Antelope Canyon — located in Page, Arizona — is a slot canyon known for the beams of light that shine through cracks in its swirling sandstone walls. Slot canyons tend to be more narrow than wide because they are made by water rushing through rock. It was discovered by a young Navajo girl in 1931 when she was herding sheep. Visitors tend to go between April and October but early spring offers crisp weather and less crowding. If you decide to go during the month of March, pack a few sweaters, jeans and comfortable shoes.
The canyon is split into two different slot canyons. The first — the upper canyon — is the most popular due to the easy walks along its sandy floor. The second — the lower canyon — is more demanding and requires a little more stamina. There are ladders to help people go up and down the canyon walls.
Unless you decide to go with a tour, you won’t pay much for your stay. Most tour prices in the lower canyon are between $25 and $50 and last around two hours. Most places also offer a photography tour which is slightly more expensive. But, people tend to get better photos and more guidance on these tours. The cost of entrance to the park is $6 per person without a vehicle. Because of the flash flood danger in the canyon, all visitors are required to travel with a guide.
Tours in the upper canyon cost around the same price as the lower but, in the more popular months, can rise up to $60. After visiting the canyon, you can go to Lake Powell to sightsee or camp, or to Horseshoe Bend — which is a sharp meander near Page — and take the short hike around the bend.
There are few hotels near Page, and even fewer if you’re on a budget. America’s Best Value Inn and Rhodeway Inn are both less than $60 per night. Both hotels include breakfast. Restaurants and hotels near the canyon are limited, and the closest shopping center is located in Page, where there is also a Walmart. To stay on a budget, get some groceries at the Walmart for your entire trip.
Airfare is usually the most expensive part of a trip. Because Page is such an isolated town, there aren’t many ways to get there. There is only one small airport nearby and tickets usually range from $200 to $800. The first option is to fly from Seattle-Tacoma Airport to Denver Airport and take another flight to Page. The total cost of this option is around $450. The second option is to take a flight from Seattle-Tacoma Airport to Denver Airport, and then take a Greyhound bus to Flagstaff. From Flagstaff there is a Destination Services taxi into Page which costs around $150 for five people. However, the price remains the same even if there’s just one person travelling. The total cost of the second option for a group of three is $280 per person roundtrip. If you call ahead and book in advance, Destination Services can go as low as $225, which is around $75 for the ride to and from Flagstaff.
Antelope Canyon isn’t the only place to head to for your spring break, but it’s a great option for those interested in photography and hiking. It’s family friendly and offers visitors the chance to make great memories.