The Ultimate Guide To Page, Arizona Slot Canyon Tours To Help You Choose The Right One For You

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Page is home to some of the best slot canyons in Arizona, the best slot canyons in the country, really. At least the most famous slot canyons.

Sometimes it’s even a destination for road trips, not just a stop on a Utah road trip or a southwest road trip. It’s the whole trip. They are some of the most popular and best things to do in Page.

Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential. – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.

upper antelope canyon
Upper Antelope

Side note: triple check the tours are running before driving thousands of miles for this. I actually saw someone on Facebook who drove 3,000 miles for this in 2020 and the tours weren’t running. 🙃 Can you even imagine?

There are so many slot canyon tours in Page, Arizona, it’s incredibly overwhelming to choose either the best one or the one that’s right for you. Enter, me.

Antelope Canyon X Page arizona
Upper Antelope

I think one of the most confusing parts is that almost none of the tour company names and website URLs match. It gets confusing keeping them all straight but I’ll hopefully help with that in here.

My goal before leaving Page was to do as many slot canyon tours as I could so I could write about all of them. But they’re expensive and I couldn’t spare another $672 to do the four I have left.

upper antelope canyon
Upper Antelope

That’s right. $672 for four tours. I just did the math and to do everything in this (except for Owl Canyon) it comes out to $1112. The price of these tours astounds me.

After months of looking at all of this, I’m still astounded by the cost. And that’s just for one person. If you’re travelling as a family, you may have to sell a family member to do more than one of these.

Antelope Canyon X Page arizona
Antelope X

So, now that we know how horrifically expensive these are, let me help you choose which Page slot canyon tour is best for you. There are a lot to choose from but I’m confident we’ll find the right one for you.

And even though I didn’t make it to four of these, I literally can’t even pick a favorite from the ones I did see because they all have their pros and cons.

rattlesnake canyon arizona
Rattlesnake Canyon

Best time to visit the Page slot canyons

If you want to see the light beams, then you’ll need to go between 11-1:30 from May to September. If not, I would still go in the time frame (prime time during the day) but you could go any time of year.

Definitely avoid mornings and later afternoon, at least for Upper, Lower, and Antelope X. Those are all more narrow letting in less light and can be very dark outside of prime time.

What to bring on a Page slot canyon tour

You’re not allowed to bring much on a slot canyon tour in Page. No bags are allowed, no tripods unless your’e on a photography tours, but you can bring water, cell phone, and camera.

If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to dress warm, especially if you’re tour is in the morning. It can get very cold in them. I forgot gloves at Upper Antelope and my fingers were very sad about that.

rattlesnake canyon arizona
Rattlesnake Canyon

Page, Arizona slot canyon FAQ

  • Are there free slot canyons near Page, AZ? eh, not really. Maybe somewhere in Vermilion Cliffs? Wire Pass is the only self-guided slot canyon near Page, AZ that I can think of right now, but it does have a $5-6 fee.
  • Do you have to pay to get into Antelope Canyon? Yes, and it can be expensive but there are more budget-friendly ones. It just depends on which you choose to go to. I’ve listed prices below.
  • Are slot canyons dangerous? Yes! Not always but the danger of flash floods is real. If there is a risk of flash floods, tours will be canceled.
  • Are Antelope Canyon and Bryce Canyon similar? Not even a little bit. These are slot canyons (tall and narrow) and Bryce Canyon is actually technically an amphitheater, but it’s a bigger open canyon with hoodoos.
  • Are there snakes in Antelope Canyon? There could be! I’m not sure how common they are in the slot canyons (probably not very) but it’s natures so it could happen. (See Cathedral Canyon below.)
  • What is the best time to photograph Antelope Canyon? 11AM-1PM. Or as close to that time as you can get. Upper Antelope Canyon is A shaped so not much light gets in. I would not go to that one outside of the peak time.
rattlesnake canyon arizona
Rattlesnake canyon

