8 Best Slot Canyons in Arizona

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(Last Updated On: July 3, 2022)

With so many different things to do, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time in Arizona. However, the one thing you can’t miss out on during your trip are the slot canyons in Arizona because of how uniquely beautiful they are. 

Arizona’s slot canyons are some of the most popular slot canyons in the U.S. (in addition to the ones in Utah), and it is clear to see why. Regardless of your hiking experience, you are sure to find a canyon that will meet your needs and give you that picture-perfect experience.

Before we dive into some of the most popular slot canyons in Arizona, here are some tips for planning your trip! 

Tips for Visiting Arizona Slot Canyons

Book A Tour (And Book Early)

All of the slot canyons listed below are on Navajo land and require you to book a tour to visit. These tour groups are usually kept smaller to ensure that everyone can enjoy their trip to the canyon without being overcrowded, which makes for a great experience. 

However, during the busier months, these tours can book out quickly. Be sure to check in advance and book your tour early so you don’t miss out on these beautiful canyons.

When we say that they book out quickly, we mean it. Summer dates can go a few months in advance, so plan your trip as early as possible, so you don’t miss out on visiting these slot canyons in Arizona.

Check What You Are Allowed To Bring On The Tour

Each tour group has different policies on what you are and aren’t allowed to take on the tour. Be sure to check out this list before your trip, so you do not run into any issues on the day of your tour.

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If you do happen to bring something that you’re not supposed to, your tour guide will most likely ask you to leave it behind in your car before heading out to the canyon. Should you be unsure about anything, don’t worry; the guides are super helpful. Just ask them before the tour leaves, and they’ll let you know if it’s allowed to be brought or not.

For instance, oftentimes, backpacks are not allowed on the tours unless they are under a certain size. Don’t be the dummy that brings something you’re not supposed to!

blue sky from the bottom of wavy red and orange rocks

Keep An Eye On The Weather

These tours do tend to last at least an hour to an hour and a half, so make sure you check the weather and are prepared for whatever the day may bring. During the warmer months especially, it is important to bring plenty of water! 

The slot canyons in Arizona are also prone to flooding during monsoon season. This is typically from mid-June through September. These floods can be dangerous, but the tour guides are all well trained, and if they deem it too dangerous, they will cancel the tour. 

For an incredibly unforgettable trip to the Arizona slot canyons, consider booking your tour as early in the morning as possible. We did our tour at Antelope Canyon in the early morning and there weren’t even any other tour groups with other companies there yet which made for an incredible experience. 

Can’t-Miss Slot Canyons in Arizona

Lower Antelope Canyon

smooth red rocks with light shining from behind

Lower Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular slot canyons in Arizona. It is located on Navajo land near Page, and it is often photographed due to its beautiful colors and shapes. Lower Antelope Canyon is known for its narrow passages and shallow water, so be prepared to get wet if you visit! This isn’t always the case, but it can be possible, so it’s best to be prepared just in case.

Since this is one of the most popular canyons, tours for Lower Antelope Canyon can fill up fast. Be sure to book your trip in advance to make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing canyon.

Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon

Rattlesnake Canyon

The Rattlesnake Canyon hike is one of the most popular in Arizona. The hike winds its way through the canyon for about two miles and is a challenging but rewarding experience. 

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The views of the surrounding canyons are stunning, and there’s a good chance you’ll see some wildlife along the way. You can book a tour for just Rattlesnake Canyon or you can book combined tours and see multiple canyons together!

If you want a truly unforgettable experience, consider visiting Rattlesnake Canyon.

Tours of Rattlesnake Canyon

Waterhole Canyon

large, smooth orange rock walls with light shining down from above

Waterhole Canyon is a slot canyon that is known for its deep and narrow passages. The canyon walls are a beautiful red color, and the light creates a mesmerizing effect. The hike to Water Holes Canyon is moderate in difficulty, and it is well worth the effort! 

This canyon is located on Navajo land, and you are required to book a tour to visit. You can even take photography tours where the tour guides can give you some tips and tricks to get the best pictures! 

Tours of Waterhole Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon

sand path curving in between two smooth red rock walls

Upper Antelope Canyons is located in Page, Arizona, and is easily accessible from Horseshoe Bend and the Glen Canyon Dam. The canyon was formed by water erosion over the years and is now a popular tourist destination.

Upper Antelope Canyon is more narrow and has more twists and turns than Lower Antelope Canyon. It is also deeper, which makes it a more popular destination for photographers looking to capture the stunning light beams that often appear in the canyon walls.

You do have to book a tour to visit the canyon, but it is well worth it as the tour guides are super knowledgeable and will even help you get the perfect photo to remember your trip by! 

Tours of Upper Antelope Canyon

Secret Canyon

Secret Canyon is a great alternative to Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon if you are looking for a more intimate experience. With similar views and smaller groups, Secret Canyon is a great choice for someone who wants to take a little bit more time exploring the canyon. 

Tours here last about an hour. The canyon can get a little narrow at some points but offers very similar views to other canyons in the area! You can even book a combined tour and visit both Secret Canyon and Horseshoe Bend! 

Tours of Secret Canyon

Mountain Sheep Canyon

sandy path leading through small canyon walls

Mountain Sheep Canyon is located in Arizona’s Sipsey Wilderness Area and is known for its dramatic slot canyons. The canyon walls are composed of sandstone and rise hundreds of feet above the canyon floor and are narrow and deep, with many twists and turns. 

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This canyon is a more difficult hike than other canyons in the area (like Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon) and requires a few climbs up some ladders (don’t worry, they are secured to the rocks!), but it is well worth the view! 

Tours of Mountain Sheep Canyon

Canyon X

red and orange rock walls with light shining from the top

Canyon X is a popular destination for hikers and photographers. There are two types of tours you can take for this canyon: a hiking tour and a photography tour. 

The hiking tour lasts about 1.5 hours and the photography tour takes about 3 hours! 

Tour groups tend to be smaller so you are sure to get a personal experience. Be sure to book the specific tour type that you’d rather do for this one.

Tours of Canyon X

Cardiac Canyon

Cardiac Canyon is a little bit off the beaten path and offers a one-of-a-kind tour experience. This canyon offers breathtaking views and is usually much less crowded than other canyons. 

The Cardiac Canyon tour is a 6-hour hiking tour that spans the 2.5-mile-long canyon. Taadidiin Tours is the only company that offers tours of this canyon. 

Please note that the tour requires at least 2 people to run the tour, so be sure to reach out to Taadidiin Tours if you are a single traveler (they can sometimes match you with another single traveler on the date you want!). 

This is a more strenuous hike and it is recommended that you are an experienced hiker to take part in this tour. 

Tours of Cardiac Canyon

Whether you are looking for a shorter hike or an all-day excursion, you are sure to find the perfect slot canyon in Arizona! Don’t forget to save this post and share it for later. 

If you’ve been to any of these Arizona slot canyons before, leave a comment below with your experience to help other travelers!

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