305 ft / 93 m
2 / 10
3 / 10 (Light)
Waterholes Canyon is a great alternative to the more touristy and crowded Antelope Canyon. The rock formations of Antelope are definitely the best in the area, but Waterholes Canyon is not far behind. If you don’t want to be herded through Antelope Canyon like cattle, Waterholes is a very solid alternative.
This hike used to be an easy $12 permit, but unfortunately now requires a tour guide and is now $56. The appeal over Antelope Canyon becomes a little less apparent, but it is still nice to have the Canyons to yourself. The trailhead for Waterholes Canyon is very close to Horseshoe Bend, just 2.8 miles south right off of US-89. Theres a pretty subtle parking lot on the side of the road, but not too difficult to find. There is usually a standing tent there where they will check your permit. After which, you almost instantly climb down into the canyon and just go from there.
Go At Mid Day
Lighting is ideal when the sun is high enough to get through the canyon walls. Some clouds will help even the lighting too.