We often get questions about the difference in distance and features of Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. We’re here to help!
First off, Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend are NOT the same thing. Yes, they both reside in Arizona, and yes, they both are part of the Grand Circle. Aside from those two things, they are very different.
When most people think of the Grand Canyon, they think of the South Rim. This section of the Grand Canyon offers some of the very best viewpoints, the best access to hiking, and all of the major services offered at the Grand Canyon. For most, the accessibility is the biggest factor when visiting the Grand Canyon. The South Rim can be easily accessed from Flagstaff, Williams, or even Sedona, Arizona. From these locations you can be standing at one of the most magnificent views on earth within just an hour.
The South Rim offers dozens of spectacular viewpoints, from Hermit’s Rest on the western edge, to the iconic Desert View Watchtower on the Canyon’s eastern end. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon also offers all of the creature comforts including hotels, restaurants & bars, camping, and even bike rentals.
ANTELOPE CANYON & HORSESHOE BEND
Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend reside about 2 hours North-East of both Flagstaff and the South Rim of Grand Canyon near the town of Page, Arizona. These two spots are, without a doubt, two of the most magnificent sights in the Southwest. Although these two places are relatively close to Grand Canyon, and one shares the same river, they are not the same. Antelope Canyon is split into 2 distinct sections.; Upper and Lower. Generally, we like to visit Lower Antelope Canyon because it can be less crowded, and often times has more rich colors. This is not to say that Upper Antelope Canyon is bad, we just prefer Lower.
Aside from avoiding the heat, there is really no bad time to visit Horseshoe Bend. Oftentimes guests can be startled to see a full parking lot at this site, but once you get to the vista, that anxiety quickly disappears. Horseshoe Bend is an extraordinary geologic feature along the Colorado River, and is just a few miles upstream from the beginning of the Grand Canyon.
If you want to visit and really take in both of these sights, you’ll really need two full days to explore. The experienced local guides at Grand Canyon Adventures are here to help you every step of the way!