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TRIBAL PARKS ARE CLOSED!! For the
Remainder of 2020! – Click for more info
YES, ANTELOPE CANYON is a Tribal Park.
ANTELOPE CANYON IS A TRIBAL PARK – it is CLOSED until further notice
UPDATE OCT 2nd 2020: Tribal Parks will be closed all of 2020; Navajo Nation Government and Tribal Parks will determine JAN 1st if parks will remain closed or if it will be safe to reopen.
The number of covid cases remain too high in the states surrounding the Navajo Reservation, tourism is not being encouraged as of right now.
DEC 3rd 2020 update:
“The Navajo Nation and surrounding states have been on an upward trajectory for the last two months and there is uncontrolled spread in nearly every state. Some states, including states surrounding the Navajo Nation, are experiencing a record high number of cases. These circumstances are overwhelming the health care system on the Navajo Nation…”
The next update from the Navajo Nation will be around New Years, the way things are going we are confident the Navajo Nation will extend the closure of Antelope Canyon. Those who will be on vacation during the holidays please note the odds of tours happening are Very slim odds.
There is Zero Access to the canyon, no private tours, no exceptions
(There is no entry what so ever, no one can go alone, Antelope Canyon is NOT for the public).
Everyone will have to wait till parks are reopened by the Navajo Nation Government.
2021 bookings TBA
We are Not accepting bookings for 2021, we have no idea when the Navajo Nation will allow tours.
Any Updates will be posted to this page.
Additional questions, our FAQ might be able to help you.
We are offering tours to Vermilion Cliffs, one location is a slot canyon called Buckskin Gulch.
Old News (below):
9/27/20: No new updates, tribal parks remain closed.
09/20/2020 – No New Updates, Tribal parks remain Closed until further notice.
09/13/2020 – No new updates, Navajo Nation Tribal Parks remain Closed.
09/06/2020 – no new updates, tribal parks remain closed.
Navajo Nation is paying attention to covid cases in AZ and surrounding states – if the C-19 numbers keep growing or does not show a constant decline – odds of tribal parks opening are… but we shall see, anything is possible.
08/30/2020 – no new updates, tribal parks remain closed.
08/23/2020 – no new updates.
UPDATE: 08/16/2020: Previous Executive order expired as of 4:59am AUG 17th, this previous Public Health Order was known as the Stay at Home (Shelter in Pace) Emergency Order. Now as of AUG 17th 5:00am the Navajo Nation has in place a new Public Health Order called “Safer at Home” Executive Order. Which we quote “Restating the requirements for “drive-in” gatherings, Restating the daily and weekend curfew hours, and Reminding Visitors and Tourist Not to Travel to the Navajo Nation.”
“This revision of Public Health Order is based on the guidance from the CDC and prevention that travel increases the chance of getting infected and spreading COVID-19. That Order also advised that public gatherings in excess of 5 people should be avoided.”
This New Public Health Order does not have an expiration date, the Navajo Nation Health Command Center will rescind their order when they see a constant decline in C-19 cases with surrounding states and also what the CDC recommends.
There is No Anticipated Re-Open Date.
The Navajo Nation’s main goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
We are not accepting reservations, we do not have a wait-list, we do not have a mailing list, we will not be “penciling” people on our calendar. The only way to see when we are back in operation is this web page that you are currently on, come back from time to time.
Please note the highly publicized “reopening” of the Navajo Nation is mostly for government employees and the many branches/offices of the Navajo Nation. Reopening of tours is going to be several layers of CDC guidelines, Navajo Nation guidelines and much more – stay safe, stay healthy and be patient.
The Navajo Nation Government will be ending the executive order end of AUG 16th and has provided different phases of reopening tribal parks and our tours. We are awaiting final-approval from the Navajo Nation in regard to us conducting tours.
We are certain we will not be open and running by the 17th, we have to await the approval. We will announce our reopen date as soon as possible. please be advised there is a significant reduction in customers per tour time and per tour truck, this is to ensure proper social distancing.
UPDATE: 08/13/2020: There is still no update available, we have many asking – we just don’t know yet. Stay tuned, we should know something before the end of the week.
