to do an Antelope X tour in the morning and a Cathedral Canyon tour in the afternoon? Would we have to drive in between or are they walking distance from each other and what do you think about this approach?

    We would plan to do a Kayak tour the next morning and see Horseshoe bend in the afternoon.

    Thanks so much!
    Danny

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Danny,
      It is indeed feasible to tour both Antelope X and Cathedral Canyon the same day, however, they are not walking distance from one another. Antelope Canyon X tours begin near the tribal park entrance on US98 just South of Page; Cathedral Slot Canyon is located near LeChee, AZ, but the tour outfitter begins all tours at their headquarters, Chief Tsosie’s Trading Post, in the town of Page, AZ. So there would be some driving required between tours, but since Page, AZ is a relatively small town, it would be 10 minutes tops.
      RE: your plan for the following day, time permitting, you might visit Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning, just after sunrise, to avoid the heat, crowds and parking snarls that typically affect the overlook in the afternoon.
      Good luck and safe travels
      Alley 🙂

  19. Sue says:

    Hello Alley,

    The information you are sharing is certainly valuable considering time changes, multiple canyon choices, and photography timing. Like most, I have to make a choice of which slot canyon to photograph because of time constraints. We will be heading to Page from the north rim the morning of Sept 18. I actually cancelled a tour in Antelope Canyon due to all the negative info I was reading about crowds. I am looking at either Canyon X Photography tour or Horseshoe Bend Canyon tour. I am a photographer and would just like a little help in picking. Thanks so very much for your input.
    Sue

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you for visiting our site, and for your compliments!
      If crowds aren’t your thing, you’ve definitely made a good call in cancelling Antelope Canyon, and after all’s said and done, you certainly wouldn’t be disappointed with either alternate slot canyon. IMO the primary determining factor in which one you choose will come down to physicality. Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon is a flat, easy 300 yard walk, with no stairs or ladders. It does involve a 6-7 mile off-road drive to get to, which may be a bit bumpy, but once in the canyon, it’s easy navigating. Antelope X is a bit more challenging, requiring some stair and ladder climbing, but between the two, you’d probably find X to bear more of a resemblance visually to the main branches of Antelope Canyon.
      If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a film is worth a million, and you will find videos of both tours on the tour companies’ respective websites (linked above).
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  20. Danette says:

    Is canyon x the friendlier option for families as an alternative?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Danette,
      It is definitely worth consideration as an alternative to Lower Antelope Canyon, especially if all members of your traveling party are reasonably fit and can manage a few uphill climbs and stepping over a few boulders. Since the article was written, the tour outfitter has installed some ladders and staircases to make those portions of the canyon easier on guests, plus, with smaller groups, they have the flexibility to take things at your pace and not rush you through it. For more information, and to view a video walk-through, visit http://www.AntelopeCanyon-X.com
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  21. Saptaparni says:

    Hi Alley,

    Thanks for the great information. I have a question regarding my upcoming visit to Page on July 2-3. I can make it to only one slot canyon due to limited time and here are my options.
    1. Upper – – 4:30 pm (July 2); 6:00 am (July 3)
    2. Lower – 3:30 pm and later (July 2); 6:15 am (July 3)
    3. Canyon X – July 3; as of now all time slots are available.

    I am not sure which would be the best canyon and time to visit. Any suggestion would be helpful! Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Saptaparni,
      If you only have time to tour one slot canyon, and are physically fit enough to handle the moderate challenges posed by Lower Antelope Canyon, that’s the one I recommend you tour for the truly “iconic” slot canyon scenery. Since the time of year you’re traveling is peak of summer — both visitation- and heat-wise — I’d also suggest going on that 6:15 AM departure on the morning of July 3rd. Temperatures both outside and inside the canyon will be cooler and more comfortable. If Lower is too much for you or any of your party to handle, then, Upper it is, and here again, the 6:00AM departure will afford your family maximum comfort. To judge whether Lower Antelope Canyon is doable for you, watch this video of a Full Walk-Through of Lower Antelope Canyon.
      Thank you for your visit and best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Saptaparni says:

        Thank you Alley. The link to the video is really wonderful and will definitely help us decide whether to visit the lower or upper canyon. Just another question, will the colors in early morning be as beautiful as they are later on in the day? Or would an evening trip be better to see colors? Also, do all the canyons follow MST?

