Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the world. This is because of its mesmerizing beauty, its ever changing views created by the sunlight playing on the Canyon’s walls and its unique geology.
Antelope Canyon is located in one of the most remote corners on the Earth, in Northern Arizona, east of Page, in Navajo Nation territory. The canyon got its name because many years ago herds of pronghorn antelopes grazed here.
This temple of nature inspires admiration in everybody who visits it. It has ephemeral shapes, colors, hues and textures created by sunlight playing on the twisted and curved sandstone canyon walls, which were chiseled by intermittent streams of water that made their way through the canyon. No wonder that older generations of Navajo consider this place sacred. However, Navajo do not keep it a secret and in fact provide guided tours to both Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. The name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse bighanili, which translates from Navajo as “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon in the Navajo language is Hasdestwazi, which means “spiral rock arches.”
Both canyons were created by flash floods water, which occur mostly during the monsoon season in the summer. The depth of the canyons reaches 120 feet from the surface.
In the Lower Antelope Canyon, there is a masterpiece around every corner. Even sunlight has a texture and a color here. It looks like a golden sparkly veil and it paints the walls with different hues of red, orange, beige, terracotta, purple and blue arranged in wavy and spiral patterns. The fluidity of the streams that created the canyon is depicted in the sandstone.
We were lucky because the weather was sunny during our tour in Lower Antelope Canyon. The entrance to the Canyon is a narrow opening in the ground with a few metal stairs, which are secured to the wall and lead to the bottom of the canyon. Our guide Justin did a great job by showing us the most interesting figures and patterns in the canyon. He also gave good advice about the most advantageous places to take pictures and as well took pictures of everybody in the group. Additionally, he played his guitar, which sounded as a romantic background and showed the soft acoustic of the canyon.
When planning a visit of the canyons beware of the danger of flash floods. The running water fills the narrow canyons very quickly. Watch weather alerts on the national weather service when planning your tour because it can be cancelled during such an event. We went with Ken’s Guided Tour, which accepts major credit cards, but we ended up paying cash. It was a very enjoyable tour and we took a slew of awesome pictures!