The Navajo Nation Government has extended its state of emergency, extended the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and related entities until end of AUGUST 16th, remain closed to help slow the spread of C-19 on the Navajo Nation. This is the Sixth Executive Order to extend the closure; the previous Executive Order was set to expire on JULY 26th. Please note this does not necessarily mean everything is opening up on the 17th of AUGUST, there is a high chance the closure could be extended once more.
The Navajo Nation Government has extended its state of emergency, extended the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and related entities until end of JULY 26th, to help slow the spread of C-19 on the Navajo Nation. This is the 5th Executive Order to extend the closure; the previous Executive Order was set to expire on JULY 5th. Please note this does not necessarily mean everything is opening up on the 27th of JULY, there is the chance the closure could be extended once more.
The Navajo Nation Government has extended its state of emergency, extended the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and related entities until JULY 5th, to help slow the spread of C-19 on the Navajo Nation. The previous Executive Order was set to expire on JUNE 7th. However, this does not necessarily mean everything is opening up on the 6th of JULY.
The Navajo Nation Government has extended its declaration of state of emergency and also extended the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and related entities until JUNE 7th, to help slow the spread of C-19 on the Navajo Nation. The previous Executive Order was set to expire on MAY 17th. However, this does not necessarily mean everything is opening up on the 7th of JUNE.
Quote from Navajo Nation President 5/11/20:
“Some states are beginning to reopen, but here on the Navajo Nation we’re listening to the advice of our health care experts and based on the data and the facts, we’re not ready to reopen until we see a consistent downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases…”
The Navajo Nation is still seeing 100+ new cases of C-19 a day; it will be a while till the parks are open – Be patient, the canyon is millions of years old, it’s not going anywhere.
The Navajo Nation Government has extended its declaration of a state of emergency and also extended the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and related entities until May 17th, to help slow the spread of C-19 on the Navajo Nation. The previous Executive Order was set to expire on April 26th. However, this does not necessarily mean everything is opening up on the 17th – the Nation will determine the next plan of action – check back for the next update.
LATEST UPDATE 04/14/2020:
The choice to reopen the Antelope Canyon falls upon the Navajo Nation Government. Due circumstances beyond anyone’s control the reopen date is still unknown and could be pushed back further. We know some of you want to plan your vacations now but we can’t sell a product that might not be available – check back from time to time.
On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez declared the Navajo Nation in a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure, President Nez has closed all Navajo Nation Tribal Parks. Antelope Canyon is part of the Navajo Nation Tribal park system therefore it is closed until further notice. The intention is to minimize the threat to the health and safety of all people, including park workers, small business operators, residents, and visitors and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
We will announce the reopen date on our website as soon as we know it.
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Check our availability for our tours to Vermilion Cliffs, we can conduct these tours as it is not on the Navajo Reservation.
mostly going to White Pocket, Buckskin Gulch is limited with availability – check our availability on our site.
Before our trip, I knew nothing about Antelope Canyon, slot canyons or Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon caught my interest and I knew I had to see it, especially since it is only one state away. I started researching tour companies, reaching out to other bloggers and turning my day dreams of Antelope Canyon into an actual trip (check out our itinerary here!). I quickly learned that while Antelope Canyon is praised for it’s beauty, it is also notable for being crowded. Really, really crowded. Luckily I discovered Page has quite a few slot canyons, and so we decided to visit more than one. Here is my round up of the best slot canyons in Page.
To start off, Antelope Canyon is long, it actually goes on for miles. The famous pictures come from two sections, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Both of these sections are on Navajo lands and require tours with a Navajo guide. You can also access part of antelope canyon from Lake Powell, which we did on a kayak tour. This part isn’t as beautiful, but kayaking is fun so I would still recommend it.
Kayaking and then hiking into another area of Antelope Canyon.
You can visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon on a “sightseer” tour or a “photography” tour. Both have their pros and cons. Photo tours require that you have an interchangeable lens camera and tripod, and provide you with some crowd control. There will be two guides who take you to different spots along the canyon and the hold the crowds for 2 minutes while you shoot. Photo tours are more expensive and move at a slower pace, so take a little bit more time. Sightseer tours are a larger group and can have any kind of camera/phone and prohibit tripods/monopods/selfie sticks. They move much more quickly and do not provide the same level of crowd control, but are significantly less expensive.
