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Antelope Canyon FAQ: Bringing Kids

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Q. Can we bring our baby and/or pre-K kids with us on our Antelope Canyon tour?

A. To coin a phrase, “it’s complicated.”

First off, you’ll be limited to touring the “main” branches of Antelope Canyon, namely, Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Antelope Canyon X. Even then, parents of non-ambulatory children will want to consider carefully whether this activity would be safe or appropriate, not only for the children, but for themselves.

All Antelope Canyon Tour companies operate on a “safety first” mindset. While Upper Antelope Canyon is often touted as a “walk in the park,” that is an accurate reference to the canyon itself. The task of getting there is where things get a bit risky. Upper Antelope Canyon tours begin with a two-mile ride down an unpaved dirt track in a “safari jeep” or “buckboard truck” type of vehicle. Though relatively short, this ride can be quite bumpy. Car seats will be required for infants and toddlers, just as they are when traveling in a regular passenger car, and parents will be expected to provide them. Upper Antelope Canyon tour companies also have limits on the number of spaces they can provide for car seats. When making a reservation for your family, you might find that you are unable to add a seat in the “children 0-7” category. This means that your selected tour has reached its capacity for the number of car seats it can carry, and you’ll need to check availability for another departure time, or check with another tour company.

Another issue to consider is how you’ll transport non-ambulatory children once you reach the canyon. Strollers are not allowed as they are too wide for some chambers of the canyon, plus they are difficult to maneuver in deep sand. Backpack carriers are not allowed as these can inadvertently scratch the canyon walls, or worse, result in the child in the carrier bumping their head. You will need to be prepared to carry your child through the entire length of the canyon, which, thankfully, is relatively short (100 yards, out and back).

Another consideration: lack of restroom facilities at the canyon site. You should change your child’s diaper prior to heading out on the tour. Small diaper bags are permitted, but these must remain on the tour vehicle while you are walking through the canyon.

There are four companies that tour Upper Antelope Canyon, but only 2 of them allow infants and younger children:

Lower Antelope Canyon is a longer canyon, which requires moderate physical exertion. After a short walk from the parking lot, you descend into the canyon via a staircase that passes through a narrow topside opening, walk through an underground channel ~600 yards in length (which also requires navigating a few ladders and some simple bouldering), climb back up to the valley floor via a series of short ladders, then walk back to your vehicle.

Infants and toddlers are allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon tours, but here again, careful consideration is warranted before committing to this activity. Although kids 0-7 travel free, a space must still be reserved for them on the tour. Backpack carriers are allowed for infants, but the tour company will assume no responsibility for injuries your child might sustain by bumping his/her head on a low-hanging rock ledge, or as a result of dehydration or sunburn (water and sunscreen are recommended for all tour passengers, regardless of age or fitness level). For pre-school age kids who are walking, but still unsteady on their feet, the ladders in Lower Antelope Canyon may be a bit too much for them to manage, and here again, you might end up carrying them. While it may not sound like that big a deal in the abstract, in reality, it might be a tall order considering the physical requirements of Lower Antelope Canyon. Before committing to this activity with infants or young children, we strongly recommend watching this Full Video Walk-Through of Lower Antelope Canyon.

Here again, there are no restroom facilities conducive to changing diapers or tending to other hygienic needs of infants or toddlers. Though the video linked above depicts hikerse carrying backpacks, these are no longer allowed, so you’ll need to take care of any diaper changes, clean-ups, etc., before you get to the canyon site.  

There are two companies that offer guided tours to Lower Antelope Canyon:

Antelope Canyon X bears similarities to both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Tours begin at Milepost 307.8 on US98, just Southeast of Page, AZ. After parking your vehicle and obtaining your tickets, you’ll board a 4×4 vehicle (usually a jeep or SUV) type for a 3-mile trip down a backcountry dirt road to the mouth of the slot canyon. You’ll need to provide a car seat for infants or toddlers.

Like Lower Antelope Canyon, Antelope X is remote and rugged. Ladders have been placed in some of the steeper ascents and descents in recent years, but that doesn’t make it a piece of cake by any means for anyone carrying a 20-50 lb. child on their back. Though a bit shorter than Lower Antelope, here again, this might be pushing agility and endurance limits for pre-school age children. A 15-part video series on Jack’s Outdoor Adventures travel blog gives a very detailed account of hiking Antelope Canyon X. Check it out to help determine whether Antelope Canyon X would be a safe, enjoyable experience for you and your young family.