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Dear Saptaparni,
          The colors in the morning are deeper and richer than what you’d encounter in the afternoons, but they are still just as beautiful. There’s really no such thing as a “bad” time to visit any of our slot canyons. And you are correct, slot canyon tours run on Page, AZ time, which is Mountain Standard Time.
          Have fun!
          Alley 🙂

  22. Chrys says:

    Hello! Thank you for all of the helpful information that you’ve provided! Our family will be traveling to AZ in early September with our kids, ages 14 and 10. We are thinking of signing up with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours for their tour of Upper Antelope and Rattlesnake Canyons. So, I have a couple of questions —

    First, are these canyons different enough to warrant the cost of touring both? And would they be too strenuous for my kids? They’re in good health, but I’ve read about a lot of climbing with regard to Rattlesnack……not sure if this is accurate or not.

    Second, I worry about flooding. Will the first week of September still be monsoon season? I read your comment to someone else about trying to go early, but we will be driving from Flagstaff that morning. There are two tours: 9:30am and 2:30pm. With needing to arrive an hour early, I’m concerned about making it there in time, especially because we aren’t familiar with the area. Do you think we’d possibly miss seeing the canyons because of bad weather if we schedule the 2:30pm tour?

    I really appreciate any insight you can provide. Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Chrys, and thank you for your excellent questions.
      Upper Antelope Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyons are different enough so that you won’t feel as though you’re doing more of the same-old same-old. As for the climbing involved, it’s manageable for most people in relatively good health. Your kids should enjoy it.
      The concerns about flash flooding in early September are valid. It’s too early to tell what this year’s monsoon season has in store, of course, but keep an eye on the weather as your trip date gets closer. If it turns out to be a heavy monsoon season, the 2:30 PM tour does run a higher risk of cancellation if storms do occur. To be on the safe side, you might just want to get the kids up early and make the drive from Flagstaff — which is a pretty straightforward drive IF you can resist the urge to stop — at 6:00 AM. Another option would be to overnight in Page, AZ the night prior to your trip. The town offers both traditional hotels and vacation rental homes in a variety of price points and amenity classes. Page, Arizona hotels
      Hope that helps. I know it’s a tough choice 😉
      Alley

  23. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the nice summaries of alternative slot canyons. For Canyon X is there any “best time of day” to go? We will be in the area area around June1st. Also, we wanted to be more adventurous, such as rappelling into slot canyons or similar, I was told about a company Seldom Seen Adventures. However, not sure if they still exist (based out of Kanab). If not them, do you know of any similar outfit that might offer a bit more challenging hike/tour?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jeff and thanks for your excellent question.
      In general, mid-day is regarded as the best time to visit slot canyons because they are best illuminated when the sun is as close to directly overhead as possible. However, there’s no such thing as a “bad” time to go, as different times of day all have their advantages. The colors of the canyon walls will be deeper and richer in the earlier morning hours and later in the afternoon. Long story short, go when it suits you, there’s little chance you’ll be disappointed. 😉
      As for Seldom Seen Adventures, they are no longer in business, unfortunately. Another tour company in Kanab, UT you might consider is Dreamland Safari Tours. I don’t see that any of their trip offerings specifically advertise a rappelling component, but they may be able to customize something for you. You might also check out the Zion Ponderosa Ranch. They do offer canyoneering trips for all experience levels.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. Remember that Utah is on a different time zone than Arizona — they DO observe Daylight Saving Time, whilst Arizona DOES NOT, so you’ll “lose” an hour going from Page to Kanab.

