How To Paddle Board Antelope Canyon in Lake Powell : A Full Guide
Paddle boarding Antelope Canyon from Lake Powell has been on my bucket list for a long time. As a Southern Utah local I have hiked and gone canyoneering through many slot canyons in my time, but I have never had the opportunity to go paddleboarding through a slot canyon.
When my brother invited me last minute to paddle board Antelope Canyon with him in Lake Powell, I was in!
In this post I am going to share with you all the tips and things I learned from paddling Antelope Canyon so you can add it to your Southern Utah bucket list!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Is it possible to see Antelope Canyon without a guide?
Where to rent a paddle board or kayak?
How to get to the Antelope Point Launch Ramp?
Getting your boards down to the water
Navigating the paddle board section of Lake Powell
Navigating the hiking section of Antelope Canyon
Paddling back out
When is the best time of year to paddle board to Antelope Canyon?
Why it's important to pay close attentions to the weather
What time of day should you go?
List of things to bring with you
Paddle board vs kayak?
Can you paddle board Antelope Canyon with kids?
Other things to check out in the area
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEE ANTELOPE CANYON WITHOUT A GUIDE?
The section of Antelope Canyon we paddled to is not part of the protected Navajo Nation land.
To visit the protected areas of Antelope Canyon, you must purchase a guided tour. The tours are in the $130-$200 per person range and require advanced booking. The tours fill up quite far in advance, so if you want to see the protected section of Antelope Canyon, make sure to book tickets as soon as you know your travel dates.
The route we took does not require a permit or a guide. We started at the Antelope Point Launch ramp, paddle boarded Lake Powell for 2 miles to the very bottom portion of Antelope Canyon. We hiked up Antelope Canyon for 3 miles until we hit a dead end and had to turn around.
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Several guide companies in Page & Lake Powell offer a full guided experience. They will bring the kayaks/paddle boards to you and guide you up the canyon. So all you have to do is show up. Those tours are in the $200 range.
WHERE TO RENT A PADDLE BOARD OR KAYAK?
I got lucky because my brother has two inflatable stand-up paddle boards, so we didn't have to deal with the hassle and expense of renting one. If you don't have an awesome brother with a paddle board like me, you will need to rent one.
There are quite a few kayak and paddle board rental shops around Page, AZ, and Lake Powell. Unfortunately, in my research, I couldn't find any with inflatable boards. That's a bummer if you don't have a car to which you can tie kayaks or paddle boards.
The closest rental company I found that will rent inflatable paddle boards is Outdoor Rush in St George. Renting a board in St George is an excellent option if you are staying in Hurricane, Saint George, or are traveling from Las Vegas.
HOW TO GET TO THE ANTELOPE POINT LAUNCH RAMP?
The launch ramp is located a few miles north of Page, AZ, at the end of Antelope Point Road. Don't turn into the marina. CLICK HERE FOR DRIVING DIRECTIONS.
GETTING YOUR BOARDS DOWN TO THE WATER
Since the water level in Lake Powell has gotten so low, the launch ramp is no more. You can drive your car down to the end of the launch ramp, unload your boards, and then take your vehicle back up to park.
You will have to walk your boards down a steep and rocky path. Not gonna lie, it sucks! Getting the boards up the steep rocky path at the end of the day when you are exhausted really is the worst.
NAVIGATING THE PADDLE BOARD SECTION OF LAKE POWELL
We started our paddle at 10:30am and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the hiking portion of Antelope Canyon. It is a two-mile paddle from the launch ramp.
You will paddle south, to the left, around a bend, and then take the first and only inlet to your left. You can't miss it.
The first section of the paddle will be a little choppy from the passing boats, but once you get to the Antelope Creek section, the sandstone cliffs will close in around you, and the water will get calm. This part was my favorite.
A few boats and jet skis passed us, stirring up the water. They went slow, but they were annoying. It was so nice to have the quiet and calm water when there weren't any boats and jet skis in the canyon.
Towards the end of the paddle board section, the water got very mucky with logs and debris, and it didn't smell nice. I don't think it's like this at all times of the year.
