Antelope Canyon in Arizona is so much more than an interesting geological formation. The rich, fiery orange of hue and smooth slopes and curves of these rocks draws in eager hikers and photographers into the canyon year after year. In describing this place to other people, visitors use words like “astonishing” and “magical,” and this canyon actually lives up to the hype. But there’s only one way to visit the canyon that respects the landscape and leaves behind little to no footprint.

How to get to Antelope Canyon

The canyon is part of Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, and there are two access points: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. If you’re staying in Phoenix, the drive to the park is around 4 hours. However, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park is just 10 minutes from Page, a small town of about 8,000 people – there are hotels and resorts there and in Lake Powell that will put you closer to the canyon.

How take a tour of Antelope Canyon

a shaft of light cuts through Antelope Canyon in Arizona

Photo: username/Shutterstock

Thanks to overcrowding, photo tours in Antelope Canyon were shut down in 2019. However, there are still guided tours into the canyon. Before you head to the park, you’ll need to make a reservation with a guide, through Navajo Nation Parks. You’ll also need a permit to be in the canyon, but most guides include the permit for your group with their fee. 90 minute and hour long tours generally cost anywhere from $40 to $90.

Visitors should be cautioned that the canyon is full of dust, which is kicked up into the air by heavy wind and covers anyone who encounters it. Supportive, close-toed walking shoes are also a requirement.

The best time to visit Antelope Canyon

The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is between March and October, according to VisitArizona. This is the best time of year to view the shafts of light that penetrate the canyon around midday, when the sun is high in the sky, for which the canyon is legendary.

However, VisitArizona also mentions that tours tend to be cheaper in the off season, in November through January.