  24. Gina says:

    Hi Alley,

    Thank you for all the information you share on this website. The best part is that you take your time to respond to all questions being sent through this website!!! It is much appreciated.

    We are planning a trip to do the Grand Circle Tour for 2 weeks (from LV, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef Nat’l Park, Moab, Page, Jacob Lake (to visit the GC North Rim), Grand Canyon South Rim and back to LV) to start in the beginning of September.

    From Moab we will drive to Page through Monument Valley. We will stay overnight in Page, AZ and visit one of the slot canyons and the Horseshoe Bend Overlook the following day. Then we continue on to Jacob Lake to stay for the night.

    There are 6 of us in our group ages 51-67. We plan to go to the Horseshoe Bend overlook in the morning to take pictures and then visit one of the slot canyons after. Which slot canyon would be a better option for us? We plan to reserve a slot for the Lower Antelope Slot Canyon but reading your website, I might suggest to our group the alternate canyons such as the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon, as well as the Water Hole Slot Canyon, are they one and the same? We thought this will be closer to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook and save us time driving around from one place to the other.

    Thank you in advance for reading and responding to my questions.

    Regards,
    Gina

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Gina, thanks for visiting our site, and your nice compliments!
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, and September is a great time to be here. It’s especially cool that you’ll get to see the North and South Rim!
      The drive from Moab to Page, AZ takes about 5 hours, if you go direct, which rarely happens. Goosenecks of the San Juan is a worthwhile stop, as is the Navajo Code Talkers Exhibit inside the Burger King in Kayenta, AZ. Still, with an early enough start, you might be able to hit Lower Antelope Canyon prior to arrival in Page, seeing as though it’s right on your way (map).

      That’s IF you don’t have your heart set on seeing it mid-day light. Later afternoon tours still offer good conditions for touring, even though it’s still going to be crowded at that time of year. Bear in mind that Monument Valley DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, while Page doesn’t, so you’ll “gain” an hour passing from the reservation into Page. Antelope Canyon Tours run on Page, AZ time.How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      If the crowds are truly something you want to avoid, as well as a lot of unnecessary driving, then you might indeed consider touring Horseshoe Bend Overlook and Slot Canyon the next morning. As for doing Waterholes as well, that might seem a bit redundant as both Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon and Waterholes are part of the same drainage system. Waterholes, at the present time, simply requires that you get a Navajo Tribal Park Permit to tour, which you can get at the Antelope Canyon Tribal Park Entrance (which you’ll pass on the way in from Monument Valley). I’d recommend choosing one or the other, then heading to Jacob Lake, a drive which takes about 90 minutes direct, but again, it rarely happens as you’ll find lots to see and photograph on your way there. That’s both the blessing and the curse of driving in this area.
      When you get to Jacob Lake, be sure to get some of their home-made cookies, they’re awesome 🙂
      Have a wonderful time!
      Alley
      P.S. Be sure to have the member(s) of your party who are 62+ get a Senior Lifetime Federal Lands Access Pass. For $80, this card gets you into all National Parks and Monuments in the US for 1 year’s time. It would not work for Native American Tribal attractions like Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley, but it would still be worth purchasing for this trip.

  25. Julie says:

    Hi Alley,
    Hope this isn’t too redundant of a question, because i do see that you have suggested several times that touring more than one slot canyon is not necessary, but would lower Antelope Canyon and Canyon X be different enough to make it worth it? (A lot of sites say Upper and Lower are different enough that one should do both if able.) We aren’t there for that long but could definitely fit this in. We are also going to do a visit to Horseshoe Bend and maybe kayak Lone Rock Canyon.
    Thank you!!
    Julie

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Julie,
      No such thing as “too redundant” a question in this business 😉
      That said, if you have the time and inclination to tour a couple of slot canyons, Lower and Antelope X do bear enough of a resemblance to one another that you might consider the experience, to coin a phrase, “too redudant.” If you’re looking for a second slot canyon to tour, I would recommend Cathedral Slot Canyon. It is a “rugged, yet simple hike” (with a few challenging bits), which, like Antelope X, is conducted with smaller groups, but also has some interesting “bonus features” you won’t find in other slot canyons in the Page, AZ, or anywhere else for that matter!
      For more information visit Cathedral Slot Canyon Tours or call 928-645-5594.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  26. CONSEIL says:

    Hello,
    Thank you for your very interesting article about the wonderful canyons around Page. We are a french family with two children (14 and 11 years old) and we wish to visit canyons but away from the Antelope Canyon’s crowd. We hesitate between canyons and wish to have your opinion:
    – Secret Canyon + Canyon X
    or
    – Rattlesnake Canyon + Owl Canyon + Mountain Sheep Canyon
    What are the most impressive, the most colorful ?
    Thank you for your reply.
    Have a good day.
    Valérie.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Valerie and thank you for visiting our site today.
      You’ve made a good call on staying away from the crowds of Antelope Canyon. As for touring multiple slot canyons, it’s not 100% necessary to do that in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page. In terms of colors, though, Canyon X (aka Antelope Canyon X) is widely considered to be the most impressive of the lot, which isn’t surprising, considering that it’s just a different drainage of Antelope Creek, the same creek that flows through Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons.
      For reservations for Antelope Canyon X, contact Taadidiin Tours.
      Other slot canyons you might consider touring, which aren’t listed in this article, are Ram’s Head, Wind Pebble or Ligai Si’Anii Canyons, which are managed by Ligai Si’Anii Tours.
      While you’re in the area, be sure to visit Horseshoe Bend Overlook and maybe enjoy a half-day float trip through Glen Canyon! 2-Day Itinerary in Page, Arizona
      For more valuable tips and information, visit our sister site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com
      Have a great day, and an even better trip!
      Alley 🙂

  27. Kristin says:

    Hi. We’d like to book some alternative tours for tomorrow on Tuesday morning. Who should we call?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hello Kristin,
      Apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. Contact information for tour outfitters is provided in this article.
      Alley 🙂

  28. Leanne Paul says:

    Hi – thanks for the great information! We are planning a trip for August 2018, myself, my husband, 17 and 15 year old boys, and will only be in Page for one day. I was going to book a tour of lower Antelope Canyon, but then found information about Hidden Canyon Kayak Tours. In your opinion, will we see the same features of the slot canyon if we choose to kayak rather than do the walking tour? Will we miss out on anything (besides the crowds) if we kayak? Thanks! Leanne

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Leanne and thank you for your excellent question.
      The kayak tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside is not intended to be a “substitute” for the landside tour. On the landside tour, you’ll see the iconic slot canyon scenery that you’re expecting to see. The kayak tour will give you a greater appreciation for the length and complexity of Antelope Canyon as it relates to Lake Powell (an intermittent creek that drains into it), but the scenery and experience is quite different.
      If possible, try and do both. If you can’t, stick to the walking tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. That’s the one that will give you the “picture postcard” views you’re expecting to see of Antelope Canyon.
      Hope that helps and that you have a great trip.
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. Please keep in mind that August is monsoon season in Page, AZ, which means thunderstorms routinely roll in during the afternoon hours that sometimes necessitate cancellation of Antelope Canyon tours. Try and schedule any slot canyon activities for the morning hours.

  29. Nancy says:

    Wow! This site is getting me very excited about our trip to Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon in September. A friend told me about a raft trip near or through Antelope Canyon. Do you know of any such trip? I have not been able to find anything like this in my searches. Thank you. Nancy