Falling sand in Upper Antelope Canyon with a sun beam shining in behind it.
Upper Antelope Canyon.
We visited Upper Antelope Canyon as part of a photo tour with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours. If you are going to do a photo tour, I would recommend doing it for Upper Antelope Canyon. This is the canyon famous for sun beams and sand running down the canyon. To get these shots you really do want to use a decent camera, tripod, and shutter release, but most importantly you need crowd control! Upper Antelope Canyon is more easily accessible than lower, with no stairs/ladders and is wider than lower so it is more popular and gets very crowded. It is gorgeous and I definitely think worth seeing, but my advice is to go early to avoid the crowds or do a photo tour, especially if you want shots of the famous sun beams. While on the subject of sun beams, if that is your primary goal, avoid visiting the canyons during the winter months and book your tour around noon.
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Lower Antelope Canyon.
Lower Antelope Canyon is equally beautiful as upper and requires a bit more physical exertion. It has various stair cases that you climb up and down as you navigate through narrow passages. The stairs are pretty steep at some parts (almost like a ladder) and the canyon gets significantly more narrow than upper requiring single file passage at times. For me, this added to the fun and made it a bit more adventurous. However, it does mean that if one person stops to take a picture or enjoy the view for too long, it stops everyone else from moving. For this reason, the tour guides move you through relatively quickly. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely give you time to take pictures, but this isn’t a take your time and self explore experience. However, because of how narrow it was, I actually thought it was easier to get people free pictures than it was in Upper Antelope. I also thought Lower Antelope had more purple coloring than Upper, but this might have been just the time of day I was there. We used Dixie Ellis’ tour company and booked a sightseer tour for about $25/person. Looking back I’m glad we spent the extra money on the photography tour on Upper and DIDN’T spend it on lower. We still got great pictures in lower and carrying a tripod up and down the stairs would have been a pain. Again, I read about 2 hour long waits to get into the canyon, so I recommend booking your tour earlier in the day.
A narrow passageway in Lower Antelope Canyon.
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As part of our Upper Antelope Canyon photo tour, we also visited two other slot canyons, Owl and Rattlesnake. We were literally the ONLY people at Owl Canyon and had complete freedom to explore at our own pace. Upper Antelope is very structured (they literally draw a line in the sand on where you set up for pictures), so the freedom of being to move about Owl Canyon at our own pace was great. Owl Canyon gets its name from the owls that live there. We were lucky enough to get to see three of them! Since Owl canyon is wider and doesn’t have any stairs, it is a great option for all ages and fitness levels. I actually think it would be the most fun out of all the canyons for kids, as they could easily explore and might even get to see the owls.
Baby Owl in Owl Canyon 🙂
Rattlesnake Canyon was our absolute favorite. It had the narrowness of Lower Antelope with the exclusiveness of Owl. We shared it with about seven other people during our visit and so felt like we had it to ourselves. If I could pick only two canyons to visit they would be Upper Antelope and Rattlesnake. Upper Antelope to see the sunbeams and Rattlesnake to get to enjoy the experience without all the people. Unlike Owl Canyon, Rattlesnake doesn’t get it’s name for being home to a family of rattlesnakes. If you look at it from above it winds around like a snake, hence the name Rattlesnake Canyon. Rattlesnake does require climbing a ladder and gets fairly narrow at parts. It is not the best option for those who use wheelchairs, strollers, or who have with difficulty walking/going up stairs.
We had a few other canyons that we considered visiting on our second to last day in Page. However, mother nature had other plans and we got rain and wind instead. Slot canyons are prone to flash floods and are very dangerous during rain. Tours are usually cancelled for safety reasons (people have died!). Monsoons usually occur in the afternoon from roughly end of June through August, so please plan your visit accordingly. The other canyons we were interested in were Canyon X, Cardiac Canyon, and Secret Canyon. Canyon X and Cardiac Canyon require tours, but the Secret Canyon does not (to my knowledge). If you are able to visit one of these, I’d love to here about it!
Antelope Canyon is 100% a must see, but you may find you love the other slot canyons even more. Do you have any other canyons to add to my list?
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Page Arizona is home to the famous Antelope Canyon, but also other impressive slot canyons as well.
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