Taadidiin Antelope Canyon X Tours https://www.antelopecanyon-x.com/ (928) 660-8890

Long story short, for optimal safety and peace of mind, Upper Antelope Canyon would probably be the best slot canyon touring choice for families traveling with infants and toddlers. Be sure to plan a return visit to Northern Arizona when your little ones are older, so you can all enjoy everything Page, AZ has to offer together!

17 Comments

  1. lalana rochette says:

    Hello,

    My name is Lalana from Thailand.

    I would like to book tours for me and my famliy in Sep 2020

    (2 adults and 2 yr old daughter).

    We would like to see:

    Upper Antelop,

    Lower Antelope

    Canyon X,

    Secret Canyon,

    Water Holes,

    Glen canyon dam overlook

    My questions are:

    1)Any of the above is banned for toddlers?

    2)which locations you provide tours?

    3)base on your answer of question 2, How many days should we stay in Page?

    4) any tour companies can offer guides to aboved places with toddlers?

    ps. i would like to go to as many spots possible with my 2 year old.

    thanks alot!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hello Lalana, or sawatdee kah!
      With a toddler in tow, you will be limited in the slot canyons that you are allowed to enter, which is 100% for your little one’s safety.
      Upper Antelope tours are open to people of all ages (with the exception of Chief Tsosie’s Slot Canyon Tours, which requires that children be at least 6), as is Lower Antelope Canyon. In the case of Upper Antelope Canyon, because a truck/bus ride is required to get to the entrance, you must provide a car seat for your child, and book a space designated for children 2 and under. However, with Lower Antelope, you’ll need to consider carefully whether your child will be able to handle it. Full Video Walk Through of Lower Antelope Canyon Backpack carriers are allowed, but this type of child carrier is actually preferred. Antelope Canyon X also allowed children 2 and under, with the same cautions given as with Lower Antelope, since the two are very similar. Strollers are not allowed in any Page, AZ, area slot canyons. Of the slot canyons you have listed, Secret Canyon (now known as Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon), and Waterholes Canyon do not allow children under the age of 6. More tips for visiting Antelope Canyon with kids
      Antelope Canyon tour reservations should be made well in advance of your visit. Bookings for 2020 can be made in November-December of this year, when seat inventory for the following year is made available.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. Kit says:

    Hi, thanks for the list. The second company on your list, Adventurous Antelope, site now says no kids under 7 🙁

  3. Mariance says:

    Hi,
    I noticed that you mentioned no backpacks allowed, can we still bring child carrier and bottle waters?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Mariance,
      According to one of the Antelope Canyon tour operators:

      “With the canyon being narrow in some sections and with multiple people wearing backpacks it not only scratches the canyon walls but can hit other people inside the canyon – we have witness too many people get knocked over by large bags. Purses vary in size, many of which are in the design of a backpack (not allowed). We do not have lockers, please lock your valuables in your vehicle. For Parents with small children, we are allowing this type of carrier (soft-sided) – but please don’t bring a hiking backpack with metal framing.”

      For water bottles, there are lanyards available at many retail stores that allow you to carry your water on a strap around your neck or shoulder.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Sudha says:

    Alley,

    what can we do with a 5 and half year old in Antelope Canyon? Looks like we can only do the boat tour..
    we would like to visit Antelope Canyon, Bryce, Zion on a 1 week trip and are looking for itinerary suggestions.
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Sudha,
      Unfortunately, the tour company we contract with on the Upper Antelope Canyon + Boat Tour bundle does not allow children younger than 6. However, there are three other companies that do allow younger kids:
      Roger Ekis’ Antelope Canyon Tours (http://www.antelopecanyon.com), 928-645-9102;
      Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours (http://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com), 928.380.1874; and
      Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours (www.navajotours.com), 928-698-3384
      If you are interested in doing the boat tour as well, you would need to call Antelope Point Marina directly at (928) 608-4477.
      For recommendations on how to spend a week’s time in the area, visit our Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Sudha says:

        Alley,

        Please see itinerary below and let me know what else can be included.
        Day 1- Vegas to Page(any place we can cover enroute)
        Day 2 – Antelope canyon tour, Horseshoe bend
        Day 3 – Boat tour, Monument valley
        Day 4 – Bryce canyon
        Day 5- Zion national park
        Day 6- Back to vegas

        I am skeptical about day 3 and 4… not sure how it will materialize, any better ideas?

