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Slot Canyons in Arizona

If there is one thing that we at Dixie Ellis love about Arizona, it is all of the slot canyons. There are many different slot canyons that you can explore during your time in Arizona. A slot canyon is different from a regular canyon or hiking trail. Slot canyons are usually taller than they are wide which creates a great atmosphere because the sunlight can bounce off of the canyon walls.

Whether you are an avid hiker or you do not consider yourself a hiker at all, there are slot canyon hikes for you. Since there are so many hikes available, all you have to worry about is choosing one that is right for you. You may want to do a longer hike or a shorter hike that will not take a lot of time. Whatever you choose, make sure it is right for you and how you are feeling.

Below are five of our favorite slot canyons that can be found in the State of Arizona:

Mountain Sheep Canyon

Mountain Sheep Canyon is a lesser-known canyon. This makes it a perfect spot if you are looking for a place that is less crowded. The canyon is rougher, as the name Mountain Sheep Canyon suggests. Since it is a little rough, it may not be the ideal hike for children. There are several ladders that are secured but can be scary for young children.

This canyon is located near Page, Arizona, and on Navajo land, so you will need a tour guide. The canyon is one of the longer slot canyons in Arizona so it is well worth the visit and planning. Be sure to book your tour guide in advance to secure your spot.

Antelope Canyon

This canyon is our favorite canyon here at Dixie Ellis. We specialize in tours for Lower Antelope Canyon. We love the gorgeous slot canyons and the way the sunlight illuminates the canyon. While both canyons are worth visiting, it is important to understand how the canyon is split up.

Antelope Canyon is split into 2 different canyons: Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. The upper canyon is the more popular option for tourists. This is because it is not as hard to hike because it is fairly flat. The Lower Canyon trail descends and there are some stairs that can be hard to climb for those with disabilities.

It is important to note that Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Nation. This means that you will have to have a tour guide to access Antelope Canyon. Luckily, Dixie Ellis is a certified tour company and can give you a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. We have several different tour options and one of them includes kayaking from Lake Powell into Antelope Canyon.

Buckskin Gulch

This slot canyon is one of the longest slot canyons in the world. The slot canyon is around 15 miles. It also leads into Paria Canyon if you want to hike around that canyon as well. You can make this hiking trip as a day trip or you can make it into a several-day hike. The choice is up to you and how you want to spend your time. If you do choose to make your hike several days, it is important to be prepared.

This hike is not for the faint of heart. While it is not a rough hike, many people say the length is the hardest part. Many trails feature water or wading pools that you will have to go through while hiking. There are several trails that you can choose for Buckskin Gulch. This gives you several options for what you want to see and how long you want to spend in the slot canyon.

You do not need a tour guide to hike around this slot canyon. What you will need is a permit to hike inside Buckskin Gulch. Your group can get permits at several locations. There are different permits for day hiking and overnight hiking.

Owl Canyon

Owl Canyon is also White Owl Canyon. This slot canyon is a little more off of the trail. You cannot find this slot canyon on topographic maps. This is one of the easiest trails to access because there is a sign at the beginning of the trailhead. There are other little slot canyons in the area but Owl Canyon is the easiest to get to and find.

The canyon has a lot to offer visitors who make it out to the slot canyon. It is vibrant in terms of color, including red, gray, and burnt orange rock. The hike can be a shorter hike or a longer hike so it makes a great evening or morning hike. You can also find desert plants in the early spring, summer, and early fall months. The path is not well kept and it is off the beaten trail. Again, you will need a permit and tour guide for this canyon.

Secret Canyon

While this canyon is not exactly a secret it is Secret Canyon. The reason it is “Secret” Canyon is that it is the alternative to Antelope Canyon. This canyon is a secret because it is not as crowded as Antelope Canyon.

It is near Page, Arizona, and on Navajo land so you will need a guide. Secret Canyon is close to Horseshoe Bend. This allows you to combine and see several great sites in a day. Different tour operators have different tour packages that combine several of these sites.

The canyon still has the vibrant red rock color that people flock to with Antelope Canyon. This canyon is a great option if you do not want to feel rushed and want to avoid crowds of tourists.

Have you been to any of these slot canyons before? If you have not, be sure to share this article with your travel buddy or partner. These canyons are a great getaway for any traveler. Start making your trip plans today.

You can start with the world-famous “Antelope Canyon” here.


  1. […] then driving to the Lower Antelope Canyon Visitor Center. After your guided tour through the world famous slot canyon (which runs about an hour and 15 minutes), you’ll then traverse across the Navajo Nation to […]

  2. […] that will fuel you are regenerate you. While observing the natural beauty and history of this slot canyon, you may even learn something new about […]

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