Awe-inspiring Antelope Canyon (30 PICS) Navajo Nation Tribute Part 3

June 16th, 2011 Permalink

The mysterious, magnificent colors of Antelope Canyon make it the most photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. This masterpiece of color is located near Page, Arizona, and the Lake Powell area. We’ve looked at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and magnificent Monument Valley, but in Navajo Nation tribute part 3, we’re looking at Antelope Canyon. This is actually made up of two slot canyons. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdeztwazi which in Navajo means “spiral rock arches.” Antelope Canyon was formed mostly by erosion of Navajo Sandstone due to flash flooding and water rushing through the rocks. The risk of flash floods is but one reason Antelope Canyon is not accessible without a guide. Yet people come from all over the world to visit the Navajo Nation and to try out this photographic extravaganza. [30 Photos]

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon is at about 4,000 feet elevation. It is the most popular of the two canyons since the upper has a fairly flat ground which requires no climbing. Also because the glorious shafts of sunlight are most common here. The spectacular canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. Throughout the year and depending upon the time of day, nature will surprise you in this amazing canyon with the changing masterpiece of color variations, sunbeams, and visible textures. Photo #1 by James Marvin Phelps

The Antelope Canyon in Arizona

These famous sunbeams in Upper Antelope Canyon happen most often in the summer months, when the colors of Navajo Sandstone are rich and deep. Light beams start to peek into the canyon March 15 and disappear October 7 each year. Photo #2 by Lucas Löffler


Upper antelope

Taken inside the upper canyon aka “The Crack.” The red you see is Navajo sandstone. When the canyon was discovered, herds of prong-horned antelope roamed the area, thus the name Antelope Canyon. Photo #3 by Moondigger

HDR Antelope Canyon

This HDR image of Upper Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona, was made from 4 different exposures. This is a slot canyon in the American Southwest that was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Photo #4 by Luca Galuzzi * http://www.galuzzi.it

Inside Antelope Canyon

Ray of light, tumbleweed and pouring sand inside Antelope Canyon. When it storms and flash floods through these chasms, that single storm can remove a foot or more of sand from the canyon. Photo #5 by Mathieu Thouvenin

"Beam Me Up"

Beam Me Up. The photographer noted, “The sunbeam looks like a cave drawing of a bison.” Photo #6 by Kevin Eddy

Antelope Heart

A heart shaped formation in Upper Antelope Canyon. Photo #7 by Andrew Langdal

Light Beams in Main Chamber - Upper Antelope - Slot Canyon

Sunbeams pouring down like heavenly messages into the main chamber of The Crack. Photo #8 by Brent Pearson

Lower Antelope

Lower Antelope Canyon is sometimes called The Corkscrew. It is much less frequently visited and much more challenging due to climbing ladders to get into this canyon. Some of the access is via sheer drops. In 1997, a thunderstorm ripped through five miles away from The Corkscrew. As a result, 50 feet deep flash flood waters swept through the canyon; 12 people drowned. Photo #9 by Moondigger

Antelope Canyon Sandfall

Antelope Canyon Sandfall. The richness of colors in the afternoon rivals the canyon colors in the morning. Photo #10 by Greg McCown

Lower Antelope Stairs

When viewed from aboveground, you might never realize what a treasure was waiting below since the crack that leads to the lower canyon measures only about 1 to 2 feet across. Climb down the Lower Antelope stairs, however, and the canyon measures about 150 feet high and ranges from about 2 to 30 feet wide. Photo #11 by Moondigger

Corkscrew Canyon - Lower Antelope Canyon

Corkscrew Canyon – marvelous blend of color, shape, texture and majesty which appear in a lighter palette during winter months. Photo #12 by Franck Vervial

Antelope Canyon Weed

Antelope Canyon Weed. Photographers flock to these canyons. From October to February, the colors are mostly pastel pinks, yellow, peach and orange. Yet in the summer months during the afternoon, colors are more vibrant and rich like red, blue, and purple. Photo #13 by John Fowler

The light inside Antelope Canyon

The Crack, or upper canyon, allows you to look up 130 feet to the top. It’s an easy, level walk with no climbing required. Photo #14 by Rob Inh00d

Dust Creature at Antelope Canyon

Dust Creature in “The Crack.” Photo #16 by James Marvin Phelps

Antelope diagonal light beam

Antelope diagonal light beam. Photo #17 by Brent Pearson

Antelope Canyon hole

The famous Antelope Canyon “Hole-In-Rock.” Photo #18 by Franck Vervial

Fantastic journey through Lower Antelope Canyon

Fantastic journey through Lower Antelope Canyon. The photographer wrote, “Lower Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous slot canyons in the world. It is located a few miles from Page, Arizona; visiting it is an otherworldly experience. It is a photographer’s dream with great colors and natural formations.” Photo #19 by Frank Kovalchek

Lower Antelope Canyon HDR

Lower Antelope Canyon HDR. Photo #20 by Jim Dollar

Inside Lower Antelope Canyon

Inside Lower Antelope Canyon, the passageway can be a tight squeeze in some spots, and then require agile climbing for sheer drops, or at least alternating from darkness and light while climbing the many stairs. Photo #21 by Nathan Rupert

Tumbleweed in Antelope Canyon

Tumbleweed in Antelope Canyon. Did you know that the upper canyon is sometimes called all of the following names: Slot Canyon, Wind Cave, Grotto Cave or “The Crack.” It was first discovered in 1931 by a young Navajo girl who was herding sheep in the area. Photo #22 by Brent Pearson

Upper Antelope Canyon Landscape

The lower canyon is in the shape of a “V” and shallower than the Upper Antelope landscape seen here. Lighting is better in The Corkscrew in the early hours and late afternoon. Photo #23 by Souvik Das

Upper Antelope Canyon - light

According to the Navajo Nation Park website, “To older Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would probably pause before going in, to be in the right frame of mind and prepare for protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature has to offer, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was, and is, a spiritual experience.” Photo #24 by Souvik Das

Antelope Canyon

Don’t forget that access to Antelope Canyon is limited. Entry is restricted to guided tours led by authorized guides who know the secrets of sunbeams and awe-inspring rock colors depending upon season and time of day. During monsoon season, it can rain dozens of miles away, and with very little warning the water can go from trickling to raging flash floods in these canyons. Your guides can potentially save your life by steering you to safety. Photo #25 by Mike Cilliers

Antelope (Corkscrew) Canyon

Corkscrew (Antelope) Canyon. Photo #26 by Steve Corey

Dual Sand Falls in Upper Antelope Canyon

Dual Sand Falls in Upper Antelope Canyon. Photo #27 by Andrew Langdal

sunlight, sand in Antelope Canyon

It is awe-inspiring how these natural stone sculptures can appear a bit different each time you see them, depending upon seasons and sunshine, and even the rearranging of sand and driftwood after a flash flood. Photo #28 by Mathieu Thouvenin

dusty shaft of sunlight

A dusty shaft of sunlight. Photo #29 by Mathieu Thouvenin

Antelope pencil beam

Antelope pencil beam. Photo #30 by Brent Pearson


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