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Driving to Antelope Canyon

The Antelope Canyons are located in Northern Arizona, a few miles Southeast of the town of Page, Arizona.

Driving distances from major cities and tourist destinations are as follows: 

  • Los Angeles, California – 9 hours

  • Phoenix, Arizona – 4.5 hours

  • Las Vegas, Nevada – 4.5 hours

  • Flagstaff, Arizona – 2.5 hours

  • Sedona, Arizona – 3 hours

  • St. George, Utah – 2.5 hours

  • Zion National Park, Utah – 2 hours 

  • Grand Canyon South Rim – 2.5 hours

  • Grand Canyon North Rim – 2.5 hours

  • Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – 3 hours

  • Moab, Utah – 5 hours

  • Monument Valley, Utah – 2 hours

 

Note that the times given reflect driving directly, with minimal stops. This rarely happens since most of these drives are very scenic, and you will be stopping to take pictures, guaranteed! For planning purposes, it’s a good idea to pad these figures by 20-30%.

Upon arrival in Page, AZ, you will be required to take a guided tour to Antelope Canyon. You cannot simply drive up to the canyon’s entrance and walk in at will. Well before making the trip to Page, AZ, you should do some research on which section of Antelope Canyon you wish to tour, and make a reservation. Depending on which tour company you book with, you will be required to check in anywhere from 30-60 minutes prior to your Antelope Canyon tour. 

If you opt to visit Upper Antelope Canyon, there are 4 tour companies in all that tour this branch of Antelope Canyon: 2 that depart from the town of Page, AZ, and 2 that depart from near the Tribal Park Entrance on US98. If you choose to go to Lower Antelope Canyon, there are 2 companies that manage this section of the slot canyon, both located on the North side of US98 near the defunct Navajo Generating Station. Tour both Lower & Upper Antelope Canyons

If you would like to add an Antelope Canyon waterside boat tour onto your slot canyon tour(s), these depart from Antelope Point Marina, just a short distance down US98 from the Lower Antelope Canyon tour entrance. 

If you are staying someplace like Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon South Rim, or Las Vegas, and aren’t keen on doing all that driving, guided tours from these areas to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are available by bus, van, or fixed-wing airplane. 

Download this Map of Page and the surrounding area, compliments of Antelope Canyon Now

196 Responses

  1. Alley,

    Wondering if coming with a tour guide is required or suggested? We have limited time and it appears if you want to do both upper and lower that the times in between tours is kind of spaced especially since we like to get an early start and are in good walking/hiking health. Thanks!

    1. Hi Gao,
      Antelope Canyon and its alternate slot canyons are located on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, therefore you absolutely must go with a guided tour. If you are interested in touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Slot Canyons, consider booking the tours as a bundle, where, availability permitting you can choose to take the tours back to back, or space them out so you can grab lunch in between.
      If you are limited to doing just one of the Antelope Canyons due to time constraints or lack of availability, you should be able to handle Lower Antelope Canyon seeing as though you are all in good physical condition.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. Hello Alley from sunny Australia!
    I’m planning a trip to Antelope Canyon in mid April this year and I’m SO EXCITED! I intend on hiring a car from Las Vegas on Monday 13th after flying in from Melbourne and travelling to Antelope Canyon from there. Would you please be able to advise if it is worth staying one night out there (in nearby accommodation) and then waking up on the Tuesday and seeing the Canyon and Horseshoe Bend the following day before returning to Las Vegas that afternoon? I truly appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Hello Kate from not-so-sunny-at-the-moment Arizona!
      It takes approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, the gateway community for Antelope Canyon, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. In reality, that rarely happens because the drive is quite interesting and you’ll find yourself stopping to take pictures more often than you realize. Another consideration you have to factor in right now is that there is a construction project taking place on a stretch of I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge, which you’ll end up passing through. This can tack another 30-60 minutes onto your drive.
      It takes approximately 2-2.5 hours to tour Antelope Canyon; that’s taking into account advance check-in time, etc. Whilst in Page, AZ, you should also take advantage of the chance to visit Horseshoe Bend. That takes approximately 60-90 minutes, including the time it takes to make the 1.2 mile round-trip walk, and spend some time taking photos. At some point, you probably would want to break for lunch somewhere. After 4-5 hours of sightseeing, you would then be facing another 4.5-5 hour drive back to Las Vegas? Not my idea of a vacation.
      So, long story short, yes, I’d strongly recommend staying overnight in Page, AZ, hitting Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise the next morning, touring Antelope Canyon afterwards, then heading back to Vegas in the afternoon.
      One last thing: be sure to make sure that you do the first half of the return drive (from Page, AZ, to St. George, UT) during daylight hours. The roads between Page, AZ, and St. George, UT, are very dimly lit, and the section of US89 around Kanab, UT, crosses a popular migratory route for deer and elk. You don’t want to risk a nighttime collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service may be spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive. Between St. George, UT, and Las Vegas, NV, I-15 is fairly well lit, so it’s not as big a risk there. In mid-April, sunrise occurs at around 6:00 AM, sunset takes place at approximately 7:00 PM.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  3. Hi Alley,
    Am planing a weekend trip from NY to Arizona January 25th to 27th. Am wondering if I can see Antelope Canyon (upper and lower level) and Grand Canyon maybe on my way back to Phoenix? I have not buy air ticket just yet, trying to figure it out how to take advantage of the short time to see the wonders. Will really appreciate your advice, Thank you!