*The start of the hiking portion
NAVIGATING THE HIKING SECTION OF ANTELOPE CANYON
We hiked up to the slot canyon about 3 miles until we hit a big wall and turned around. The hiking portion took us 3 hours at a pretty fast pace.
Hiking through this section of Antelope Canyon is beautiful. The slot canyon was tight in some places and had beautiful light. The swirly sandstone cliffs were towering above us the whole way. There is a decent amount of rock scrambling and navigating up and over big rocks and around stagnant water.
In the middle of the hike, you will come to a section where you must choose to go right (straight) or left. We took the path going straight.
The hike out definitely felt longer than the hike in. If I had to do it again, I don't think I would have hiked all the way to the end. Six miles was a lot of hiking, and we still had to paddle out plus carry our boards up that steep rocky path. By the end of the day we were worked pretty hard........haha!
PADDLING BACK OUT
It took us about an hour to paddle out. We were both tired and hot. Once out of Antelope Creek, the water was very choppy with all the boats out on the water. It was also a little windy.....in the wrong direction :-(. We went slow and stopped at a sandy section along the side to rest and swim.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO PADDLE BOARD TO ANTELOPE CANYON?
We paddled Antelope Canyon the end of September. It was a great time to go because the temps weren't too hot in the middle of the day. Early spring/summer I think, would be equally as nice.
In the middle of the summer, June - August when the temps get into the 100's you will need to go super early, like right at sunrise. Make sure to take lots of swimming breaks to cool off.
It seems like this would be a challenging adventure in the winter. It would be quite cold, and I'm not sure how you get around getting your feet wet while getting on and off your board.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER
If it is windy or rainy, I would rethink your adventure. The wind is super hard because it could make your paddling twice as difficult. If it is raining or stormy at all you should not be near a slot canyon. It's not safe.
WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD YOU GO?
Go first thing in the morning. The earlier the better. This will ensure you have less choppy water to deal with, temps will be cooler, it's usually less windy in the mornings, and there will be less chance of boats, and jet ski's in Antelope Creek messing up the water.
LIST OF THINGS TO BRING WITH YOU
WATER SHOES OR HIKING SANDALS - You will be getting your feet wet, so water shoes or hiking sandals are a must. I love my TEVA's
NATIONAL PARKS PASS - The Antelope Point Public Boat Ramp has a $30 entrance fee, but you can get in free with your America the Beautiful annual parks pass
HIKING CLOTHES - Wear comfortable, light and breathable clothes for hiking in the desert heat.
SWIMSUIT - You will want to jump in the water at some point, so make sure to have a swimsuit on under your hiking clothes
SUNSCREEN - Always take sunscreen with your wherever you go in the desert!
HAT & SUNGLASSES - The sun is intense. Having a hat and sunglasses is a must.
LUNCH, SNACKS, AND LOTS OF WATER - You will use lots of energy on this adventure so bring plenty of food, snacks, and water.
HIKING DAY PACK - During the hiking portion, you will want a small backpack to carry snacks, lunch, water, and anything else you don't want to leave back at the paddleboard.
DRYBAG, CAMERA & PHONE - You will want to have a camera or phone to capture some memories of your adventure. Bring a dry bag to make sure they stay out of the water.
LIFE VEST - Safety first!
PADDLE BOARD VS KAYAK?
I don't think it matters if you do this adventure with a paddle board or a kayak. The biggest thing to think about is the weight. Make sure that whatever you have is as light as possible so that you can carry it up and down the steep hill.
CAN YOU PADDLE BOARD ANTELOPE CANYON WITH KIDS?
This isn't an easy adventure, but if your kiddos are active and good little paddlers, they can do it. Just make sure to pick a day that isn't windy. If there is extra room, you could also add them to your kayak or paddle board.
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OTHER THINGS TO CHECK OUT IN THE AREA
There are tons of great things to check out while visiting Page & Lake Powell. Check out the famous Horseshoe Bend overlook as well as Glan Canyon Damn.
If you are coming from Kanab, Hurricane, or St George, check out these spots along the way.
Paddle boarding Antelope Canyon is such a great adventure to add to your bucket list while visiting Page & Lake Powell. It may take some extra preparation, but if you are down for an adventure, it is a unique way to experience a slot canyon in the southwestern desert.