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Last Minute and Walk up bookings are no more!

It’s a point that cannot be overstressed: Antelope Canyon is a must-see for anyone visiting Northern Arizona! You can only go there with a guided tour, and making an advance reservation is not just a nicety, it’s an absolute necessity. Long gone are the days when you could show up in Page, AZ, drive up to Antelope Canyon or a tour outfitter’s office, and hope to get on a tour within a reasonable timeframe. You can’t even do that in Lower Antelope Canyon anymore. 

 

So what’s a traveler to do in case they didn’t get the memo? First off, it depends on when you wanted to tour Antelope Canyon. Online reservations can be made directly with the different Antelope Canyon tour companies up to 24 hours in advance. Some, but not all, offer same-day online bookings, availability permitting. You can also make a same-day booking for an Antelope Canyon tour or a landside/waterside tour bundle via AntelopeCanyonNow.com. Again, that’s availability permitting. Many times bundle Tours are still available even after all single Tours are booked out.

 

Your best chance for a last minute tickets

Recommendations

If you wish to tour Antelope Canyon within 24-48 hours and are still finding tours sold out after exploring all avenues available, here’s what we recommend you do:

  • Go old school. All Antelope Canyon tour companies offer real-time tour availability via their websites; in theory, anyway. In reality, seats that get cancelled last minute or under duress may not make it back into online inventory right away. How can you get access to those seats? Get on the phone. 

 

Phone numbers for the companies that tour the main branches of Antelope Canyon (Upper and Lower) are as follows: 

 

    • Lower Antelope Canyon

      • Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours   928-606-2168  

      • Dixie Ellis’ Antelope Lower Canyon Tours   928-640-1761 

 

    • Upper Antelope Canyon 

      • Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours   928-698-3384

      • Roger Ekis’ Antelope Canyon Tours   928-645-9102

      • Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours   928-380-1874

      • Chief Tsosie’s Slot Canyon Tours   928-645-5594

  • Consider alternatives. Antelope Canyon is amazing, to be sure, but it’s not the only slot game in town. There are many other slot canyons in the immediate vicinity of Page, AZ, that are just as beautiful as Antelope Canyon, but not nearly as crowded. If you strike out on getting reservations for an Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon tour, a tour of one of these alternate slot canyons just might save your vacation. Some tour companies offer same-day reservations, availability permitting. In most cases, online reservations can only be made 24 hours or more in advance. If you’re looking for last minute reservations for an Antelope Canyon alternative tour, once again, inquiring by phone will get you faster results. 

Contact information for Page, AZ, companies who manage alternate slot canyons to Antelope Canyon:  

 

    • Taadidiin Tours – Antelope Canyon X, Cardiac Canyon – 928-660-8890

    • Waterholes Canyon Experience – Waterholes Canyon – 928-660-2031

    • Horseshoe Bend Tours – Secret Antelope/Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon, Lucky Slot Canyon – 435-275-4594

    • Chief Tsosie’s Slot Canyon Tours – Cathedral Canyon – 928-645-5594

    • Mystical Antelope Canyon Tours – Mystical Antelope Canyon – 928-640-3852

    • Antelope Valley Tours – Ligai Si’Anii, Ram’s Head, Wind Pebble Canyon – 928-640-2594

    • Peek-A-Boo/Red Slot Canyon – Dreamland Safari Tours – 435-677-5967 (Kanab, UT)

 

  • Approach it from a different angle. Antelope Canyon and its sister slots were formed by the rushing waters of flash floods. That water has to end up somewhere, and in this case, that “somewhere” is Lake Powell. Boat and kayak tours to the water side of Antelope Canyon are a great way to not only check this attraction off your to-do list, but to come away with a deeper comprehension of its complexity. 

 

    • Guided boat tours from Antelope Point Marina can be booked, availability permitting, for the same-day and beyond on AntelopeCanyonNow.com, or by phone for the same day at 928-645-5900.

    • For boat tours to Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Bridge, and other areas of Lake Powell departing within 48 hours, call Lake Powell Resort at 928-645-2433. 

    • Kayak tours of Antelope Canyon departing from Antelope Point Marina are offered by Hidden Canyon Kayak. For reservations for tours occurring within 48 hours of your arrival, call 928-660-1836

 

 

Go your own way. If you have a 4WD vehicle, some hiking/trailfinding experience, and a sense of adventure, you can explore one of several slot canyons on the Utah/Ariziona border that don’t require a reservation, including, but certainly not limited to: 

 

  • Buckskin Gulch – at 30+ miles in length, it’s the grand-daddy of all slot canyons, but you don’t have to go all the way through it to enjoy it. A $6.00/per person (and dog) permit fee can be paid at the self-serve kiosk at the Wire Pass, White House, Middle, or Lees Ferry trailhead

  • Wire Pass Canyon – a tributary of the Buckskin Gulch with an attractive and relatively easy half-mile slot canyon; access via the House Rock Valley Road, permit fee of $6.00/person also applies

  • Blue Pools Wash – a short but memorable slot canyon that runs under a highway, this slot canyon has two major drops that require ropes and rappelling experience to navigate, as well as a vehicle with adequate clearance to get to the trailhead

  • Cottonwood Wash Narrows – another less-traveled slot canyon, for good reason: the sole access road is unpaved and often rendered impassable after rain and snow storms, but brave souls with adequately-equipped vehicles will be treated to a fascinating slot canyon and a surprisingly easy hike 