        Thanks in advance

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Sudha!
          One park that is conspicuously absent from your itinerary is the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been there, you should definitely prioritize it over Monument Valley. One night stay would be sufficient in light of the fact that you’re visiting other parks. So if you’d inadvertently left it out, I’d recommend this instead:
          Day 1 – Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5 hour drive), with stop at Hoover Dam en route if desired, overnight at Grand Canyon
          Day 2 – Grand Canyon to Page, AZ (~3.5-4 hour drive factoring in various stops), Antelope Canyon tour, overnight in Page
          Day 3 – 2nd day/night in Page, AZ, visit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, take airplane flight over Monument Valley
          Day 4 – Drive to Bryce (~3 hours), overnight in Bryce
          Day 5 – Drive to Zion (~2 hours), overnight in Springdale, UT
          Day 6 – Back to Las Vegas
          If you’ve already been to Grand Canyon, you can of course omit it from this itinerary.
          RE: your plan to go to Monument Valley after taking a boat tour, I would recommend not attempting this since boat tours tend to leave one quite tired (a condition we refer to as being “sun drunk”). Doubtful you’d be in any mood to face a 2-hour drive when you’re already exhausted, unless you were to opt for a short boat tour, such as an Antelope Canyon waterside tour from Antelope Point Marina.
          No matter what you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours well in advance of your vacation.
          Good luck and safe travels.
          Alley 🙂

          • Sudha says:

            Alley,

            Thank you so much for your response.
            we have visited Grand Canyon (South and North rim a few years ago and hence skipping it this time). All our tours have been booked (Antelope, boat) and we may skip monument valley. We plan to drive to Bryce on day 3 after the boat tour (we have opted for short tour), what else can be done on that day? Anything en route Bryce? We plan to visit Bryce on day 4.

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Hi again, Sudha,
            Thank you for writing back to clarify your trip plans, and past travels here in Northern AZ.
            There are a couple of activities that would break up the drive nicely between Page, AZ, and Bryce Canyon. One would be the Big Water Visitors Center, ~20 minutes outside of Page just over the Utah border. It has some really interesting displays of dinosaur fossils excavated in the local area. Another possibility would be the Paria Rimrock/Toadstool Hoodoos trail, located about half-way between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT. Pretty easy hike, beautiful scenery, and relatively easy to find, between mile markers 19-20 on US89. Be sure you have plenty of water for all members of your party if you take us up on that suggestion.
            You might also make a point to stop in Kanab, Utah for lunch or dinner, and to browse some of the shops in the historic district.
            Have a good trip!
            Alley 🙂

  5. Diana says:

    Hello,
    I am a very large woman and I would love to do this tour. It will take me a little time to go up and down stairs, if there are any. I did want to ask if you feel that the canyon may be too narrow in places for a larger person? I am asking because I noticed you mention the width of the stroller. I am a photographer but I don’t want to put myself or others in an uncomfortable position. Thank you in advance for any feedback on this.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Diana,
      I’m by no means a “skinny Minnie,” but I was able to manage Lower Antelope Canyon last I went, and Upper is a piece of cake. Upper Antelope has no stairs; Lower has a few sets of them, the longest ones being the ones you would descend to get down into the canyon, then climb back out to the rim at the end. To gauge whether you would be able to handle Lower, I would recommend watching this video: Full Video Walk-Through Lower Antelope Canyon
      In that video, you might notice that people are wearing backpacks, but that’s no longer allowed.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Tom Champion says:

        Nice post and thank you for the video link, Alley.

        I use a cane to help walk and while going down is fine, I find climbing stairs somewhat difficult due to a hip joint replacement in June 2018. Did you see any “Seasoned Citizens” around who had help walking but were able to navigate the canyon okay? Any comments appreciated.

        Please email me with your thoughts.

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Tom and thank you for your inquiry.
          Folks 65+ tour and enjoy Lower Antelope Canyon every day, but personally, I would not recommend attempting it in light of your fairly recent surgery and other limitations. You would be better off touring Upper Antelope Canyon, or Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon since neither of these slot canyons have stairs.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

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