We recently traveled through Arizona and tried all of the Antelope Canyon tours over the course of a week, and I would have to say our favorite was the Antelope Canyon X! Here’s our complete review from the visit.
If you haven’t heard of Antelope Canyon, it’s arguably the most famous and beautiful slot canyon in the United States, with its colorful walls, narrow passageways, and dramatic light beams peeking through the ceiling.
However, Antelope Canyon X tours explore a new section of the canyon that’s only been open to the public for just a few years, so it’s much less crowded and touristy compared to the main canyon, which has already become extremely popular.
Like the main canyons, Antelope X is located on the Navajo Nation, so unfortunately the only way to visit it is with a tour and a local Navajo guide.
In this Antelope Canyon X review, I’ll share my experiences and photos from our tour, and then I’ll explain the best time to visit, and everything else you need to know before you go!
Best Antelope Canyon X Tours
We booked our Antelope Canyon X tour with GetYourGuide and had a great experience. The price includes your entry tickets and a Navajo local guide. Everything was communicated clearly by email, and they have a refund policy if you need to cancel in advance.
If you’re coming from Las Vegas, they also have a full day trip to Antelope Canyon X and Horseshoe Bend that includes pickup and drop-off from Las Vegas. This is more pricey, and it’s a long day trip, but it could be a good option if you’re in Vegas without your own transportation and still want to see Antelope Canyon.
We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!
Book Now: Antelope Canyon X Tour
Antelope Canyon X Review: What To Expect On The Tour
The Antelope Canyon X tour visits two different nice slot canyon sections that are separated by a short, sandy wash.
After a quick check in process at the company’s parking lot, we hopped in an air-conditioned van and drove through the desert for 10 or 15 minutes to the start of the canyon. The road was a little bumpy, but nothing too terrible.
To reach the mouth of the slot canyon, you then walk down a flight of wooden stairs for another 5 or 10 minutes. You’ll be in the sun for awhile at first, although there are places to stop and rest in the shade.
Right away, we were struck by the lack of crowds. The tours here almost have a private vibe to them. Our group had no more than 10 people in it, and we only ran into one or two other small groups during our whole tour.
Antelope Canyon X is far less busy than the world famous Upper and Lower Canyon, and we found it much easier to take pictures without other people in them.
Personally, I think the scenery at Antelope Canyon X is also every bit as good as what you see at the Upper and Lower Canyons, and my wife agreed.
Just like the main canyons, Antelope X has wonderful twisting passageways and beautiful colors of pink and orange sandstone. It reminded me quite a bit of the Lower Antelope Canyon.
In total, we spent more than 1 hour inside the slot canyon sections, and we were able to walk slowly and take lots of pictures while also chatting with the Navajo guide about some of the history of the canyon.
It was a great experience and we felt like we got more value for our money compared to the other Antelope Canyon tours (Upper and Lower). In our road trips across the U.S. we have seen some of the best slot canyons in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, but I’d say this one is right near the top.
Overall, I think the Antelope Canyon X tour is fantastic if you’re looking for a beautiful slot canyon without the crowds, cost, and hassle of the main canyons. Enjoy it before it gets too famous!
Best Time To Visit Antelope Canyon X
The best time to visit Antelope Canyon X is generally from the end of March to the beginning of October. The reason for this is because the lighting is better outside of the winter months.
However, unlike the Upper and Lower canyons, any time of day is good for visiting Antelope X. We went on an afternoon in May at 2:00 PM, and the lighting was great, although you could probably avoid some of the heat by going a bit earlier in the day.
The slots have some areas that are deep, and others that are shallow, so it can be beautiful and photogenic in a variety of lighting conditions.
Is The Tour Worth It?
Yes, the Canyon X is totally worth it! Prices for the tour can be as low as $60 USD per person, which is a real bargain in my opinion.
In contrast, prices for the Upper Antelope Canyon can be as high as $150 USD per person during the summer season, and it’s a much more rushed and crowded tour.
Antelope Canyon X vs Upper/Lower: Which Is Best?
So which Antelope Canyon is best — Upper, Lower, or X? That’s a good question.
We tried all of the Antelope Canyon tours over the course of a week, and I would have to say the winner for best value (and overall experience) was Antelope Canyon X.
While Canyon X may lack a few of the features that are great for photography in the Upper and Lower canyons, it’s a longer tour, meaning you have more time to look around, take pictures, and get creative.
The other thing about Antelope Canyon X is that it’s also much less crowded with tourists compared to the others, and you don’t have to worry about being badgered and rushed through the slot, like at Upper Canyon.
Last, but not least, it’s cheaper and easier to get a tour of Canyon X without booking it months in advance, which is important if you’re going to Arizona without much notice or traveling on a budget.
If you’re interested, I wrote a complete review comparing all of the Antelope Canyon tours to each other (Upper, Lower, and X) in terms of photography, crowds, fun, access, prices, and availability. You can check it out in the link below!
What To Do On The Tour (And What NOT To Do)
- What To Bring: A passport or other ID, such as a driver’s license, for check in. During the tour, you can bring a water bottle, and a camera or phone for taking pictures. Older folks can also bring a walking stick if needed.
