Within the ever-changing landscape of Northern Arizona’s Navajo land lies two popular slot canyons, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. No one knows exactly when the Antelope Canyon was first discovered. According to older Navajos, entering the canyon was once like crossing the threshold of a cathedral. In order to be in the right frame of mind, they would most likely pause before walking I, preparing for protection and respect. This moment of reflection probably allowed the Navajo to leave with uplifting insight into what Mother Nature has to offer all of us, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. Please click here for more info
DISCLAIMER: It’s sneaky hot and the altitude is as high at 10k. I got myself in a little trouble not having enough water on one of my hikes. Please have backups of water and protein bars! I don’t know everything so please just use this part of your research.
If you fly into Phoenix, Las Vegas or Salt Lake I would use the same route.
This is based on a 5-7 day trip.
Start in Page, Arizona.
Famous slot canyons. Upper and lower canyon.
Note: There are no unguided tours. The canyons are located on Navajo Nation property.
Best times to shoot. Upper Canyon 11am-2p, Lower Canyon, early morning. If you have the choice to start at north or south choose north.
Upper canyon can be really crowded. I paid for the photography tour which definitely benefited me when the light started to pop through. There were people actually fighting behind me trying to get closer. For upper, the light only pops through the canyon in the summer months when the sun is at it’s highest peak. Please call the guides to make sure your trip lines up with those time lines.
Next head to The wave: Vermillion cliffs.
It’s impossible to get in if you don’t book a reservation way in advance.
Willis Creek Slot! I loved this canyon. I hiked it an never saw a human.
Willis Creek Trailhead – From Mount Carmel Junction, follow US Highway 89 north, to Glendale, Utah. Make a right turn on 300 North, also called the Bench Road. It’s directly across the highway from the Buffalo Bistro. Travel the graded dirt Glendale Bench Road (road #600) for 15 miles to a marked junction in the road. There is a kiosk at the junction with a map and other information. The road goes in two directions from the Glendale Bench Road. One road is the Johnson Canyon Road and the other is the Skutumpah Road (road #500). Take Skutumpah Road. It’s 14 miles on Skutumpah Road to the Lick Wash Trailhead. To find Willis Creek continue down Skutumpah Road 11.8 miles past the Lick Wash trailhead. There are two parking areas for Willis Creek. The trail starts on the opposite side of the road from the registration box.
Always be aware of the weather conditions and never enter a slot canyon during stormy weather. Although flash floods can happen anytime of the year, hiking in July, August, and September carries the greatest risk. Do NOT drive the road in the rain, it can be very sketchy. Clay and mud on this road are a major issue if it rains, and ya you’ll be 26.2 miles from the pavement if you do get stuck, the identical distance of a marathon.
Always hike with plenty of water in the desert and keep an extra supply of water and food in your car. Let someone know when you leave and when you are to return. Watch for rattlesnakes!