Tips for visiting the Page, Arizona slot canyons

  • If you’re determined to visit Upper Antelope Canyon, definitely book it in advance. Checking throughout the winter it was usually booked out a week or two but in summer I would imagine it’s more. Looking at these now, prime time is booked out a few weeks on most of these and some are almost all booked except for one or two random spots, so definitely book in advance.
  • The same goes for Lower Antelope. Really, all of them or at least keep an eye on them as your trip dates approach.
  • Pay the extra for a prime time tour. Trust me. Not all of them are more at prime time but it’s worth it.
  • Most of these tours are non-refundable so keep that in mind with any planning but check with each company.
  • If it’s raining or bad weather, they may cancel the tour and reschedule it. Refunds may depend on the company, I would check their FAQ or call and ask.
  • If it’s really windy, the tour is probably still on. Sand will blow down into the canyon and probably into your eyes. You may want something to go around your camera if you’re worried about sand getting in it with wind in the forecast.
  • These tours are not cheap. Plan to spend at least $50 per person (Antelope X is just under $50 but not much) no matter the tour but most are more.
  • Don’t forget to tip your guide! It’s not required but it is appreciated.
  • Light beams can be seen in Upper, Lower, and Antelope X from May-September usually from 11-1:30ish.
  • Sometimes prices for kids are lower, but not always, it just depends on the canyon.

Upper Antelope Canyon

Ahh, Upper Antelope Canyon. This was the last slot canyon in Page I went to, literally days before we left, and it was, uhh, a little disappointing. But also not because it was not busy at all since it was mid-February and first thing in the morning.

This is also probably the most famous of the Page slot canyons. You can see the famous light beams here from May to September in that prime time tour slot (11-1:30ish.) It’s not the only canyon you can see them in.

This was honestly my least favorite of the slot canyon tours in Page because of how dark it was. It was a bummer for how much we spent on the tour. I wouldn’t do this outside of prime time.

There are five companies that offer Upper Antelope Canyon tours and we went with Adventurous Antelope Canyon so we could also go to Rattlesnake and Owl Canyons. They’re the only company that goes to those two.

Cost: $102 per person, $112 per person at prime time ($133 at prime time after tax)

The good: It’s beautiful, it’s classic Antelope Canyon, it’s an easy hike.

The bad: It’s so dark outside of prime time, it’s expensive.

Who it’s good for: Photographers and anyone looking for the classic Antelope Canyon views. (Photography tours no longer exist here, though, you’d have to pick a different one if that’s a requirement for you.)

Rattlesnake Canyon

Rattlesnake Canyon was my favorite of the three canyons we saw on our last tour. It’s not as tall as Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon but it’s really beautiful.

It’s also a lot less busy because only one company goes there (though it was busier than Upper Antelope which I thought was weird.)

We didn’t see any owls in here but did get to hear some babies, so if you want to see owls but don’t want to add on Owl Canyon, this is a good option.

Cost: $209 at prime time since that’s the only time I would do it ($241 with tax). It’s more because you can only see this one with Upper Antelope.

The good: It’s less busy, it’s winding, it’s beautiful.

The bad: It’s expensive and only one company goes here so they can charge more for it just because.

Who it’s good for: People that want to see a classic Antelope Canyon but also want to see another slot canyon in Page but don’t have time for two totally separate tours.

Owl Canyon

This was my least favorite of the Page slot canyons. We didn’t see any owls (I wasn’t too surprised), it’s short, it’s kind of wide. I wouldn’t spend the extra almost $30 for it, especially if you’re on a budget, unless you just really hope you’ll see owls.

It’s not a bad canyon by any means but compared to allllll the other slot canyon tours in Page, it’s just OK. But still not bad. If you’ve never been in a slot canyon, it could be good but if you have, it’s just fine.

Cost: $234 at prime time because that’s the only time I would do it. It’s $268 after fees and taxes because you can only do it with Upper Antelope and Rattlesnake.

The good: You might see owls, you’ll probably be the only people here

The bad: You might not see owls, it’s short (distance and height)

Who it’s good for: People that want to see owls?

Lower Antelope Canyon

Dixie Ellis and Kens Tours are the two companies that offer tours in Lower Antelope Canyon, the other most famous Page slot canyon. It was also the first one i went to back in 2016!

It was very busy but I did like it a lot. I was still able to get pictures without people in them and the lighting was absolutely perfect. We didn’t even book it in advance!

It’s busy but it’s beautiful and it this point if it’s between Upper and Lower Antelope, I would go for Lower. It’s more affordable, a little more fun, and beautiful.

