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Antelope Canyon: The Wave Like Patterns, Arizona

by Travelature Team

Antelope Canyon is a sacred site to the Navajo and we expect travellers to treat it as such. Please be respectful of the space and do not do anything to desecrate the Canyon like littering or spreading the ashes of loved ones. We appreciate your respect and cooperation. Thank You!

Arizona is filled with fascinating destinations to include in your road trip, but you won’t find another place quite like Antelope Canyon. Photographers fly from all over the world to capture scenes from here so if you’re local and can skip the flight, take advantage!

A visit to the Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona with its stunning hues of yellow colour

A visit to the Lower Antelope Canyon with its stunning hues of yellow colour

Known for its supernatural appearance, there is a worldly place of natural wonders in Page, Arizona, where floods have carved out two hidden canyons of such breathtaking beauty in terracotta rock, you would swear it’s on the surface of Mars.

Antelope Canyon has become a popular destination and is a paradise for every photographer for Instagram travellers as it provides you with endless possibilities for photography.

This exceptionally beautiful place is one of the most remarkable canyons of slots in the world. The incomparable beauty of the rocks will enchant you.

DISCOVER ANTELOPE CANYON: CURIOSITY OF MANY, CARVED BY NATURE

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon — carved by nature and water. The canyons formed when the water steeps its way, not in a gentle form of a river, but the fast and furious flash floodwaters.

The floods that created Antelope Canyon came from thunderstorms over a mesa about 15 miles from the canyon.

The slot sandstone of Antelope has been intricately carved for many years by a continuous stream of water. A rare and rough stream of water carved this sandstone into beautiful curves and waves. The light effect is even more attractive.

Great red and purple hues slot canyon antelope

This magnificent place owes its name to the pronghorn Antelope mammal, who once grazed in the area. The whole area is located on land owned by the Navajo people, whose people have lived there for hundreds of years.

This slot canyon has become a major source of tourist activities for the Navajo people and contributes to the economy. This place gained popularity in other parts of the nation and country when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo tribal park and people began to visit it.

Flash floods still happen at this place which leads to the closure of this place for several months.

Breathtaking picture of Antelope Canyon Four Sisters. A natural phenomenon.

Antelope Canyon Four Sisters

ARE ANTELOPE IS ACTUALLY TWO CANYONS?

Located in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Antelope Canyon includes two separate, scenic slot canyon sections, referred to as Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. The two canyons are different, but both are located in the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, a 15-minute drive apart.

The upper canyon is where the water flows through the rocks. Also known in the Navajo language as “Tse bighanilini”, or “the place where water runs through rocks.”  It is a narrow passage through the walls of the canyon 120 feet high. 

More people visit the Upper Canyon, for two reasons…the entrance, exit, and canyon floor are all at ground level. Thanks to the sun’s rays, this place is even more picturesque.

The beams of direct sunlight radiating down from the openings occur from March to October. But the peak time runs between May and September.

The beams of direct sunlight radiating down from the openings of Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon · Sun Beams!

The Lower Antelope Canyon, called “Hazdistazi” in the Navajo tongue…meaning “spiral rock arches”… is harder to reach there which requires visitors to climb up and down a series of staircases and the canyon floor is narrower. Here you’ll find breathtaking shades of red and orange colour because of the absence of sunlight. 

Enchanting colours of orange and red hues. All the warm colours of nature at Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Orange and red hues: All the warm colours of nature at Lower Antelope Canyon

Note: The only access to the canyons is through official guided tours, as no personal tours are allowed for this place. Tickets need to be booked earlier. 

You can book guided tours from www.antelopecanyon.com or navajotours.com

A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM

Striking orange-red rock walls, intricate shapes and incredible rays of light streaming into the canyon have made Antelope Canyon a dream for Instagram photographers and adventurers.

Expansive views of this dramatic bend in the Colorado river at Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

The most magical time to visit is when the light beams in through the rock, typically between 10 am and noon. It’s also amazing to see the pouring sand effect, which occurs when sand is blown above the canyon or when a guide throws sand against a canyon wall.

It really is something you have to see first-hand to really understand and worth capturing! Cameras are welcome but no tripods, monopods or/and selfie sticks. 

MOST EXPENSIVE PHOTO EVER SOLD FOR A RECORD PRICE OF $6.5 MILLION

Phantom is a black-and-white shot of Arizona's Antelope Canyon | Image Credits: Australian landscape Photographer Peter Lik

As we all know, the popularity of photography remains undeniable, and therefore all the photography fairs that you can discover around the world. There’s a great saying that, “a picture speaks a thousand words”, but there’s one picture that is worth millions of dollars.

You won’t believe it but yes; the most expensive photo of the wave from December 2014 is $ 6.5 million!

Known as Phantom by Australian landscape photographer Peter Lik is a black and white photograph of Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, a penetrating ray of sunlight that appears as a haunting figure in a cave space.

The place offers breathtaking views yet dangerous! 

FLASH FLOOD RESULTED IN A THE TRAGEDY

Just some of the metal stairs leading out of Lower Antelope Canyon

Image by User:Moondigger via Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the danger of walking in such a beautiful canyon often escapes the minds of most visitors. The water that flows from recent storms and the debris that accumulates on the road represents a dangerous situation in such a high and narrow area. Sometimes it becomes deadly. 

This exactly happened to eleven tourists who entered the lower canyon who were killed on August 12, 1997, in a surprise severe flood that hit the canyon. For those Arizona hikers, it was an unknowing descent to death. This incident reminded the people of the dangers of the slot canyons.

Only one person survived, the guide who narrowly survived the disaster. To mark the 17th anniversary of the tragedy, the guide described in an interview with 12 News what happened that day.

Note: After the disaster, new security measures were introduced, including restrictions on access based on weather conditions. And now there are permanent metal ladders that help people get out of the canyon. 

A place worth a thousand words

Once you realize how unique and history-rich Antelope Canyon is, it is easy to see why it is so popular and well-known.

The unique historical facts related to Navajo culture and more are intriguing to many history buffs and nature lovers, making the Canyon a famous spot for people from all countries, cultures, and walks of life. It also helps people to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the Navajo people.

The stunning images being shared on Instagram and other social media sites helped to showcase the wonders of Antelope Canyon and brought the Arizona slot canyon to the top of many millennials’ bucket lists.

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