Antelope Valley - Secret Slot Canyons in Arizona

Antelope Valley - Secret Slot Canyons in Arizona

United States
United States

When Is the Best Time

I am absolutely fascinated by slot canyons, where you can witness the immense power of mother nature. These narrow gorges carved by erosion and flooding always changing are magical.

The view up out of the slot canyon to the sky with pebbles at the wall
Wind Pebble Canyon

What started with water in a fault or a crack in a rock became a slot canyon due to natural forces millions of years later. When you walk through such a canyon, you never know what comes up next. You can’t look far through it.

The view into a slot canyon with curves
Entrance Wind Pebble Canyon

The different shapes, the high walls often made from sandstone, the truly beautiful colours, the views up to the sky are all masterpieces of our wonderful earth. Slot canyons are a mystery calling for exploration.

A curve inside Thumbnail Slot Canyon
The magical deep purple and red colours in the Thumbnail Slot Canyon.

There are thousands of slot canyons; many are still not discovered. However, these narrow gorges are also treacherous prone to flash floods, the reason why the weather forecast has to be monitored.

Avoiding Crowds

Panorama of the entire Wind Pebble Canyon from the top
Wind Pebble Canyon

This is the real slot canyon experience on private or very small group tours to get the best shots ever without the crowds around you or in front of your camera. It is rare to find such hidden treasures nowadays.

The view up in Thumbnail Slot Canyon
Thumbnail part of the Wind Pebble

You are not in a rush during these tours. You get all time needed for this unique adventure.

If you wish to know more about the weather and climate in this area, check out my Ultimate Antelope Guide.

Photographer Tip

Blue sky with white clouds seen from inside the canyon
The fantastic Wind Pebble Canyon

June-August is the monsoon season in the desert, and that’s the time for the best clouds and shots. However, if you plan to hike in the summer, go early to avoid the midday heat!

Thumbnail Slot Canyon red and orange sandstone
Thumbnail Slot Canyon

Do you like these outstanding pictures? Check out Ray Downs Photography for more of such masterpieces. Thanks, Ray! He provided all information and photos.

Best Months to Visit

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Location and Tips

Page, Arizona
United States
United States

The Antelope Slot Canyons are for sure some of the most breathtaking canyons in the US. I already visited both Upper and Lower Antelope in one day before social media existed. There wasn’t any advanced booking necessary we just went there and joined a guided tour. 

Thumbnail Slot Canyon view up to the top
Thumbnail Slot Canyon

Nowadays, good planning is essential to take part in these popular trips. I was seeking an alternative as it exists for the Wave. Ray Downs, an outstanding landscape photographer, came up with the Antelope Valley Slot Canyons, which I like to introduce here.

View up to the sky and the narrow top where a branch stucks
Ligai Si Anii

There are numerous slot canyons in the Antelope Valley south of Page in Arizona, the real paradise for people like me. I am pretty sure you will take hundreds of pictures on these splendid tours.

The entrance sign of Ligai Si Anii Canyon
The shorter slot canyon tour

Tour company Ligai Si Anii – 10 miles south of Page Google Maps location

Ligai Si Anii Booking

The entrance gate to the Navajo Nation Land
The entrance gate to the slot canyons.

It is a 15-minutes drive in the tour guides van from Page to these unique slot canyon treasures on Navajo land. These tours are outstanding and not in a rush. You get wonderful stories told about the people who grew up on this remarkable land. The lovely guides tell many insights about the Navajo Nation and their life and culture. You also learn a lot about various plants you encounter during the walk in this area.

Ligai Si Anii Slot Canyon

Narrow entrance to ligai in the desert
This is the entrance of Ligai Si Anii

It is an H-framed slot canyon as long as Lower Antelope and the most accessible of all. This is the perfect canyon for the entire family, also with toddlers.

The beginning of the narrow Ligai Si Anii gorge
The beginning of Ligai

It is a short 750 foot/ 230 m walk but has steep stairs with handrails down and up. The tour duration is 1.5 hours. Ligai offers breathtaking views at every curve. 

Stairs at the exit leading out of Ligai Si Anii
The exit of Ligai Si Anii

The Ligai Si Anii Slot Canyon has an entrance and exit.

Wind Pebble Canyon and Thumbnail Slot Canyon

The view up to the sky in Wind Pebble
The jaw-dropping Wind Pebble Canyon.

This tour is an outstanding adventure into three different slot canyons. It is suitable for children age six and older. The 3 miles/4.8 km roundtrip takes roughly 3 hours.

The stone pebbles dotted at the slot canyon walls
The pebbles in the Wind Pebble Canyon.

There are several options for the duration of the tour. First, you climb some stairs down into the canyon.

The view up in Thumbnail Slot Canyon
The play of colours in Thumbnail is mesmerizing.

A feature of the Wind Pebble Canyon is the even more "popular" Thumbnail Slot Canyon which is Ray’s favourite because of the intense colours. The light is perfect in this canyon if it is not overcast.

The entrance sign to Thumbnail Canyon
The entrance looks already promising.

The Thumbnail gorge is half as long as Lower Antelope to get an idea of what to expect.

Rams Head Canyon

This slot canyon and track is for experienced hikers and youth age 12 and older. This true desert hike takes an entire day. It is an unforgettable experience hiking through this very long canyon. With its massive high walls not as narrow as the other slot canyons, Rams Head is not less impressive. More information and pictures for this canyon will be added soon.

Packing List

A man in the desert walking back to his jeep
The way back from Wind Pebble to the parking.
  • Wear proper shoes on these tracks.
  • Sun protection for the intense sun in the desert.
  • Bring a bottle of water you are hiking in the desert.
  • Depending on the duration of your tour, carry a snack or sandwich in your backpack.
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Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I am always open, curious about new…