Cost: $50 before fees ($62 after). Both companies are the same.

The good: More adventurous (compared to Upper because it has ladders), second lowest priced of Page slot canyons, beautiful

The bad: Very busy, loots of people, crowds (I realize those are all the same thing but different words but it’s all I could think of)

Who it’s good for: Budget-travelers that want the classic Antelope Canyon vibes, photographers.

Waterhole Canyon

Waterhole Canyon is like Antelope Canyon’s cousin. They’re part of the same extended family but not like siblings, and you can tell. It’s still beautiful but if you’re going in expecting Antelope Canyon colors and walls, you’ll be disappointed.

As long as you go in knowing it’s different, it will be great. We weren’t rushed on this tour at all in any way and it was fabulous. Only one company goes here, Waterhole Canyon Experience, and only one group goes through at a time so you’re not running in to other people.

I did Antelope X then this a day or two later and looking back I think Antelope X is prettier but this one was amazing because of how long we had in the canyon (and it’s still pretty.)

Cost: $81 before fees and everything (you pay when you get there so I’m not sure the total)

The good: It’s way less busy, only one company goes there, it’s on the low side of the price range, there are three slot sections

The bad: It’s noot as narrow so the lighting is different than any of the Antelope Canyons

Who it’s good for: Anyone that wants to see a slot canyon but isn’t picky about which they go to (doesn’t need to be the best slot canyon in Page) and doesn’t want to go to one of the more “adventurous” canyons.

Antelope Canyon X

Finally, the last one I’ve been to, Antelope X. If you want to visit one of the slot canyons near Page and you’re on a budget, Antelope Canyon X is the one for you.

This is part of the same canyon as Upper, Lower, and Mystical just a different section of it. I loved this one and while it wasn’t as bright as Lower Antelope, the curving walls were still fantastic.

Taadidiin Tours is the only company that goes here so you won’t have the crowds of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. We ran into one group on their way out as we went in, a photography tour, and maybe one group on our way out.

That’s just because you back track through the two canyon arms instead of going one-way like the others. Some of it felt a little rushed but not like crazy. It’s definitely worth doing.

Cost: $39 before fees, $47 after fees

The good: It’s the lowest priced slot canyon tour in Page, it’s got tall walls, there are two slot sections, it’s not busy

The bad: The hill when you’re done with the tour?

Who it’s good for: Budget-travelers, photographers

Cardiac Canyon

Taaddiin Tours is the only company that goes to Cardiac Canyon and only six people per day can go. Of the ones I haven’t done yet, this is the one I want to do the most.

From the few pictures I’ve seen it looks amazing but it sounds so remote and so few people get to see it, I just want to go so bad. It involves 2.5 miles of hiking and they recommend having experience hiking if you do this one.

It actually says the canyon is 2.5 miles. I’m not sure if that’s all slot canyon or more open? It does involve a steep dune climb, though.

Cost: $236 before fees, $264 after

The good: A lot more adventurous, better value for money since it’s a 6 hour tour compared to the 3 hours of Upper Antelope, Rattlesnake, and Owl for basically the same price. Very small groups, 6 people maximum, only one company goes here.

The bad: Expensive, two person minimum

Who it’s good for: Adventurous people that want to get off the beaten path

Cathedral Canyon

This two hour tour is only run by Chief Tsosie’s Tours and takes you to Cathedral Canyon, a hidden gem slot canyon near Page, Arizona.

On this tour you get to see slot canyons, Cathedral Hall, The Four Sisters, Thumb Rock, and Pucket Rock while learning about plants, animals, and human life in the area.

I asked about this one on Facebook and some said he’s been there twice and it’s great because it’s not crowded at all, but it’s not as good as Lower Antelope. He did say it’s well worth it though.

Cost: $101 before fees, $107 after with an optional $10 refund protection fee

The good: It’s not busy, it has owls, it’s a little more adventurous

The bad: It’s expensive, it’s not much longer than other tours

Who it’s good for: Anyone looking to get off the beaten path, anyone that wants something a little more adventurous than just walking through a slot canyon

Mystical Canyon

Literally all I can find about Mystical Antelope Canyon is from TripAdvisor. It’s a 2.5 hour tour and the few people that have reviewed it really loved it and are glad they chose it.