- What NOT To Bring: You can’t bring pets, bags, backpacks, strollers, metal frame baby carriers, drones, selfie sticks, or tripods. They don’t allow bags of any kind in the canyon. Not even a small camera bag or fanny pack. You’ll have to leave these in your car at the parking lot. These are the same rules they have for all of the Navajo Nation slot canyons.
- What NOT To Do: They don’t allow smoking, climbing, writing, flash photography, or video recording on the Antelope Canyon X tours. Non-flash photos are fine, and you can take as many as you want.
Other Tips For The Antelope Canyon X Tour
- Bathrooms: There are portable toilets near the waiting area before you begin your tour, but no bathrooms during the tour, so you’ll want to take care of business before you start.
- When To Book: In general, Antelope X is the easiest canyon to visit. You can usually book a tour at the last minute and still get a spot. Of course, that may change someday as it gets more popular.
- Time Zones: There are multiple time zones used in this part of Arizona, which can get confusing, and it sometimes causes people to show up at the wrong time for their tour of Antelope Canyon. This is because the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving Time, but the rest of Arizona does not. Your phone may also switch time zones automatically while driving around in the state. However, the important thing to remember is that the Antelope Canyon tour companies all operate in the same time zone as Page, Arizona. You’ll want to set your clocks to Page, AZ local time, and make sure that’s when you show up.
- How Early To Arrive: We were told to arrive 30 minutes early for check in, but you should double check this after booking your tour. The Navajos are usually pretty strict about tardiness, and you wouldn’t want to miss your tour.
- How To Get There: The address where you’ll start and end the tour is MP 308, AZ-98, Page, AZ 86040, USA (click for map). It’s located right off of Arizona Highway 98, just a 15 minute drive from the town of Page.
Frequently Asked Questions (Antelope Canyon X Review)
- What is Antelope Canyon X?
Antelope Canyon X is a slot canyon on Navajo tribal land near Page, Arizona. It’s one of the less famous (but still beautiful) parts of the Antelope slot canyon complex.
- Why the name? Where is the X?
Antelope Canyon X gets its name from an X-shaped hole in the ceiling near the start of the slot canyon. Your Navajo guide will probably point out this feature to you during your tour, otherwise you can ask and they’ll show it to you.
- How far is this from the main Antelope Canyon?
All of the Antelope Canyon slots are located fairly close to each other. The Canyon X is located 5 miles (8 km) from Upper Antelope Canyon, while it’s about 9 miles (14 km) from Lower Antelope Canyon. They’re all near the town of Page, Arizona, but you have to book a separate tour for each one because they have different management.
- What is the best time of day to see Antelope Canyon X?
Any time of day should be good. The canyon has both light and dark chambers, so it’s good in a variety of lighting conditions. Even if some sections are dark when you visit, others will be bright and colorful.
- Can you see light beams?
We didn’t see any light beams on our tour when we went in late May, but the company says you can sometimes see them in the summer months of May through early August.
- How long does the tour take?
The tour lasts 1.5 hours in total. In our experience, about 1 hour was spent in the actual canyon, while the rest of the time was spent in transit.
- How hard is the tour?
The Canyon X tour is not very hard. Most of the walking is flat and easy, although there is a bit of an uphill climb on stairs when you go out of the canyon. In the summer heat, it wouldn’t be suitable for unfit older folks, or seniors using a walker or wheelchair, but most people will find it easy enough. There are no ladders or climbing, unlike at the Lower Antelope Canyon.
- Is the tour okay for kids?
Yes, the tour is fine for kids and they will have a blast. We had two young kids in our tour group and they had no difficulty with the hiking at all. Just make sure your kids know not to scratch or write on the canyon walls.
- Is the tour safe for pregnant women?
The tour companies don’t recommend pregnant women going to Antelope Canyon X, but my wife did it just fine in her second trimester, and I know of pregnant women who have gone even later and had no issues.
I’m not a doctor, but I think the biggest concerns for pregnant women here would be heat, bumpy roads, and the short uphill hike out of the canyon. All of these turned out to be pretty tame in our experience, but you’ll have to make your own decision based on your personal health and fitness, your doctor’s advice, etc.
- Can you visit Antelope Canyon X without a tour?
No, unfortunately you can’t see Antelope Canyon X without a tour and a local Navajo guide. This is a rule by Taadidiin Tours, the company that manages access to the land.
- How can I book an Antelope Canyon X tour?
You can book a high-rated Antelope Canyon X tour on GetYourGuide. This is the same exact tour we used, and the price includes your entry ticket and Navajo local guide.
- Is there hotel pickup and drop-off?
The normal tours don’t include a pickup service. You drive there yourself. However, if you’re coming from Las Vegas, GetYourGuide has a full day trip to Antelope Canyon X and Horseshoe Bend that includes lunch and pickup and drop-off from Las Vegas, Nevada. This is more pricey, but it could be a good option if you’re visiting Vegas without your own transportation and still want to see Antelope Canyon.
More Slot Canyon Guides
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed our review of the Antelope Canyon X tours in Page, Arizona. We really enjoyed visiting this special place in the desert.