If you are planning on seeing the incredible Lower Antelope Canyon this summer then you have come to the right place! In this article, I would love to share with you my experiences here and provide you with a couple of key recommendations for your visit. But first, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Kayla and I grew up in a small town in Ohio. Eventually, I made a move to the city for school after realizing that small towns weren’t for me. I was thriving in the city and discovered my passion for traveling.
It wasn’t until after I graduated that I had time to explore the opportunities in front of me. I took a leap of faith and decided to move to Arizona for a career opportunity. Little did I know that I would meet some amazing people who had an interest in exploring this beautiful state with me.
I didn’t even know half of these places in Arizona existed! When I stumbled upon them almost daily online, I knew I had to go. Luckily, my new friends felt the same. What inspires me most about travel is that it nurtures our health in a myriad of ways. My fascination with health and fitness merged with my new traveling hobby and became one cohesive passion.
Exploring new places incorporates a great deal of foot work and many times the best sites require putting in work to reach your destination. I love that I can work on my physical and mental fitness while having adventures!
Kayaking to Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona
I think everyone has seen the famous photos of Antelope Canyon and said to themselves: “Wow, I have to go there one day”! I made it a point to visit but soon the pandemic hit and I learned that the famous slot canyons were closed for tours. My friends and I then discovered that the only way to reach the canyon in the foreseeable future was by kayaking there.
Soon we were planning a friend’s birthday and the rest is history. Antelope Canyon consists of the “upper” and “lower” slot canyons. The one you get to by water is the lower canyon. The experience of kayaking three miles to hike the canyon walls is exhilarating. It should be on everyone’s list! The walls are incredible with different textures and light coming through.
I love the copper, orange, red, and brown tones and how they come alive at different times of the day. My favorite part about the canyon was putting in the work to get there and then seeing it with my own eyes! It felt so rewarding having to work hard for the experience and knowing that people travel from all over the world just to see what I was seeing now.
I tried to imagine what Antelope Canyon might have looked like thousands of years ago as I learnt how the walls were formed. The entire experience of kayaking there makes you feel closer to nature and appreciative of earth.
Basing Yourself in Page, Arizona
Antelope Canyon is in Page. People who visit Antelope Canyon tend to stay in Page. My friends and I stayed at the Hilton hotel. Page is a small town and I recommend booking early to secure a spot since it’s very touristy.
Many visitors include Horseshoe Bend in their itinerary. Horseshoe Bend is a must-see on the Arizona bucket list. You have to see it to believe it! The incised meander of the Colorado River looks like a screensaver, a painting backdrop or something straight out of a movie. I recommend visiting at sunset to get the best views. Any time is a great time to visit, though.
No Permits Required for Lower Antelope Canyon
You don’t need a permit to hike Lower Antelope Canyon after getting there by water. We rented kayaks and decided not to go with a tour since it was cheaper and we were pretty confident in our abilities to take the journey ourselves. Once Upper Antelope Canyon opens, you will need permits. It’s Navajo land and you can purchase a tour with a guide on their site.
Need to Know Before you Go
Page is a tad cooler than the desert temperatures in the valley (Phoenix). We went in mid-April and it was pretty chilly while we were exploring Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. It got extremely windy at times and I was glad to have brought a jacket and pants in my hiking bag.
Don’t forget your sunscreen and reapply often or you will regret it. Take enough water (a hydration pack is ideal). For Antelope Canyon, we decided to wear water shoes like Tevas on the kayak and then in our dry bag we had an extra pair of socks and old tennis shoes. We didn’t want to bring hiking boots as we read that there is mud and didn’t want them to get ruined.
Having an outfit waiting for me in my dry bag was a lifesaver. Nothing is better than being cold and wet and then putting on a pair of dry hiking socks! A dry bag and waterproof phone case will ensure nothing gets wet. We packed lunch and snacks as well to keep energy levels high.
When you are hiking it’s important to pack sweet and salty snacks to replenish and refuel. Dried fruit, nuts, apple sauce, tuna, bars and electrolyte powders are great items to pack. Start early and be prepared! Thanks for reading everyone and enjoy hiking Lower Antelope Canyon 🙂