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Visiting Antelope Canyon From Las Vegas

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If you’ve come as far as Las Vegas, you’ve come too far not to visit world-famous Antelope Canyon and nearby Horseshoe Bend. While we’d heartily agree with you, we’d be remiss in our duty not to offer you a few words of warning:

  1. You’d better like to drive – a lot or
  2. You’d better be prepared to make some modifications to your trip plans, like dropping a day in Las Vegas (trust us on this)

So, how does one get to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas? One has two choices: self-drive or take a tour.

To drive yourself:

  • Get on I-15 and follow it Northeast for 127 miles through Mesquite and St. George, UT to Washington, UT
  • Take Exit 16 to UT-9, which turns into UT-59 near Hurricane, UT, then AZ-389 near Colorado City, AZ. In Fredonia, AZ, take AZ-89A due North Kanab, UT. Follow this routing for approximately 70 miles total to Kanab, UT
  • In Kanab, UT, take US-89 East for 75 miles to Page, AZ
  • Just South of Page, AZ, take US-98 6 miles due East to the entrance of Antelope Canyon (or stop in Page and take a tour from one of 3 outfitters in town)
  • Total trip mileage: 278 Total drive time: 4.5 hours one-way

While a day trip from Las Vegas, NV to Page, AZ is doable, due to the distance involved, we recommend you get an early start out of Las Vegas in order to avoid driving back at night. Due to the scarcity and sometimes complete lack of supplemental lighting on local roadways, plus the potential for deer and elk to be present, nighttime driving can be dangerous. Better yet? Tinker with your schedule so that you can spend a night or two in Antelope Canyon’s gateway city, Page, AZ. There’s a lot to see and do here, including, but not limited to: the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, Lake Powell boat tours, smooth water raft tripsairplane and helicopter tours, easy but rewarding hikes, and even more slot canyons! You won’t regret taking the extra time. Most day-trippers, on the other hand, regret not taking it. Page, AZ hotels run the gamut from Motel 6 to Marriott and everything in between, so you’re sure to find one that suits your taste and budget as long as you book in advance.

Take a tour from Las Vegas:

At the time this piece was written, pickings are on the slim side for Las Vegas Antelope Canyon Tours. We speculate it’s due to the driving distance; 10-12 hours behind the wheel is a lot to ask of anybody, even if you are paying them. But, for those determined to experience Antelope Canyon while based in Las Vegas, and don’t want to self-drive, tours are out there.

  • 1-Day MaxTour includes:

    • Hotel pick up

    • Round-trip transportation to Page, AZ;

    • Lake Powell overlook

    • Lower Antelope Canyon tour (admission included in price of the tour)

    • Stop at Horseshoe Bend Overlook;

    • Simple breakfast, hot lunch

    • Hotel dropoff

    • Tour duration: 15 hours hotel to hotel

    • Mode of transport: 15-passenger van

    • Current price: $199+ gratuities

  • 1-Day Grand Canyon Tours Excursion includes:
    • Hotel Pick up
    • Mesquite, NV breakfast stop
    • Kanab, UT Rest stop
    • Drive over Glen Canyon Dam
    • Lunch in Page AZ
    • Lower Antelope Canyon tour (admission included in price of the tour)
    • Horseshoe Bend
    • Navajo Bridge
    • Comfort stops for meals
    • Hotel drop off
    • Tour duration: 15 hours
    • Mode of transport: 7-passenger van
    • Current price: $149 + tax & gratuities
  • Viator Private Overnight (2-days/1-night) Tour to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and Zion National Park includes:
    • Las Vegas Hotel pickup
    • Photo stop at Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell
    • 1.5 hour Navajo guided tour of Antelope Canyon
    • Guided walk to Horseshoe Bend
    • Overnight accommodation in Page, AZ
    • Visit Big Water, UT Dinosaur Center
    • Guided walk in Zion National Park
    • Return transfer to Las Vegas Hotels
    • Private Driver/guide Professional guide
    • All necessary entrance fees
    • Meals per itinerary (B,L)
    • Tour duration: 2 days, 1  night
    • Mode of transportation: varies
    • Current price: $2995 for up to 4 people

Las Vegas Antelope Canyon tours are only offered on select days of the week and may require a certain number of passengers (usually 4) and favorable weather conditions to guarantee operation.