    1. Hi Rosanna,
      I would not advise trying to see the Grand Canyon as a quick “drive by” on your way from Page, AZ, to Phoenix, AZ, not after touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, and especially not at the time of year you’re visiting.
      The drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim is approximately 150 miles. Google maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because the drive is very scenic, and you will be stopping to take pictures, especially on the stretch of AZ64 heading West into Grand Canyon Village. There are over half a dozen named viewpoints between Desert View and the Village, which could easily extend the drive to 3.5-4 hours. Then, you’d be facing another 4.5 hour drive back to Phoenix from Grand Canyon South Rim? No thanks.
      Another consideration that affects the feasibility of your plan, or lack thereof, is daylength: in January, it’s short, with sunrise occurring at 7:30 AM and sunset taking place at around 5:45 PM. Any driving in Northern Arizona should be done during daylight hours due to roads being very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other animals that could ratchet up your risk of an auto accident. Trust me, that’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell phone service is spotty (if you can get a signal at all), and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive!
      A better plan would be to stay overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim, then drive back to Phoenix the following day after a good night’s rest.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. MY GRAND DAUGHTER HAS A GYMNASTICS MEET IN AVENDALE ON A SATURDAY-SO WE ARE FLYING INTO VEGAS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND SPENDING THE NIGHT. ON THURSDAY MORNING HEADING TO SEE HOOVER DAM THEN HEADING TO AVENDALE TO SPEND THURSDAY & FRIDAY NITE AND LEAVE AROUND 1:00 P M ON SATURDAY WHEN THE MEET IS OVER.-THEN DRIVE TO THE GRAND CANYON AND SPEND SATURDAY NIGHT-HIKE THE GRAND CANYON ON SUNDAY MORNING AND DRIVE TO PAGEDALE TO SPEN SUNDAY NITE-MONDAY MORNING DO A 9;30 TOUR AT ANTELOPE CANYON THEN OFF TO HORSESHOE CANYON, HERE IS WHEN I GET CONCERNED; AFTER HORSE SHOE CANYON ON MONDAY WE ARE THINKING ABOUT TRYING TO SEE ZION BEFORE GETTING BACK INTO VEGAS SOMETIME TUESDAY AFTERNNOON. IS THIS EVEN DOABLE AND ARE WE MISSING OUT ON A BETTER SITE ?

    1. Hello Dee,
      Not knowing when your visit is taking place prevents me from advising you with 100% accuracy. Assuming that your trip will be occurring within the next few weeks time, however, I can say that trying to include a visit to Zion on the way back to Las Vegas may not be practical, or enjoyable.
      Your Antelope Canyon tour will last anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on which branch of the canyon you tour, as well as factoring in advance check-in time, and logistics of travel, parking, etc. Assuming that your tour ends between 11:00-11.30 AM, you’ll then need about 30 minutes to transit to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. If you don’t encounter much difficulty finding a place to park, you’d be able to start the walk to the overlook at around 12:00 noon. We advise allowing 60-90 minutes to fully explore and enjoy Horseshoe Bend, so that would put you back on the road between 1:00-1:30 PM. The drive back to Las Vegas from Page, AZ, takes between 5-6 hours, depending on traffic in a construction zone on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge. Returning to Las Vegas by way of Zion will tack another 90 minutes to 2 hours onto your trip time.
      If your visit is taking place within the next few weeks, the main thing working against you is daylength. During the winter months, it’s very short, with sunrise in Page, AZ, occurring at about 7:30 PM and sunset in Las Vegas taking place at around 5:00 PM. Driving at night is something you want to avoid in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah due to roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other animals on the roads. Once you get to St. George, UT, you have a pretty good-sized light dome between there and Las Vegas, NV, but still, trying to see Zion as a “drive-by” between Page, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV, won’t make for a fulfilling visit. That park is huge and beautiful, with lots to see and do. You really need 2-3 days there to do it justice! Long story short, I would either save Zion for a future trip when you can give it the time it deserves, or adjust your sightseeing schedule in Page, AZ, so you are visiting Horseshoe Bend right at sunrise, then proceeding to your Antelope Canyon tour, then hitting the road immediately afterward. That, too, is less than ideal, but would at least give you a bit more daylight to work with.
      Instead of trying to squeeze a quickie visit to Zion in on the drive back from Page, AZ, you might do as I suggest above, hitting Horseshoe Bend first, then touring Antelope Canyon, then on the way back to Las Vegas, make the short detour through Valley of Fire State Park. That’s a stunning area, a short distance Northeast of Las Vegas, and is a neat place to be for sunset!
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year! And good luck to your granddaughter in her gymnastics meet 🙂
      Take care,
      Alley