30 Responses

  1. Hi there! I wanted to ask if the Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend are open now. I appreciate any information. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Ivette,
      Horseshoe Bend is one of a few attractions in the Page, AZ, area that never closed. It is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
      We wish we could say the same for the Antelope Canyons, but unfortunately, the Navajo Nation made the difficult decision to extend the closure of tribal parks on reservation lands through July 27th.
      Should that coincide with the dates you plan to travel, you should start thinking of a “plan B” for a slot canyon tour.
      We recommend Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon (not to be confused with Peek-A-Boo Canyon in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!), a family-friendly slot canyon located near Kanab, UT, approximately 90 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. Reputable companies in Kanab, UT, that cover Peek-A-Boo are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you’re up for something a little more adventurous, Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. After paying a nominal self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead, the walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which usually consists of deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years. Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road, another unpaved road that can be problematic for parties in rental cars. While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Here again, a guided tour, while not required, will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. I am a travel agent and have a multi-generational family of 9 ( 4 adults and 3 children aged 15,12 and 10) planning to visit over Easter. I hope availability will not be a problem.
    Which airport do you suggest and where should they stay to get the best experience? They will have 5 or 6 days.
    Do you know if there is a tour company that would book all tours/adventures or do I need to contact several ones ?
    Many thanks, Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy,
      You are right to be concerned about availability over Easter weekend as that is Spring Break holiday for many U.S. schools. Nevertheless, I think you still have time to put together a fun and memorable vacation for your clients.
      Las Vegas and Phoenix are the most popular airports for visitors to the American Southwest to fly into. As to whether there is a company that will make all the necessary arrangements for you, they are out there, but they are mostly escorted tours with pre-set programs. What’s more, many of them don’t start operating until later in the year, and only on certain days of the month, not to mention very expensive. Your clients will have far more freedom and flexibility if they were to self-drive. Therefore, you will have a job ahead of you arranging flights, car rentals, hotels, and guided tours.
      In light of the time they have, here’s what I suggest:
      Day 1 – fly to Las Vegas, pick-up rental car, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5 hours), overnight at Grand Canyon (in-park or Tusayan, 7 miles outside the park)
      Day 2 – drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (~3.5-4 hour drive, factoring in stops), tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page
      Day 3 – visit Horseshoe Bend Overlook just after sunrise (~6:00 AM), drive to Bryce Canyon (~3 hours), overnight in Bryce Canyon area
      Day 4 – drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion (~2 hours), overnight in Springdale, UT, or Hurricane, UT
      Day 5 – 2nd day/night in Zion
      Day 6 – drive back to Las Vegas (~3.5-4.5 hours due to construction taking place along this route), optional detour through Valley of Fire State Park, fly home
      Hope that helps. Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce some other ideas off us.
      Take care,
      Alley 🙂

  3. Hi, thanks for the great advice !

    I am going to be in Page on Thursday, March 12. I’m a family with 4 kids (they can all hike).

    From a photography perspective, I am wondering if you can suggest best lighting, during the day, for each of the following:

    Horseshoe Bend
    Upper Antelope Canyon

    Thanks,

    Mike

    1. Hi Michael!
      For best lighting, Antelope Canyon is best viewed at mid-day. That’s when the sun is directly overhead and illuminates the chambers of the canyon with the most sunlight.
      For Horseshoe Bend, opinions are all over the place as to what time is best to visit! However, these days, most of us don’t have the luxury of hitting the overlook at the best time for photography; it’s more about convenience in finding a place to park. Just after sunrise is generally regarded as the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend for cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. On March 12th, sunrise occurs shortly after 6:30 AM; sunset takes place at around 6:30 AM.
      Hope that helps – good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hello- I’m seeing lots of great advice here, thanks!
    I’m going to be there on Monday, March 2nd and would like to see all three of: Upper, Lower, Horseshoe Bend.
    1. I’ve read a lot of reviews that talked about it being very crowded but those are mostly from October– should I expect crowds on Monday, 3-2?
    2. I’ve heard about the “Golden Hour” which I believe is only for Upper– is that right?
    3. Any suggestions on order to do all three in one day? I don’t want to start too early as my girlfriend is not really a “morning person!” 🙂

    Thanks! Stuart

    1. Hey Stuart!
      Thank you for your clear, concise and well-phrased inquiry.
      Let’s get right to it 🙂
      1. In March, the Antelope Canyons will be busy, but nowhere near as crowded as the summer months. Still, advance reservations are strongly recommended.
      2. The “Golden Hour” reference is applied to both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons, when the light beams begin to penetrate all the way down to the canyon floor, mostly in Upper. Unfortunately, your visit is probably a little too early to experience this phenomenon. I wouldn’t sweat it. The Antelope Canyons are still beautiful!
      3. The order in which you visit Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon is a six-of-one/half-a-dozen-of-another proposition. Just book your tours at whatever time(s) fit your schedule, and where there’s still availability. For optimal convenience in the reservations process, book your Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon tours as a “bundle.” The first item on your agenda should be Horseshoe Bend, and as much as I hate to go against your girlfriend’s nature, it is best visited first thing in the morning. On March 2nd, the sun comes up just before 7:00 AM, which isn’t too bad. Once 10:00 AM rolls around, you’ll find the overlook very crowded with day trippers from Las Vegas, Phoenix, Flagstaff, etc., which makes parking more of a challenge.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

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