In September 2017, Scenic/Grand Canyon Airlines, a division of the Papillon Group, launched the Private Las Vegas Antelope Canyon Air Tour Expedition. Operating solely on a charter basis for the time being, this trip will run you a chunk of change, but many have already found the trade-offs to be well worth it. Clocking in at just under 12 hours, you’ll get:

  • Complimentary round-trip shuttle service from your Las Vegas hotel
  • 90-minute (each way) exclusive fixed-wing plane flight from Boulder City, NV to Page, AZ
  • Stunning aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Vermillion Cliffs, Glen Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend
  • Guided walking tour of Lower Antelope Canyon
  • 1.2-mile round-trip hike to the Horseshoe Bend overlook
  • Spectacular photo opportunities
  • Meal included

Which way is the better way to go? In the humble opinion of not only this writer and the administrators of this site but many local residents, seasoned travelers, and expert road-trippers, self-driving will always offer you more freedom and flexibility to enjoy Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the myriad attractions in the Page/Lake Powell area at your own pace and on your own terms. But, make every effort possible to visit for more than a day. 10-12 of driving is a lot to take on in one day! That’s what makes the charter air tour quite a tantalizing option.

If you opt to take one of the above-mentioned tours – or even one we didn’t mention – we’d love to know how you liked it. We welcome and encourage you to post your feedback on this site, or other popular travel and consumer review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, TourRadar, and don’t forget Facebook and Twitter.

Til next time, happy traveling!

134 Responses

  1. Hi Alley, thank you for your wonderful post! I am planning a trip for my family of 5 (15, 12 and 9-yr old) to Las Vegas Dec 29-Jan 5. Can you give me some tips/feedback on my itineraries?
    Dec 29 – easy day in Vegas, maybe a show
    Dec 30 – renting a car for day trip to Valley of Fire and Hoover dam
    Dec 31 and Jan 1 – Las Vegas either one or both days. We are flexible here; would like to hear your feedback on what is best options. We can either stay in Vegas or take leisurely drive to Antelope canyon after lunch on Jan 1.
    Jan 1/2-4 – Antelope Canyon. We would like to do the upper/lower canyons and horseshoe bay. On the Jan 4th, we would like to head back to Vegas after lunch to avoid driving at night. If we were to stay near Antelope Canyons Jan 1-4, what else could we do?
    Jan 4 – Las Vegas, dinner and turn in
    Jan 5 – flying back home

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Christine and thank you for visiting today!
      The time of year you’re visiting is early winter, which has its pros and cons. One factor that kind of falls in the “minus” column is that some activities in Page, AZ, are on seasonal hiatus, which means that a 3-4 night stay in this area would probably be a bit too much. However, you can also interpret that as a bit of good news, because with an extra 2 days to work with, you can visit other attractions, such as the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park.
      Hoover Dam is located Southeast of Las Vegas, whereas Valley of Fire State Park (which is absolutely stunning!) is situated Northeast of the city. Therefore, it’s not absolutely necessary to set aside a whole day to visit those areas when, depending on your itinerary, you could hit them between Point A and Point B on one of your travel days. For example, you could do something like this:
      December 29-30: Enjoy Las Vegas
      December 31st: Drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park with stopover in Valley of Fire (~4.5-5 hour drive factoring in VOF detour and depending on traffic in a construction zone in the Virgin River Gorge), overnight in Springdale, UT.
      January 1st: 2nd day/night in Zion, hike and explore the many scenic, family-friendly trails in the area
      January 2nd: Drive to Page, AZ (~2.5 hours), optional hike en route: Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos; tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon, overnight in Page, AZ
      January 3rd: Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim, visit Horseshoe Bend on the way, late breakfast/early lunch at the Cameron Trading Post, overnight at the Grand Canyon Drive time here can range from 2.5-4.5 hours due to numerous scenic viewpoints between Desert View Point and Grand Canyon Village
      January 4th: Drive back to Las Vegas w/stop at Hoover Dam (~5 hour drive), dinner and overnight in Las Vegas
      January 5th: Fly home

      If it happens that you’ve already been to the Grand Canyon, or you’d prefer to save it for another trip, you might swap that out for a day or two in Sedona, AZ, which wouldn’t make a huge difference in your drive time going back to Las Vegas. It’s a beautiful area with lots to see and do!