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Glad to hear you’re excited for your upcoming trip! September is a great time to be here. There aren’t any “raft” trips in/near Antelope Canyon, but there are water-based activities centered around it, namely boat tours and kayak tours.
      Boat tours are offered by both Antelope Point Marina and Lake Powell Resort and Marina. Who you choose to go with would probably come down to convenience, for example, if you do a landside tour of Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon from the Tribal Park Entrance on US98, you can simply drive down to Antelope Point Marina afterward. If you opt to return to the town of Page after touring Antelope Canyon, then Lake Powell Resort would be the closer place from which to take a boat tour.
      Kayak tours are offered by several vendors, but we are partial to Hidden Canyon Kayak, not only for their diverse range of tours, but for their excellent safety and service record. They offer a tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside that takes advantage of cooler morning temperatures and calmer waters. Hidden Canyon Kayak Antelope Canyon Tour
      Hope that helps. Have a wonderful time and be sure to make advance reservations for hotels and any tours you wish to take part in.
      Alley 🙂

  30. Ellen says:

    Hi Alley,

    Your site has been my go-to resource for my upcoming trip at the end of this month and I want to thank you for the helpful information. I also wanted to ask you a bit more about Waterholes Canyon? I’m planning to do an engagement shoot in Page and was debating between Canyon X and Waterholes Canyon. I know Canyon X would be better in terms of crowds, but Waterholes Canyon seems like it would be a good option also since it does not require a tour and therefore we would not be restricted for time. I’d love to find out what you know about Waterholes Canyon in terms of accessibility and any other important information.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hello Ellen and thank you for your compliments! Congratulations on your engagement. Hope you’re looking forward to your photo shoot.
      Waterholes Canyon, like the majority of slot canyons in Page, AZ, is situated on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, therefore, a tribal park permit is required to visit it. These can usually be obtained at the Tribal Park Entrance gate at Antelope Canyon on US98, or at Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours office in Page, AZ. For more really good information on Waterholes Canyon, visit https://www.thewave.info/WaterholesCode/Map.html
      Be prepared to dress warmly. Otherwise, good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  31. […] 10 – Page, Arizona – Tour Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon (or one of several alternate slot canyons if the aforementioned are sold out), and Horseshoe Bend, then take a Lake Powell Boat Tour,  kayak […]

  32. Helen says:

    My friend and I are visiting Arizona in mid March, staying for a day in Page. We plan to do the lower antelope canyon around 10 am on the 17th of March and possibly another short slot canyon before we off to the South rim of Grand Canyon. Can you recommend one (possibly X canyon or horse shoe canyon?) for us? We are in 50s and feel like the lower antelope may not be enough to experience the slot canyon but wonder if its worth to try another canyon due to time constraint as we dont want to drive too late to the grand canyon. Thanks much

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Helen and thanks for stopping by today.
      It’s not really necessary to do more than one slot canyon ground tour in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page. Indeed, it might seem redundant. I’m assuming you plan to hit Horseshoe Bend at some point on your trip, but if you do have more time to work with, I’d recommend a tour that gives you a different perspective on the area, such as a Lake Powell boat tour, float trip on the Colorado River, perhaps an airplane or helicopter tour.
      Air tours are best done in the morning for better light and less wind. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Page to the Grand Canyon and sunset is at about 5:30 PM in March, so plan your day accordingly.
      Good luck and have fun!
      Alley 🙂

  33. […] to visit a slot canyon with more physical challenges and fewer people than Upper Antelope, consider Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours including, but not limited […]

  34. Tina says:

    Hi Alley

    Our group of 10 people want to book a tour to canyon x. We are driving from las vegas to the tour place and got a tour time of 1:00 pm. On december 28. Just want to ask is that a good time of the day to hike, consider the light. And how difficult it is as our youngest member is a 10 years old

    Thanks

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Tina and thank you for visiting our site.
      On December 28th, temperatures will be on the cooler side, but the light should be sufficient to enjoy Antelope Canyon X fully. Keep in mind that during the winter months, Nevada is on Pacific Standard Time and Arizona is on Mountain Standard Time, so Page is one hour “ahead” of Las Vegas. Be sure to time your drive accordingly.
      As for difficulty of the hike, improvements to the entrance to the canyon made in recent years have made it a lot more manageable for tourists. If your 10-year-old is reasonably fit and has no mobility issues, he/she should be able to handle it without a problem. Staircase in Antelope Canyon X
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at AntelopeCanyon.AZ!
      Alley 🙂

