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Can You Do Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in One Day?

Last Update on September 01, 2023
by Sunny Samaroo
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Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon are two of the biggest names in the American Southwest. These iconic destinations boast breathtaking vistas and towering sandstone formations, attracting people from all over the world.

If you don't have a lot of time for your trip, you might wonder: "Can you do Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in one day?" 

Short answer: Yes, it is possible to visit Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in one day.

Long answer: While possible, visiting Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon isn't for everyone There are a few factors to consider beforehand, including where you'll be starting your journey from. Let's delve into the details.

View of Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon (above) and Monument Valley have incredibly unique landscapes.

How Far Is Monument Valley from Antelope Canyon?

The drive from Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon takes about 2 hours and covers roughly 115 miles (185 km).

These locations are not right next to each other, but they're not too far apart either. If you're staying in a town near one or the other, such as Page or Kayenta. doing both in a day is much more doable. 

However, if you're staying in Las Vegas or any other place far from these attractions, you'll have to endure a fair amount of driving. And let's face it, driving long distances can be tiring, leaving you with less energy to fully enjoy the wonders that await you.

If you have two extra days to spare, consider joining a 3-day tour that combines Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion. On this tour, we pick you up from Las Vegas and then stay overnight in Page, Arizona. On day 2 of this tour, we will visit both Monument Valley and Lower Antelope Canyon in 1 day.

Road to Monument Valley
Seeing Monument Valley in the distance as you drive towards is bound to fill you with anticipation.

The Best Time to Visit Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon

The best time to visit Monument Vallery and Antelope Canyon differs depending on whether you plan to visit both in one day or not.

Summer, with its longer daylight hours, provides a more feasible window for visiting both sites in one day. You'll have more daylight to work with, allowing you to squeeze in the activities without feeling too rushed. 

On the other hand, attempting this during the winter can be a challenge if you don't budget your time right. With shorter days, you have to make sure you're starting your trip early enough, or else it could lead to a disappointing and exhausting experience.

If you would be visiting Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon on different days, then spring or fall would be much better times to visit. These seasons offer a great intersection of milder weather and fewer crowds. However, if visiting both in one day, the longer daylight hours of summer are a huge priority.

View of Monument Valley
Snow can fall at Monument Valley in the winter, but it's almost always very light snowfall.

Monument Valley to Antelope Canyon Road Trip

Things to Do at Monument Valley

As you approach Monument Valley, the iconic mesas and buttes will begin to emerge on the horizon. Once you're inside Monument Valley Tribal Park, you can explore the area by car. There are a lot of things to do in Monument Valley — more than you might expect!

Of course, the best thing to do at Monument Valley is to drive along the 17-mile loop that includes the most iconic stops in the valley. You can book a guided tour or drive yourself

If driving yourself, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, there's an entrance fee of $20 per vehicle. Second, the loop is a one-way road. If you drive past something, you can't backtrack. You'll have to go back all the way around. If you're trying to squeeze in Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in one day, you don't want to squander your time like that.

Related Reading: Is Monument Valley Worth It 

The most famous, must-see sights in Monument Valley are Merrick's Butte and the two Mittens Buttes. These kinds of towering, isolated hills are ones you can't see just anywhere in the world.

Also, while at Monument Valley, you can get out of the car and explore a bit on foot, too. Wildcat Trail is the best trail for this, and it takes you around West Mitten Butte.

One last attraction you should visit, especially if you love history, is Goulding's Trading Post Museum. Here, you can learn about the area's history, including its extensive cinematic history — it's been featured in lots of films!

All in all, budget at least two hours for seeing the best sights at Monument Valley. Three hours would be even better, as it gives you a bit more freedom.

West Mitten Butte at Monument Valley
West Mitten Butte at Monument Valley always looks majestic in photos.

Things to Do at Antelope Canyon

After basking in the beauty of Monument Valley, it's time to hit the road again and head toward Antelope Canyon. 

The drive from Monument Valley to Antelope Canyon typically takes around 2 hours. By now, fatigue might already start creeping in slightly, but keep your spirits high; you're about to witness one of the most enchanting slot canyons in the world.

Once you arrive at Antelope Canyon, you'll have to join a guided tour since visiting the canyon without one is not permitted. This is because of the canyon's rich Navajo history.

There are two sections of Antelope Canyon to choose from – the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon

Both sections offer distinct experiences, with the Upper Canyon being more famous for its light beams and the Lower Canyon having more intricate rock formations

Your time here will be limited, so you'll almost certainly have to choose between one section or the other. If you had a day dedicated to visiting Antelope Canyon alone, you could consider visiting both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon in one day.

Antelope Canyon tours last roughly an hour to an hour and a half. If you have a bit of time left over after your tour, consider visiting Horseshoe Bend. It's one of the most iconic sights in the area!

Shark at Lower Antelope Canyon
Interesting shapes have been carved into the rock walls of Antelope Canyon by erosion.

Final Thoughts

While visiting both Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in one day is achievable, it's not always recommended. Consider where you'll be staying the night and whether you're up to all the driving.

To truly make the most of your journey, consider splitting them into two days, especially if you're traveling from somewhere far like Las Vegas. By doing so, you'll have ample time to immerse yourself in the beauty of each location and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Visiting both Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon in one day is indeed possible, though. It's much easier if you join a guided tour, as opposed to making the trip yourself. Making the trip independently, it's still worth doing if you don't have a lot of time to spare on your trip.

Embrace the journey, soak in the sights, and let the magic of the American Southwest surround you. Happy travels!


Sunny Samaroo

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