Antelope Canyon Kayak Guide - What You Need To Know

Canoes and Kayaks

Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona might just be the world’s best-known slot canyon. If you’re going to kayak in AZ this is the place to do it. The sandstone walls have been featured in many digital wallpapers, screensavers, calendars, and whatnot. However, it is safe to say that the Antelope Canyon is much more beautiful in real life. 

The golden sunbeams slanting through the ridges, the warmth of red and orange stone set against azure skies, and walls that appear to be flowing- are some aspects no camera can do justice to.

There are two ways to explore this breathtaking gorge. You can either opt for the walking tour or go paddling on an Antelope Canyon kayak adventure.

kayak antelope canyon

Which Is Better? To Hike or Kayak in the Antelope Canyon?

We would recommend choosing Antelope Canyon kayak tours over walking tours for several reasons. 

For one, the walking tours can be insanely crowded. Whichever tour guide you decide to go with, there can be up to twenty people or more in the group with you, not to mention other tour groups. 

Secondly, you’ll be on a time limit. If you want to spend extra time exploring, you won’t be able to. Thirdly, you’ll be restricted to your tour guide groups timing and itinerary. You won’t bebe able to spend more time at one spot, or stay behind and admire the views. 

Walking tour start at around $50 per person and last from 1hour up to a whole day. If walking is your thing, you can jump on a lower Antelope Canyon tour from Ken’s Tours on Antelope Pt Road or try one of the tours below.

Kayaking on Lake Powell, to explore Antelope canyon, seems to us, to be a much better alternative (we could be little biased here). Unconstrained by any time slots, you can spend the whole day at the canyon if you want! 

You’ll have the freedom to choose wherever you want to explore and for however long. Relax in a kayak amongst breath taking scenery with no crowds and no rush.  Explore the entirety of this world famous gorge at your own pace.

kayak antelope canyon
"Kayaking on Lake Powell, AZ" by TaQpets is marked with CC BY-ND 2.0.

A Rough Itinerary for Lake Powell Kayaking:

If you want to kayak in the antelope canyon, do the following:

  • Antelope Canyon just over a 1.5 miles east of Page, Arizona, which is an ideal spot to rent a kayak. 
  • Head to the Antelope Point Public Boat Ramp and launch your kayak.
  • Make a left and paddle on Lake Powell for a mile soaking in the beautiful views before turning left into the flooded section of Antelope Canyon.
  • Paddle the narrowing canyon for around 1.8 miles until you run out of water and park your kayak in the sand. Once in the sand, you will now be free to explore the canyon on foot.
  • Head towards the trail junction. This will roughly take you half an hour or so.
  • Stay right at the fork which will take you through the main route in the canyon.
  • On your way back explore the left-wing of the junction which is a bit more adventurous with a lot of scrambling. This section should take around forty to forty-five minutes.
  • Lastly, make the trip back to your kayak. This should take another 30 minutes..
antelope canyon kayak
Map overview of kayak route (red) and hiking route (yellow) of Antelope Canyon.

Where Do I Get a Kayak From?

Having your own kayak is great but having to lug it around, not so much. Unless you intend to drive to Antelope Canyon in your own vehicle equipped to carry kayaks, renting one instead can often be a more sensible alternative.  Especially if kayaking will only be a small portion of your vacation. 

So instead, make use of the Lake Powell Paddleboards and Kayaks in Page.  They offer kayak rentals at $55 for a single kayak and $70 for a double. These rentals include free delivery and pickup to Antelope Point boat ramp so you won’t have to worry about transporting the kayaks. Pickup timings for kayaks are from 8 AM and drop offs are 6 PM. 

You have the ease of pre-booking your kayak or even walking into the store half an hour before your launch time (this would of course be subject to availability of the kayaks). All you’ll need to do is don your life jacket and sign a safety waiver, you’ll be all set to go!

What Gear Is Included In Lake Powell Kayak Rentals?

If you’re renting a single kayak, the gear included is one attachable seat, one paddle, and one life jacket. Similarly, with a double kayak, you will get two attachable seats, two paddles, and two life jackets. 

Additionally, the stores also have waterproof phone cases, sunscreens, dry bags, snacks, hats, and other relevant gear available in their shop for rent.

What Should I Wear For Kayaking At The Antelope Canyon?

