Northern Arizona contains the beautiful, highly-visited Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. When I first saw a photo of the painted-like canyon, I honestly thought the photographer used photoshop to overly saturate the photos. However, the more photos I saw, then the more convinced I was the canyon could actually look that beautiful without any editing.
The start of this summer, my friend, Victoria, and I decided we would venture off to the town of Page to see this phenomenon located on the Najavo Nation. We kept our promise to see the canyon this past weekend, in case you saw a sneak peak from my Instagram, @HappilyPinkBlog. Below, I broke up Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon (upper and lower) into two different subheadings for tips to help you on your exciting travels based off of my experience!
While the trip was originally suppose to have an overnight stay, we unfortunately had issues with our hotel and decided to drive back the same day. If you live in the Phoenix area, it is completely possible to drive up at 4:00am and then leave Page after sunset. The day was pretty long, especially since we only had two hours of sleep, but both sights are 100% worth witnessing at least once.
Before I go into the tips and several photos, I also want to note we planned on visiting Lake Powell but were only able to grab some photos in the distance. The lake has a $25 entrance fee and since our trip was cut short, we decided to save the lake visit for another day. Here are a few photos for you to admire the clear turquoise waters.
- Outfit Details
- Cowboy straw hat– Miller’s Surplus
- Tortoise sunglasses– Tory Burch (similar)
- White, eyelet off-shoulder blouse– Mossimo / Target (same)
- High-rise, stressed denim shorts– American Eagle (similar)
- Black combat boots– Target or Kohl’s (similar)
- Black, pleather mini backpack (for my Camelbak bladder)– Mossimo / Target (same)
- 1.5 liter bladder (only $22!!)– Camelbak (same)
- If you would like to book the Upper Antelope Canyon, you should look into doing so at least five months early.
- Summer is a primetime to see the canyon and weekends sell out far before the summer begins.
- You can only see the canyon if you book a tour because the vicinity falls within the Navajo Nation.
- Upper Antelope Canyon is nearly double the cost at $48 per person, as opposed to the $25 of Lower Antelope Canyon.
- Photography tours are over $100 and get you two hours.
- The best time to see this canyon is around noon or when the sun is the highest… good luck booking this tour at that time since it’s extremely high in demand.
- If you would like to book Lower Antelope Canyon, you still need to make a reservation online but can do so within the same week. Book earlier if you have a time you would like to tour.
- While some tours take credit cards for the $25 tour price, the Navajo Nation permit fees are cash only– bring $8 per person. Bring enough cash for both to be on the safe side.
- The tours have a tendency to run late, and during peak hours can run 1-3 hr late. Luckily for Victoria and I, our tour was booked to start at 10:20am and was only 30 min behind before we finally went inside the canyon. You will need to also arrive 20-30min early to check-in before the time of your tour.
- The tour guide said the best time to see the Lower Antelope Canyon is in the morning around 8-9:00am. I honestly felt the photos were beautiful the time we went (10:20am tour) because the sun reflected light into the canyon and caused an astounding glow. However, towards the very end of the tour, the photos weren’t the best for taking photos of people in the canyon because the lighting was too strong. Our tour ended around noon.
- The distance is pretty short, about a mile from when you start and end the tour.
- The tour will take about an hour in the canyon and another 15 min. to walk to the canyon.
- Wear closed-toed shoes. You walk in deep parts of sand and climb up/down stairs with open holes (I included some photos of the stairs for you to see). You don’t want your toe getting caught.
- Ladies, don’t wear dresses or loose-fitted shorts as you climb down stairs in the beginning into the canyon, and as you climb up stairs about three times while in the canyon. You probably don’t want someone to see up your dress or shorts.
- While I brought a Camelbak because it was hot, I honestly didn’t need it. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when in the desert and have some sort of water. A 16oz water bottle would have sufficed for me, but I also drink a gallon of water a day. The tour group times ahead of us were delayed because foreign tourists passed out from the heat.
- If it happens to rain, think monsoon, the tour is canceled.
- The tour is canceled if the temperature exceeds 105 degree Fahrenheit.
- Bring a snack to eat before or after the tour, preferably one that won’t melt. I love R Bars because they don’t melt and use clean ingredients– I even left some in the car and they maintained their form sitting in the sun. Use my code happilypink20 to get 20% off your online order. Trailmix would also be a great food option.
What makes Horseshoe Bend unique is it’s an area where the Colorado River bends in the shape of a horseshoe. The beautiful sight can be seen from the top of the 1,000-foot drop. Horseshoe Bend is open to the public and requires no reservations.
- Outfit Details
- Viewing Horseshoe Bend
- Sunset is the best time to take photos and include photos with people. Sunrise is also beautiful but the lighting is more challenging.
- Park in the free parking lot, or off to the side of the road if the lot is filled.
- Wear closed-toe shoes since there is deep sand and a lot of rocks.
- Bring water since you’re out in the sun, unlike the canyon where you’re shielded within the Canyon.
- While neither Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend is a strenuous adventure, Horseshoe Bend includes longer exposure in the sun which could tire you out more. You also need to walk up this high incline hill, but I still saw a variety of ages and sizes who had no problem.
- The entire trip from the parking lot to the edge of the cliff is about a mile and a half.
- Don’t die trying to get a photo… I saw a girl jump across a high cliff to another cliff. Not everything is worth it for insta haha.
- If you plan on being at the Canyon for a while, take a snack. We were there for about an hour and a half.
- Be aware of the edge of the cliff. Certain areas could have a drop in between.
- Be courteous of others who also are there to get photos. 🙂
Happy travels and adventuring in the beautiful state of Arizona! I’m grateful to have seen such beautiful places with my wonderful friend, V!