      It’s good that you’ve taken our advice about driving at night, it can definitely be dangerous, especially at the time of year you’re visiting! Speaking of that, you should be aware that snow is a very real possibility in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah in late December/early January, so be sure to start watching local weather about 2-3 weeks before you get set to travel.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  2. Hi Alley,

    I am planning to drive from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon next February. Between these two places, will there be snow on the road? It looks like I’ll be driving up Highway 15 from Vegas. Please advise. thank you.

    1. Hey Peter,
      In February, snow is a very real possibility. Not so much in the area between Las Vegas and Mesquite, NV, but once you get up into the Virgin River Gorge, the terrain rises quite fast, so you could encounter snow between St. George, UT, and Page, AZ. Of course it’s too soon to call, so start monitoring local weather about 2-3 weeks before you travel. That will give you the best idea of what to expect. If at any point in your travels, you do encounter an active snowstorm, your safest plan is to wait it out, and resume your drive when the weather has cleared. Las Vegas weather Page, AZ, weather
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you, Alley. We really want to avoid the snow at all possible. In February, would we avoid the snow if we drive from Phoenix up to Antelope Canyon? And then, heading back to Las Vegas from Phoenix.

        1. Hi again, Peter,
          You have just about as much of a chance at encountering snow driving to Page, AZ, from Phoenix as you do from Las Vegas. I know, I’ve been caught in a few snowstorms on I-17 in my day! If you really and truly wish to avoid snow, you might want to rethink your plans to visit in February and maybe save the trip for a time of year when the weather is more stable. Mid-October is the best time of year, weather-wise, to travel in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Temperatures are cooling, crowds are thinning — still busy, but it’s mostly adults since kids are back in school — and all activities are still in full swing.
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  3. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the area from NY 12/29/19-1/3/20. 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 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 Years Eve somewhere fun? I doubt we”ll be out this way again any time soon. Please also note that we both love taking photos, so the photographic aspects of the trip are very important to us. Thanks in advance!!!

    1. Hi Marie,
      So assuming that 12/29 and 01/03 will be travel days, that gives you 4 full days to work with. That’s not a heck of a lot of time to work with, considering all there is to see here, but you could still accomplish quite a lot.
      12/29 – Fly to Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
      12/30 – Drive to Page, AZ, w/detour through Valley of Fire State Park (~6 hour drive), tour Antelope Canyon in the afternoon, overnight in Page
      12/31 – Visit Horseshoe Bend, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3.5-4 hour drive, factoring in stops), overnight at Grand Canyon
      01/01 – Drive to Sedona, AZ (~3 hour drive from South Rim), do Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, overnight in Sedona
      01/02 – 2nd day/night in Sedona, possible activities: Chapel of the Holy Cross, Bell Rock Trail, Tlaquepaque, wine tasting Things To Do in Sedona
      01/03 – Drive to Phoenix (~2.5 hours) or Las Vegas (~5 hours), fly home
      Regarding New Year’s Eve, we tend to be a bit more low-key about marking the occasion in Northern Arizona. You won’t see things like fireworks or rowdy parties in the National Parks or surrounding areas. If you prefer your holiday celebration a bit more festive, you might reverse the above itinerary so that you’re someplace like Sedona or Flagstaff on New Year’s Eve. Then hit the Grand Canyon, then Page, AZ.
      As for including any of the Utah National Parks, you could drive through Zion National Park between Page and Las Vegas, which would add another 90 minutes or so onto your drive time. If you wanted to include an overnight visit, that would require sacrificing Sedona IMO. Both places warrant at least 2 days to explore and enjoy fully. If you can possibly free up an extra day or two for your vacation, you might swing up to Bryce between Zion and Page. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll find no shortage of photo ops along the way!
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

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