    1. Hi Sonia,
      If your objective is to visit Antelope Canyon and nearby sights such as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam, then the place to stay would be Page, Arizona. This small but picturesque community is located within minutes of the afore-mentioned sights, and a short drive (as in 2-3 hours [around here, that’s considered a short drive ;)]) away from other must-sees in the American Southwest such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Sedona, Flagstaff, and much more.
      Page, AZ, hotels and lodging
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  5. Hi Alley,

    I am planning a family trip (including 10 and 14 year olds) for late March 2020 with my home base in Scottsdale. I would like to visit Grand Canyon (including heli ride) and Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend. I was thinking of spending 1 or 2 nights at El Tovar or other South Rim hotel… but need to figure out how to fit in Page and drive back to Scottsdale. Any tips would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Robert

    1. Hi Robert!
      First of all, if you don’t already have reservations at El Tovar, you’re unlikely to get them at this point. The El Tovar is the South Rim’s most popular hotel, and with only 78 rooms, it books up as far as a year in advance. However, there are 5 other Grand Canyon South Rim hotels you might check out, and book ASAP.
      As for visiting Antelope Canyon as a day trip from Grand Canyon South Rim or Scottsdale, AZ, I would advise against that at the time of year you’re visiting. For one thing, daylength is short at the time of year you’re visiting: sunrise occurs at ~6:30 AM, sunset at around 6:30 PM. The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ takes approximately 3.5-4 hours. I know that Google maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s actually wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens since the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping frequently to take photos, not to mention the inevitable breaks for restroom visits or meals (the Cameron Trading Post is the perfect place for both). Touring one of the Antelope Canyons takes anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on which branch of the canyon you tour (there are several to choose from). Whilst in Page, AZ, you should also take the opportunity to visit Horseshoe Bend, which can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes, and the Glen Canyon Dam, which can take 60-90 minutes as well. With only 12 hours of daylight to work with, you run the risk of driving back to your destination in the dark, which is strongly discouraged for several reasons: roads in Northern AZ are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and deer, elk, and other wildlife tend to move about at night, ratcheting up the risk of an auto accident. Believe me, that’s something you don’t want to have happen in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service is spotty or non-existent, and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      A better plan would be to spend one night at the Grand Canyon, another night at a hotel in Page, AZ then drive back to Scottsdale. As to the order in which you hit both places, that will depend upon Grand Canyon lodging availability, Antelope Canyon tour availability, and Page, AZ, hotel availability. However you do it, you’d be looking at a 4.5-5 hour drive from Scottsdale to and/or from Grand Canyon South Rim or Page, AZ.
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  6. Hi Alley,

    I am planning a family trip (3 adults, 1 kid, 2 senior) to Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon from Phoenix (in the week of Christmas)….pretty late…
    I have two questions:
    1. Is it ok to drive to both places in December?
    2. If so, is it better to rent a full-size SUV rather than a minivan?

    Thanks,
    Sang Jun

    1. Hi Sang,
      Two answer your two specific questions,
      1. It is OK to drive to the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in December. Both routes are fully-paved and well-traveled. The only thing that might render either drive unsafe is the occurrence of an active snowstorm. Should that take place during your travels, your safest option is to wait until the weather clears before driving on to your next destionation. Of course, it’s too soon to know what the weather will actually be like, but start monitoring it ~2-3 weeks before your trip. Remember that there is a significant difference in elevation that can and does affect local weather: Grand Canyon South Rim is ~7,000′ above sea level, and Page, AZ (Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend) is ~4,000′ ASL. Grand Canyon weather Page, AZ, weather Arizona Road Conditions
      2. As to whether you rent a mini-van or SUV, that’s up to you. Since both routes are paved, it’s not 100% necessary to have 4WD, but then again, it does come in handy should the roads be wet or icy after a recent storm.
      Be sure to book your Antelope Canyon tour, Grand Canyon hotels and Page, AZ lodging, well in advance of your trip. The Christmas holiday is a very busy time of year, and you might find many hotels sold out already!
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi Alley,

    I am planning a trip for last weekend in Dec this year and I know it is already late to plan this Trip. I am planning for flying from Texas to Vegas and then –

    Day 1 – Fly from TX to Vegas and get Rental car, drive to Page and stay overnight
    Day 2 – Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope then stay overnight
    Day 3 – Horshoe Bend and then come back to Vegas, if possible visit Hoover Dam, Stay overnight
    Day 4 – Explore Vegas and Stay over night
    Day 5 – Fly back to Home

    Thanks for your useful advice.