As far as I can tell (if you’ve done this and know differently or have opinions, let me know in the comments) Mystical slot canyon is another section of Antelope Canyon. Sometimes I see it as Mystical canyon and sometimes Mystical Antelope Canyon.

It’s a 2.5 hour tour with a half-mile hike to the canyon and that’s about all I can tell. I don’t even see an FAQ. I really would love to hear anyone’s experiences if you’ve done this one.

Cost: $128 before fees, $142 after

The good: It’s probably not busy at all, it looks similar to other Antelope sections

The bad: It’s expensive, there is almost no information about it available online

Who it’s good for: Anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path slot canyon in Page that isn’t too budget consious

Secret Canyon

Finally, Secret Canyon in Page, Arizona. This is part of a Waterhole Canyon, or a fork of it, but it’s a different tour and Horseshoe Bend Tours is the only company that goes here.

It’s a little more expensive but also includes a stop at a private Horseshoe Bend overlook that you can only visit on this tour. I also asked about this one and a few people had been to this one and they all liked it a lot.

They said it was well worth it, wasn’t rushed at all, and had plenty of time for photography. I think this is the one I’m most excited about after Cardiac. Book a Secret Canyon and Horseshoe Bend tour here.

Cost: $143 before fees, $159 after

The good: No crowds, not rushed, private Horseshoe Bend overlook included

The bad: It’s expensive

Who it’s good for: Photographers, people that want to see Horseshoe Bend, too, people that really hate crowds

So, which Page slot canyon is the best?

While there isn’t one answer for all of the ones below, this will at least help you narrow things down. Sort of. There are multiple options for all of them so if one is booked, you might be able to do another.

For the budget-conscious: Antelope Canyon X, Lower Antelope Canyon

For the laid-back traveler: Waterhole Canyon, Secret Slot Canyon, Mystical Canyon

For the photographer: Upper Antelope, Rattlesnake, Lower Antelope, Antelope X, Secret, Mystical

For the adventurer: Cardiac Canyon, Cathedral Canyon

For the off-the-beaten-path traveler: Cardiac, Cathedral, Secret, Mystical

owl canyon arizona
Owl Canyon

Final thoughts about slot canyon tours in Page, Arizona

I’m torn. I literally ranted about these tours and companies and prices for like thirty minutes last night. Yes, they’re beautiful, and I think people should go to them, but I also think they’re absolutely over priced for what is offered.

It honestly feels like highway robbery and there are so many slot canyons you can see for free that may look a little different but are still incredible like Wire Pass slot canyon, Leprechaun Canyon, or Willis Creek slot canyon.

I also understand wanting to go to any of these though. I mean, I’ve been to all but four of these! Do I think they’re overpriced (except Lower and X)? Yes. Will I still spend $672 to see the other four.

Yes because I literally need to know. I’m one of those people that will do a hike or tour or read a book that apparently terribly gruesome or so poorly rated just because I’m curious and need to know what it’s really like. These slot canyons are one of those things.

And I’m guessing they’ll be even more expensive by the time I get to go in the future. Do I also understand why they charge so much? No, but also yes. From a business perspective, they know people will pay this much so they can charge this much. It’s tough.

I also said I don’t think I could pick a favorite, but I think it would have to be between Lower Antelope and Antelope X. They’re the most affordable and one is so busy but the other isn’t. They’re both beautiful and that’s it, I just decided they’re my favorites.

Page, AZ tours

Have you been to any slot canyons near Page? Which ones? What did you think of them? Was it worth it? Would you go again? What are your thoughts on prices for Page slot canyon tours, whether you’ve been or not? I want all of your thoughts and opinions!

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To Page, Arizona Slot Canyon Tours To Help You Choose The Right One For You

  1. This post was so informative! I just started researching all of the slot canyons in Page yesterday, and my mind is boggled. You confirmed what I was concluding on my own. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad it was helpful! The amount of canyons and tours there can be so overwhelming. Enjoy your trip!

  2. I appreciate your descriptions of the various canyons and tour operators. Also, appreciate the pricing info. Very good to review and use.

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