  35. Sam Cohen says:

    Enjoy reading the information you provide. Thank you. My wife and I just returned back after kayaking Antelope Canyon , then taking the Lower tour as we’ve done on a number of occasions. I was advised by a visitor to our center
    ( Springdale Visitor Center) just outside of Zion Nat’l Park about a Slot canyon on native property , just North of Page and you don’t require a tour. You do need a paid permit receipt though. On our way back , I was searching for signage , but no luck. Wracking my brain for the name of it and just can’t. She said you don’t have to go in a long ways , but the canyon can be as long as 16 miles…. it had a catchy name and I did look it up on Google while we were talking… dang it all !
    Ring any bells for you ?
    Thanks.
    Sam- Hurricane,UT

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sam,
      Boy, I, too am stumped here…
      Native American Tribal Lands belonging to the Navajo Tribe are actually situated just Southeast of Page. Water Holes Canyon is a famous slot canyon that doesn’t require a tour per se, but does require a tribal permit to enter. Some deeper sections of this canyon require rappelling. The Navajo reservation has many slot canyons that have been closed to the public for going on 20 years due to problems such as vandalism, littering, etc. These include, but aren’t limited to, Butterfly Canyon, Starting Water Wash and Kaibeto Creek.
      Just North of Page, the terrain tends to be part of either Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), Bureau of Land Management, or Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument.
      Buckskin Gulch is a very long slot canyon, with a shorter bypass possible via Wire Pass Canyon. This canyon has a sign-in station on-site where you pay your entrance fee via an “honor system.”
      Hope that has helped! Apologies if it hasn’t.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
      Alley 🙂

  36. […] people doesn’t appeal to you, or Antelope Canyon tours are already booked up, consider taking an Antelope Canyon Alternative Tour which will take you to slot canyons that match or even rival Antelope Canyon for beauty, but are […]

  37. Vivl says:

    Our family of 4 (almost 5 and 10 yr old boys) + 69 year old grandma are planning to go during Thanksgiving week. I was thinking of both the upper and lower antelope canyons and also Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon. Is that too much for 2 days? When would be the best times to book the tours for each one?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Viv and thanks for stopping by!
      With the traveling party you describe, especially a 5-year-old, I do believe that doing Lower and Upper Antelope and Horseshoe Bend Slot will be too much. Even the older members of the party might find themselves getting “canyon’ed out.” If all of you are in relatively good health and are OK with climbing a few stairs and doing some light boulder scrambling, I would pick Lower Antelope Canyon and call it “good” as far as slot canyons go. If anyone in the party has mobility issues, then go with Upper. In either case, the best time to book a tour would be mid-day for best light.
      Don’t worry, you’ll find plenty more fun things to do in the Page, AZ area to fill up the two days you have. For more suggestions, check out The Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary in Page, AZ.
      Since you’re visiting during what’s referred to as “shoulder season,” be prepared for cooler temperatures and fewer people, but also be prepared for a few activities to not be running. Mainly, boat tours and airplane and helicopter tours (read: high-ticket items) may either be suspended altogether, or require a certain number of passengers and favorable weather to guarantee operation. This should in no way, though, negatively affect your enjoyment of this area.
      Take care and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  38. […] you’ve toured Antelope Canyon, or one of the other slot canyons in its extended family, and are ready to tick this item off your Page, Arizona to-do list. Sorry, but you’ve only […]

  39. France Fehr says:

    Hello. I have read many of the questions/answers here and I have learned many things. I am planning to be in Page at the end of March. I would like to visit Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Is it possible to do it in one day ? is there a combo (package) if we want to do both? what is the best website to reserve our visit ? Should I do it now (7 months ahead to be sure I have a spot)?
    I was told that Lower Canyon can be a little difficult for someone who is not comfortable in tight space ( claustrophobia), can it be a problem ?