    1. Hi Deepesh!
      Your itinerary is perfectly fine, and not too rushed. As for visiting Hoover Dam, you’d probably be better off doing that on day 4, but while in Page, AZ, be sure to stop by the Glen Canyon Dam, which is actually taller than Hoover and is a lot easier to tour.
      Be sure to book all Page, AZ, lodging and Antelope Canyon tours in advance of your arrival.
      One more thing: I notice the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. Have you already been there? If not, you should prioritize it over Antelope Canyon, crazy as that sounds! If for some reason you overlooked it, you could work it in between Las Vegas and Page, or vice versa, depending on where you can find Grand Canyon lodging availability.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  8. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the area from NY December 29, 2019 – January 3, 2020. We will fly in to Las Vegas and are open to flying home from Vegas or Phoenix (If that makes sense?). We definitely want to visit the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon and can’t decide whether we should also do Utah or Sedona in the remaining days. From all the responses to previous posts, I see that the Antelope Canyon tour and lodging at the Grand Canyon should take precedence in booking. Any thoughts on how to plan and what to see in that limited time period? Any ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve somewhere fun? I doubt we’ll be out this way again anytime soon. I will also note that we both love taking pictures, so the photographic aspects of the trip are very important to us. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Marie, and thank you for visiting us.
      Assuming that December 29th and January 3rd are going to be travel days, that gives you 4 full days to work with on this trip. That should be plenty of time to enjoy both the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. You might even be able to work Sedona into the plan, if they still have availability at area hotels. I’d recommend saving the Utah parks for another trip. For the Utah Mighty 5, a week to ten days, or more is recommended. Grand Canyon, Zion, Moab & More: 14 Day Itinerary in the Grand Circle
      Regarding New Year’s Eve, you’ll most likely be in either the Grand Canyon or Page, AZ. Neither place will feature fireworks or anything of that nature, but a few of the hotels in Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan/GC Village South typically have some memorable, if slightly low-key New Year’s Eve celebrations. Ditto for Page, AZ. State 48 Tavern had a good NYE party last year from what I heard. No concrete plans have been made according to a cursory Google search, but honestly, I wouldn’t sweat it. Being out in nature’s fireworks IMO beats any man-made pyrotechnics hands down!
      As you’ve correctly deduced, Grand Canyon hotels and Antelope Canyon tour availability will be the key drivers of how you plan your itinerary. Which area you hit first is a six-of-one/half-a-dozen of another proposition in terms of driving distance to where you fly out of. Whether you stay at the Grand Canyon or Page, AZ, it will be approximately a 5-hour drive to Las Vegas or Phoenix. Another option, if you really want to include Sedona in your plans, is to plan something like this:
      December 29th: Fly into Las Vegas
      December 30th: Drive to Page, AZ (~5 hour drive, maybe slightly longer depending on traffic in Virgin River Gorge construction zone), tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon, overnight in Page
      December 31st: Visit Horseshoe Bend in the morning, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3.5-4 hour drive factoring in stops in Navajo Reservation and along Grand Canyon’s East Rim Drive), overnight at Grand Canyon
      January 1st: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona (~3-hour drive), overnight in Sedona
      January 2nd: Take Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, 2nd night in Sedona
      January 3rd: Drive from Sedona to Phoenix (~2.5 hour drive), fly home

      Again, whether you hit the Grand Canyon first or Page first will depend on when/where you find hotel and tour availability. If Page, AZ, ends up being first on your itinerary, push comes to shove, you could visit Zion National Park as a “drive-by” between LAS and Page, which will tack another 90 minutes or so onto your trip. The downside to that is it will leave you wanting – Zion is a huge and beautiful park that really deserves 3 days minimum of your time! My recommendation: take the detour through the Valley of Fire State Park, a short distance Northeast of Las Vegas. Whether you hit Grand Canyon or Page first, the drive to Sedona would be ~3 hours. Whether you fly out of Phoenix or Las Vegas, I recommend putting Sedona last on the itinerary, as that area is highly conducive to just chilling out, which is a nice way to end a vacation! Phoenix would be closer airport to fly out of from there, but if need be, you could fly out of Las Vegas just as easily. The drive from Sedona to LAS would be longer, ~4.5 hours.

      Sorry I’ve written this in kind of a “stream-of-consciousness” fashion. Hope it makes sense, and most importantly, that it helps!
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

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