Antelope Canyon is easily the most famous slot canyon in the USA! Most people know about the tours that will walk you through two parts of the canyon, one is the upper slot canyon and the other is the lower slot canyon. You must pay a fee, sign up for a tour time, and you are herded through the canyon with a large tour group of people.
BUT what most people don’t know is that you can also kayak to a portion of Antelope Canyon. Located at Antelope Point Marina, you can rent kayaks for the day and kayak through Lake Powell to get to it.
Walking Tour v. Kayaking Antelope Canyon
I have personally done BOTH the walking tour and kayaking Antelope Canyon, so I think I am qualified to give my honest recommendation! There are definitely pros and cons to both of them, but truly I don’t think you can go wrong! This slot canyon is absolutely breath taking and a total must-see on your road trip!
Walking Tour of Antelope Canyon
I did the lower Antelope Canyon walking tour with Ken’s Tours back in 2018 (you can read about it here, but excuse the bad pictures that were taken pre-photography days haha!). This was my first time seeing the canyon and boy did it live up to the pictures!
You sign up in advance for a walking tour and you will be given a time slot to show up to the tour. Your tour group will have roughly 20 people that you walk through the canyon with. On top of that, you also have to share the canyon with other tour groups AND Ken’s tours other tours. So to put it lightly, you will feel like herded cattle walking through the canyon!
The views of the canyon from the walking tour are unmatched though, I would say much better than if you kayak Antelope Canyon. You will see those beautiful light rays shining into the canyon and it will be more narrow.
The cost to walk Antelope Canyon is roughly the same as it is to rent kayaks for the day, so I don’t think that is a big factor.
Kayaking Antelope Canyon
Kayaking Antelope Canyon is FAR less crowded! You get to walk the slot canyon on your own, without crowds, without a tour guide, and without any time constraints. Free to take as much time as you want to enjoy the canyon!
While the part of the canyon is not as impressive as the walking tour, it is still REALLY amazing! I guarantee you will be extremely impressed whichever way you see the canyon.
Now for the downside… majority of the kayaking route is through a wake zone in Lake Powel. Meaning, there are boats wakeboarding and jet skis flying past you. The waves are intense (think kayaking in the ocean) and will make you feel like your kayak is about to tip over at times!! It is also a very strenuous kayak because on the way back to the marina you will be paddling through the waves AND up stream.