    If later during that week I visit Monument Valley , the fee payed for the Navajo Tribal Park would be already done ( is it good for one week) because we need to pay it when we visit Antelope Canyon ?

    thank you so much for helping me making sure my planning goes well.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear France Fehr,
      Thank you for visiting our site, we’re glad you’re finding it helpful in planning your visit to Page, AZ!
      On to your questions:
      1. Is it possible to visit Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in one day? Is there a combo (package) if we want to do both? Yes, you can visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in one day! Unfortunately, no tour company yet offers a package tour to both. What we would suggest you do is tour the branches of Antelope Canyon with the tour companies who operate directly at the canyon’s entrance on Highway 98. For Upper Antelope Canyon, that would be Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours; for Lower, you can choose from Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours or Dixie Ellis Antelope Lower Canyon tours.
      2. I was told that Lower Canyon can be a little difficult for someone who is not comfortable in tight space (claustrophobia), can it be a problem? Not knowing the severity of your claustrophobia, it’s difficult to make an accurate judgement. Have people had problems? Yes, but not often. In order to gauge whether you might have difficulties in Lower Antelope Canyon, watch this video that depicts a full walk-through.
      3. If later during that week I visit Monument Valley, the fee paid for the Navajo Tribal Park would be already done? That is correct, so be sure to retain your receipt after your Antelope Canyon tour.
      Another suggestion: be sure to make all your reservations for your trip well in advance, hotels, tours, everything.
      Take care and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  40. kosaku says:

    Hi. I have found this site really useful! Thanks for all the info!

    I understand that tours to Antelope are crowded and I need reservations well in advance. I plan to visit Page in February 9, next year. I am driving from Sedona and what is the weather like? And do you think there will be a pack of people as usual in February?

    I saw a TV program in Japan last August about Secret Canyon, and it said the tour was operated by Slot Caynon Hummer Adventures ONLY. I sent an email but I haven’t heard from them. I also tried to reach by phone, and it has been disconnected. I guess they are not in business any more. Do you know what happend to them?

    Thanks to this website, the tour operator to Secret Cantyon now seems Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Adventures. In February, their Slot Canyon PLUS Horseshoe Bend Overlook tours are offered at 7:45 am and 2:45 pm. Which one would you recommend?

    I appreciate your help and tips!

    Thanks again,
    Kosaku

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Mr. Kosaku,
      Thank you so much for your compliments on our site!
      You are correct in that Antelope Canyon is usually very crowded. However, since your visit is taking place in February, you might not find it so. February is considered shoulder-season; cooler temperatures and the possibility of rain and snow tend to keep a lot of people away, so you could be fortunate enough to travel with a smaller group, or just your party! We still recommend making reservations in advance just to be safe.
      The drive from Sedona to Page AZ takes about 3 hours driving direct, however, you might find yourself wanting to stop at Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments, the Cameron Trading Post and several scenic overlooks and Native kiosks where jewelry and curios are sold.
      You are correct in the Slot Canyon Hummer Adventures is no longer in business. The owner was simply ready to move on to other things. Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours is now the authorized concessionaire for Secret Canyon, which is now going by the name “Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon” due to its proximity to the overlook. During the month of February, I’d recommend the later tour as mornings are quite chilly, plus the light might be better in the afternoon.
      Hope that helps and that you enjoy your visit to Arizona!
      Alley 🙂

  41. […] I came across this blog post about alternative canyons, which are parts of Antelope Canyon but a bit further located than Upper […]

  42. Michael Lim says:

    Thanks Alley! Your website is a real life-saver and informative too. I’m from Singapore and I’m afraid I booked a little too late so didn’t get a good time slot and from what I hear of the crowds, I felt like I had little choice but to get ready for a wonderfully awful experience. Finding the options and tour operators on your site got my adrenaline pumping as I am bringing my sister and daughter and want to give them the best experience possible. Hope to meet you in person and thank you face-to-face. Thanks again.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Michael, and thank you for your compliments on our site! We hope you have a wonderful visit to Page, AZ and that you enjoy whichever slot canyon you decide to tour. Be sure to post a review on TripAdvisor, Yelp or whatever consumer review site you prefer to use so the tour company can know how they did, and future travelers to the area can collect recommendations for their trips.
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  43. Franziska says:

    Hi there!
    We will be in Page for two full days on October 13th and October 14th 2017 and would like to see at least one of the slot canyons during our stay. As we are not very fond of large crowds but don’t want to spend a fortune on our tour either, we were thinking about taking the Canyon X tour. We were wondering though, what would be the best time of the day to visit Canyon X? Hope you’ll be able to help us with that. Thanks!
    Franziska

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Franziska!
      October is a wonderful time to be here, you’ll have a great time. Good call on the Canyon X tour, too. Mid-day is generally regarded as the best time of day to view slot canyons, and Canyon X is no exception. Thought the “light beam” phenomenon won’t occur, the canyon will be well-illuminated for photos.
      In addition to thinning crowds in the Page area, October is marked by cooler temperatures, and the interiors of slot canyons tends to be cooler than the outside area, so you’ll probably want to bring a sweater or light jacket.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  44. james hallett says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your info. I AM making a flying visit with a friend in early march next year. It sounds like even then Antelope canyon will be very busy. And sadly we are due to be there for a Saturday. Of all the ones you list which would you say is the best one to see. We are both up for some fairly strenuous visits – especially if it means no crowds. Cardiac canyon sounds like a good one! Happy to d a couple of excursions before moving on. Any help gratefully received.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    James.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi James, and thanks for your visit.
      Antelope Canyon’s popularity has certainly grown, so I wouldn’t be surprised if tours are already filling up for next March. But, the fact that you’re planning your visit well in advance will work in your favor! As to which slot canyon is the best one, well… that’s a hard question to answer!
      Seeing as though you are up for something fairly challenging, Cardiac Canyon would certainly fulfill your desire for adventure, and beautiful scenery, including a waterfall. For Cardiac Canyon Tours, visit https://www.antelopecanyon-x.com/tours.html
      You might also consider Mountain Sheep Canyon, which has been compared to a “mini Coyote Buttes” and does require some creative scrambling. https://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com/Mountain.asp
      Another player on the slot canyon scene not mentioned in this article since they are relatively new is Ligai Si’Anii Tours. They tour some beautiful slot canyons called Wind Pebble, Ram’s Head and Ligai Si’Anii Canyon. Ligai Si’Anii is said to be quite challenging also. For information on these visit http://www.hikingslotcanyons.com
      Hope that helps – safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  45. Astrid says:

    Hi,
    thank you for listing these alternative tours.
    We have already booked the Lower Antelope Canyon for July 20th. Now I am thinking of either:
    – doing Canyon X additionally
    – cancelling Lower Antelope and visiting Canyon X only
    – cancelling Lower Antelope and visiting Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon only
    What would be your personal preference?
    I would be glad to receive your comment.
    Kind regards from Germany,
    Astrid

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Astrid,
      Thanks for stopping by and reading our piece on Antelope Canyon Alternative tours!
      Regarding your plans, I don’t think you’d be disappointed whichever course of action you decided to take, but doing more than one slot canyon isn’t 100% necessary in order to get the most out of your trip. If you would prefer not to contend with large crowds, though, cancelling Lower Antelope and touring one of the alternates would definitely be worth considering.
      If the “physicality” of Lower Antelope is what appeals to you about it, Antelope Canyon X would make a good alternative as it does require navigating some downhill/uphill grades, and a few ladders. If that aspect of it was something you could do without, Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon is relatively flat with a few tight spots to squeeze through.
      As for how to round out your time, you might consider the Colorado River Discovery Half Day Float Trip, or a short boat tour on Lake Powell.
      Hope that helps. Have a wonderful trip!
      Remember to drink plenty of water. That time of year is hot.
      Alley 🙂

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