14 Cool Antelope Canyon Pictures
- By: Nate Kay
Antelope Canyon is located near Page, Arizona and is a popular place for photographers. It’s a unique slot canyon, which means it’s narrow and was formed through water erosion. At Antelope Canyon, this narrowness has created incredible beauty, with sleek curves and striking beams of light.
If you get a chance to visit the Southwest USA, this is a good spot to get some great pictures, but make sure you carefully plan your visit if you want to get a chance to photograph the beams of light coming through the cracks. Summer months for the Upper Canyon are ideal for getting the best beams, while the early morning or late afternoon are better for photographing the Lower Canyon.
Antelope Canyon is cared for by the Navajo people, who have known the canyon long before it received its English name. The Upper Canyon, also called The Crack, has the Navajo name of “Tsé bighánílíní”, which translates as “the place where water runs through rocks.” This part of the canyon is popular because it has more beams of light, and because visiting it doesn’t require any climbing.
The Lower Canyon or “The Corkscrew” is called “Hazdistazí” in Navajo, which means “spiral rock arches.” You need to hike more to visit it, and it is longer and narrower in spots. Since fewer people visit this part of the canyon, you’re more likely to have peaceful time to take photos. Also, since summer is the ideal time to photograph the Upper Canyon, you may choose to visit the Lower Canyon during the winter.
Of course, you can also just spend time visiting both.
The road to the canyon is gated by the Navajo Nation, and for the protection of the canyon as well as your own safety, you can only visit it in a guided tour led by an authorized tour guide. These tours can be arranged in the nearby town, Page.
Flash flooding is one of the reasons why the canyon can be dangerous. During monsoon season, rains can quickly flood the canyon. Even if the rain is miles away, the narrowness of the canyon can funnel this water through with little warning. In 1997, eleven tourists were killed in the Lower Canyon by a flash flood, even though little rain had fallen at Antelope Canyon that day. The water had come from an earlier thunderstorm, which had dumped rain seven miles upstream in the canyon basin.
Since that year, Antelope Canyon has become accessible only through a tour guide. However, the risk of flash floods still exists. Although there have been no deaths since 1997, several tourists were stranded on a ledge in 2010 when two flash floods rushed through the canyon. For that reason, be aware of the season of your visit and watch the weather while you’re in the area.