How to Be a Smart Tourist When Visiting Antelope Canyon

Travel United States
Antelope Island

Formed by flash floods occurring over many, many years, Antelope Canyon delivers stunning looks at wave-like structures in two slot canyons, nicknamed The Crack and The Corkscrew. Visitors come from around the world to Page, Arizona, where these canyons dazzle anyone lucky enough to experience them.

Whether you’re interested in visiting the majestic Antelope Canyon or not, you’ve come to the right place, because by the time you’ve finished reading this article, we’ll have you convinced you need to make the trek out there—and not only that, you’ll be prepped with everything you need to know to be the smartest tourist in the canyon. 

Antelope Canyon

Reserving Your Spot

Antelope Canyon sits on protected Navajo land, and visitors are required to enter with guided tours. The best way to join a guided tour is to make a reservation for Antelope Canyon tours weeks beforehand—legitimate, reputable guides are usually booked out some time in advance. Showing up and trying to land a spot in a tour the day of won’t guarantee you’ll be entering the canyon, and, actually, it may guarantee you’ll get scammed. People who try to book onsite for same-day tours often run into scammers who sell bogus tickets that don’t work for tours. Book ahead!

What to Bring

Whether you’re a professional photographer or are just looking for some great sights, Antelope Canyon aims to please. The way the light filters through the canyon and plays with the wavy structures is enough to inspire anyone. Although photography tours are no longer offered, you’ll still want to bring a decent camera. Your phone’s camera might be enough, but because of the way the light enters the canyon, ideally you’ll want a camera that will allow you to slow your shutter speed down quite a bit.

Most tours last between one and two hours. Eat something and go to the bathroom before your tour, because you won’t find restaurants or restrooms inside the canyon. Bring water, lather up on sunscreen, and wear close-toed shoes. Depending on which tour you do, you may be climbing up and down ladders.

Snacks are always a good idea, but just make sure to hold on to any of your junk and throw it away in a marked trash. Antelope Canyon is a treasure, and it’s lucky that the Navajo people are willing to share it.

Be Safe

Antelope Canyon was formed through erosion due to flash flooding, and the canyon still floods sometimes, especially during monsoon season. Water will run into the basin, picking up speed and sand as it rushes through the narrow passageways. And, oddly enough, it doesn’t even have to be raining on or near the canyon to flood it—rain falling tens of miles away can funnel into and whip through the canyon at no notice.

Listen to your tour guides and pay attention to any safety warnings they give. Most of all, enjoy your visit to Antelope Canyon, because it’s likely it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

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