Looking for a place to visit with family this summer? If you’ve never been, I recommend a trip to Antelope Canyon!
My best childhood memories are of annual trips to National Parks with my family. This year’s trip to Antelope Canyon during July 4th weekend added another great memory to our list.
1. You have to join a tour to be able to get inside Antelope Canyon, so book online ahead of time.
Upper canyon and lower canyon are both equally beautiful to me.
Upper is darker inside, lower is more adventurous (requires some climbing on steep staircase, and maneuver your way through some narrow spaces.
Both upper and lower canyon are suitable for small children.
I recommend Ken’s Guided Tours.
2. Wear hiking shoes or comfortable footwear (you’ll be walking on sand).
3. Wear a hat/cap. It is dusty at/inside the canyon. Occasionally, a slight breeze will enter the canyon and pick up more dust. So protect your head from getting dusty. It also protects your head from the sun when you’re outside the canyon, so…win-win.
4. Whether you’re bringing a camera or using your phone to take pictures, cover them when you’re not using (whether with your jacket, plastic bag, your pocket, etc.). Trust me, you won’t regret it.
I did research ahead of time and was prepared. But I overheard multiple people in the canyon complain about the zoom on their camera being broken from getting sand stuck in it halfway through the tour. How unfortunate for the remainder of their vacation to be potentially cameraless. On multiple occasions, small dust storms hit and left a layer of sand/dust on my camera protector (I got mine on Amazon).
I should warn you that I was the only one inside the canyon who protected my gear, though. I did look crazy with the plastic covering (picture here). But I wasn’t one of the people who complained about broken cameras. And after I saw how much sand covered my bag at the end of the tour, I was so relieved it was JUST on my bag and NOT on my gear.
5. Be careful when in the canyon, or riding on the safari-like truck to upper canyon- when you open your mouth, you may eat sand. No joke.
6. Avoid bringing big, bulky backpacks. It will bump into everything/other people. Canyon route can be narrow (especially lower canyon) and difficult to maneuver with bulk.
7. Bring plenty of water/gatorade. You’d be surprised how thirsty you get quickly. Well, we did.
8. Use the restroom before your tour. You’ll be inside the canyon for approximately 1.5-2 hours without access to a restroom. And of course, no peeing in canyon allowed!!!
9. If you’re driving to Antelope Canyon, I recommend stopping to use the restrooms as often as you need to. There were areas with long stretches of road (in traffic) with no bathroom access. Just sayin’.
10. There is no cell service for probably majority of the time you’re on the road. Save your battery by turning on airplane mode. And print out all maps prior to your trips, so you’re prepared for not being able to use your phone’s GPS.
…And of course, all the other normal preparations/tips (bring sunblock, snacks just in case, etc., etc.).
11. Sunblock. All the time. Entire trip. Yes.
12. Remember to bring plenty of change. Tip, tip, tip.
There are also many blogs out there with tips to visiting/photographing Antelope Canyon. And while the tips I’ve shared worked for me, everyone’s experience is different. I urge you to do your own research before your visit. ;)