Hey there adventurers! Welcome to my article on kayaking to Antelope Canyon. My name is Courtney Johnson (@therealcpj) and I’m originally from a small town in Illinois next to the Iowa border. I didn’t travel much growing up but I always loved being outdoors and taking adventures.
After I finished my Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois, I moved to Arizona to complete my Masters of Science at Arizona State University. While at ASU, I researched wellness and fitness tourism as part of my thesis requirements and fell in love with the industry. I also learned about hiking and the amazing places in Arizona.
It was a natural passion and I’m so happy I discovered it. These days, I work full time in the Parks and Recreation profession and have even started my own side business, FitWell Escapes (www.fitwellescapes.com), where I take women on day trips, adventures and mini retreats in the Southwest.
Birthday Celebration Kayaking to Antelope Canyon
My recent kayaking adventure to Antelope Canyon had been on my bucket list for a long time! My birthday was the last weekend of April and I wanted to take a trip and explore a new place with my friends. With the walking tours being closed at Antelope Canyon, I researched other ways to access this area and luckily found out about the water route via Lake Powell.
Three of my close friends joined me for this adventure in celebration of my 28th birthday. We enjoyed a few hikes in the area as well as some good food. More info on my birthday trip can be found on my blog.
Kayaking and Hiking Portion of the Adventure
The kayaking portion of the adventure to the canyon took us 45 minutes or so from our launch point to our beach point. We hiked as far in as we could before heading back. Overall the trip took us from about 7:30am – 1:30pm.
Kayaking was easy on the way in because we went early and the water was calm. The way back was more challenging because of the boats and jet skis that were present in the lake. We went with WazSup Kayaks and rented two tandems + had them delivered/picked up from Antelope Point Marina.
Hiking was an awesome experience. We were able to access Lower Antelope Canyon and I hope to go back for a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon when it reopens. We spent a lot of time exploring this beautiful area, but it’s up to you how far you want to hike. The hike itself is 3.5 miles in before you hit a tall natural wall preventing you from exploring any further.
My favorite part was kayaking to the start of the slot canyon. Being the first ones there made the water so calm, peaceful and serene. It was magical with the morning light hitting the water and reflecting the canyon walls.
Where to Stay and Visit in the Area
We stayed at Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell and had an amazing stay. The hotel was less than 20 minutes away from Antelope Point Marina and was clean, safe and affordable. Parking, breakfast and WiFi were all included and I will absolutely stay here again if I have the opportunity!
If you want to add a couple more adventures to your experience kayaking to Antelope Canyon, I would recommend taking a trip to Kanab. Although I didn’t go too far into the town, I did the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in between Page and Kanab and it was unreal! We also stopped at the Montezuma Castle National Monument on our route from Phoenix to Page. It’s a really well preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling near Camp Verde.
Tips for Kayaking to Antelope Canyon
Before you go, I would highly recommend grabbing a pair of water shoes and waterproof pants. The oars will likely drip water onto your legs and it’s uncomfortable and possibly chilly to hike in wet clothing. I would also bring socks in case your water shoes start to give you blisters on your hike. The hike is relatively sandy and muddy (pending when the last rainfall was).
I also recommend going early to avoid crowds and rough waters on the way into the canyon. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water. It’s a long day and you don’t want to be stranded without proper fuel!