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Halloween Spotlight: What the Heck are Skinwalkers?

Plenty of states have famous cryptids, but nothing compares to skinwalkers in Arizona. These spooky beings have roamed the deserts of the Southwest for ages.

Unlike other legends, Arizona skinwalkers have a long, storied history within the Navajo Nation. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you might see one for yourself.

If you’re ready to learn more about these terrifying creatures, you’re in luck. Today, we’re digging into the lore to bring you everything you need to know.

Let’s get into it!

A creepy female figure in the mists. Some believe skinwalkers are evil witches.
Some believe skinwalkers are evil witches

About the Skinwalkers of Arizona

Stories about skinwalkers in Arizona date back hundreds of years. These fearsome life forms have been reported all over the state. But in contrast to some cryptids, their origin story comes from Indigenous history and beliefs.

According to the Navajo people, skinwalkers are magical beings similar to witches. While they begin as regular, everyday humans, their transformation comes after they commit an act of evil, such as murder.

This dark sin grants them the ability to change their appearance at will. Skinwalkers may present themselves in different forms to different people. However, most people who’ve had encounters describe their appearance as wolf-like.

The fact that these powerful beings can change shape is scary enough. Even stranger is their capacity to travel between planes of existence. The Navajo believe they journey between worlds using secret, magical doors in certain parts of the American Southwest.

Where Can You Find a Skinwalker Door in Arizona?

In order to catch a glimpse of these spooky shapeshifters, it’s best to seek out one of these magical doors. But portals between different dimensions don’t exist just anywhere. Skinwalkers in Arizona use specific entry points across the region.

One such portal lies within Antelope Canyon, a geological wonder located in Northern Arizona. Allegedly, skinwalkers travel this area so often that some tour guides discuss them with visitors. It’s a beautiful, otherworldly location you could easily mistake for another planet’s landscape.

The canyon gets its name from the antelope that used to populate the region. Erosion from powerful wind gusts and flash floods formed the sandstone ravine. While some parts are shallow, others are deep and partially covered by rock layers. Depending on the time of day, the walls may appear red, orange, or even purple.

Antelope Canyon isn’t open to the general public because it’s on Indigenous land. To see this place for yourself, you must arrange a guided tour with the Navajo Nation.

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Where Is Antelope Canyon?

Near Antelope Canyon is the city of Page, Arizona, where people commonly report seeing skinwalkers. This has made it a popular destination for cryptid seekers. Situated between Lake Powell and Lechee, Page is popular among folks who love the outdoors. It’s a great jumping-off point for adventures of all kinds, including hiking, cycling, rafting, and swimming.

The city is also close to several iconic parks and natural sites. It’s just a short drive from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, and Monument Valley.

However, outdoor exploration isn’t the only thing to do in Page. You can treat yourself to a few rounds of golf, relax at a locally-owned inn, or enjoy meals from fast-casual and fine-dining restaurants.

Plan your trip: The Antelope Canyon Road Trip Guide.

Best Hikes Near Antelope Canyon

This part of Arizona has no shortage of natural wonders. Whether or not you’re hoping to glimpse a skinwalker, the state’s northern border is full of beautiful landscapes.

Here are a few of the best hikes in the region.

Guided Antelope Canyon Hikes

Antelope Canyon actually includes seven gorges in total. The two most popular hikes are the Upper and Lower Antelope routes. 

But there’s also Canyon X, which is deeper and less traveled than the others. Some sections, like White Owl Canyon, are named for the critters that inhabit them. Most hikes are easy and no more than three miles out and back.

While hiking Antelope Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it requires a bit of planning. This incredible ravine sits on Navajo land, and all visitors are required to visit with a guide.

Sneaking into the park would mean breaking the law. Even worse is disrespecting the land itself, which is sacred to the Navajo Nation. After all, your search for a skinwalker shouldn’t include trespassing.

Horseshoe Bend Trail

You’ll find Horseshoe Bend Trail in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s just 1.5 miles in total distance and takes most folks about 35 minutes to complete. The trail takes you around the bend, offering gorgeous views of the Colorado River and the massive sandstone formation.

Because Horseshoe Bend has become more popular over the years, the trail tends to stay busy. The hike is ADA-accessible, dog-friendly, and open year-round. But be careful when visiting during the warmer months, as there’s not much shade along the route.

A ray of light shining into a red rock canyon. Could this be the skinwalker portal in Antelope Canyon?
Could this be the skinwalker portal in Antelope Canyon?

Best Places to Stay Near Antelope Canyon

After a long day of hiking or looking for skinwalkers, you’ll want a comfortable place to crash. There are tons of great stays in and around Page, so you’re sure to find the perfect spot.

Take a look at some of the best places to crash near Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Point RV Park

Antelope Point RV Park is an excellent option, just three miles from the canyons. It has 100 sites with full hookups, 30- and 50-Amp service, grills, showers, restrooms, and free WiFi.

There’s also plenty to do at the park. Check out the marina for fishing, boating, or a meal at the on-site restaurant. The scenic views of nearby Tower Butte might take your breath away.

The Bears Den Bed and Breakfast

If you’re looking for cozy accommodations, check out the Bears Den Bed and Breakfast. It’s only a ten-minute drive from Antelope Canyon, making it a convenient choice.

Each room offers free WiFi, a mini fridge, microwave, and bathrobes. There’s even a hot tub if you feel like relaxing after a long hike. And since their breakfast is made to order, you’ll surely find something delicious on the menu.

And don’t worry. As far as we know, there haven’t been any skinwalker sightings here.

La Quinta Inn and Suites

You can’t go wrong with La Quinta Inn for a hotel stay. Plus, it’s just ten minutes from the canyons. They offer all the amenities you expect, such as complimentary WiFi, a mini fridge, a microwave, and HDTV. There’s also a free continental breakfast and an outdoor pool for warm-weather use.

Read more about skinwalkers and creepy curses: Skinwalkers, Shapeshifters, and Native American Curses.

Search for Arizona’s Skinwalkers If You Dare

Arizona skinwalkers aren’t your everyday cryptids. These elusive beings have a long history in the Southwest, especially within the Navajo Nation. They aren’t purely supernatural or human but exist somewhere in between realms.

What we do know is that skinwalkers are fascinating and immensely powerful. Spend enough time near one of their magical doors, and you may just catch a glimpse of one!

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