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Driving to Antelope Canyon

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Driving Distances to Antelope Canyon from popular starting points

  • From Grand Canyon South Rim – 2.5 hours
  • From Zion National Park – 2.5 hours
  • From Las Vegas – 4.5 hours
  • From Monument Valley – 2 hours

Once you get to town, you should plan to be at your tour companies location 20 minutes before hand. Advance reservations are HIGHLY recommended during the spring, summer, and fall months. The Navajo Nation limits the number of permits available per day, so sold out days are very common.

There are tour companies that leave from Grand Canyon and Las Vegas that include Antelope Canyon as part of a day tour.

192 Responses

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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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