You’ll be performing a lot of physical activity paddling the kayaks and hiking so it’s best to wear something super comfortable and outdoor-friendly. You will be out in the open for the better part of the day with the sun shining down on you relentlessly, so you will need clothes made of light and airy material.

Since you will be hiking, make sure to avoid wearing anything too flowy, which will likely disrupt your hike. 

Sportswear that’s light and quick dry will be a good option for both hiking and kayaking. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and a hat. Sunscreen is also a must for that added protection against the sun.

antelope canyon kayak tours
"01 Antelope Canyon" by cKol is marked with CC BY-ND 2.0.

What Do I Bring Along On The Antelope Canyon Kayak tour?

You do need some gear with you when kayaking. As mentioned earlier, sunblock is a must. Bad sunburn can really ruin a good vacation. Make sure to bring a water-proof phone cases or at the very least, a Ziploc bag to keep your phone protected. Bring along a dry bag to keep any stuff that you would not want to get wet. 

A camera is a must. You don’t want to miss capturing the beauty of the world’s best-known gorge now, do you? Most of today’s phones have inbuilt cameras, so you should be pretty covered there.  Maybe check that you have sufficient space for new photos.  Sitting in a kayak is not the best place to start deleting old photos to make room for new ones!

Other than that, carry some light snacks with you. Protein bars can be a good choice to replenish your energy during and after strenuous activities.  

Last and probably the most important of all; a first aid kit. Don’t go overboard, just a basic first aid kit will do. Outdoor activities are prone to accidents with minor cuts, abrasions, bites and stings so it’s good to be prepared for these just in case.

Check out our list of other accessories you might find handy kayaking.

How Long Does It Take To Kayak Antelope Canyon?

If you are going for an extensive kayak tour of the Antelope Canyon, it should take up to four hours. This includes the five-mile return kayak tour in the sparkling waters of Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon.  This also includes a mile or two of hiking in the beautiful sandstone canyon. 

DIY paddlers can stay for however long they wish. If the weather is warm enough you could even venture in for a swim. 

Do You Need A Permit To Kayak Antelope Canyon?

Yes, you need a permit to kayak Antelope Canyon. The permits are usually $30 per person but the price can go up depending on the kind of tour you are booking. However, if you have America the Beautiful annual parks pass, you will be granted entry without the need of paying for a permit.

Is There An Age Limit To The Tours?

Yes, the guided tours do have an age limit. They do not allow anyone under the age of 7 onto their tours for safety reasons.

Is It Safe To Kayak In Lake Powell? Especially DIYs?

The waters of Lake Powell are safe! There are no dangerous fishes, snakes, or crocodiles swimming about the water. The pH level and contents of the water are safe enough to take a dip. 

Although Lake Powell was created by the Glen Canyon Dam, there is no current in the water so there is no need for any safety concerns in this regard. While kayaking, the only thing you need to watch out for is some sharp rocks.

What are the Life Jacket Laws In Arizona?

All children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG approved PFD while underway.  All kayakers should wear a life jacket anyway for their own safety.

A Guided Kayak Tour Or A DIY Kayak Tour; Which One Is Better?

Antelope canyon kayak tours have their perks when compared to walking tours. But, the question arises. Should you just DIY the kayak tour or opt for the guided one?

Well, we’ll let you decide that for yourself. A guided kayak tour is likely to take you to the best spots and into the deeper alcoves of the canyon. You can enjoy the views of the narrow sandstone walls with the safety of having a guide with you. You will pay considerably more for the pleasure of having the security of guide to show you around.

If you choose a DIY tour, that can be fun too. You wont be restricted by a schedule, so you can paddle wherever and however you please. Want to stop for an hour to go swimming on your way there or way back? Sure no problem, you get to decide. Spend the day exploring and discovering the sights of the Antelope Canyon for yourself for a far cheaper price.

Wrap Up

The kayaking in Antelope Canyon kayak is a unique and super fun experience. The greens and blues of Lake Powell when coupled with the reds and oranges of the gorge’s sandstone is truly something to behold. Whether kayaking by yourself or with a tour you’re sure to have a gratifying and educational trip, one you’re not likely to forget any time soon.

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Hi, my name is Andy and I am the creator and owner of Canoe-Kayaks.com. I’ve been into water sports for as long as I can remember and I love nothing more than spending a day on the water with my family. This website is a way for me to share my passion with everyone, through providing some helpful guides and tips for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

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