The Wonders of Antelope Canyon in Northern Arizona

Published on September 19, 2011 by

The beauty of the slot canyon in Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon in Navajo Country near Page Arizona

As my friend and I made our way slowly by car to Sedona, Arizona, we stopped at several natural attractions. We'd already been to Carlsbad Caverns and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Both of those were her suggestions and were wonderful. My choice was to go to Antelope Canyon near Lake Powell, Arizona. I'd never seen anything like it.

The Photos of the Canyon

I was originally attracted to Antelope Canyon by the images of it found on the internet. My traveling companion said later that she originally thought those images had to have been doctored by some computer program. She couldn't imagine anything so beautiful and unusual... and then she saw the sights.

This natural wonder is a slot canyon which is formed by water rushing through the sandstone. It is much taller than it is wide. Some of the turns were so narrow only one person could go through at a time. Andrew, our Navajo guide, told us that, this year, there were 28 people who couldn't complete the tour due to claustrophobia. My friend, who can become claustrophobic, did well because there was light coming in from above.

You Must Have a Navajo Guide

Antelope Canyon is in Navajo Nation and having a Navajo guide is a requirement if you wish to go through this area. About 15 years ago anyone could go through the area. Unfortunately, there were those inconsiderate and selfish people who had no reverence for the beauty of nature. Some people wrote on the walls, others carved hand-holds in the wall for rock climbing and still others used bullets to put holes in the walls. When the leaders of the Navajo found out what was happening, they closed the area to all but those accompanied by official Navajo Guides.

We chose the Antelope Canyon Tour Company which is owned and operated by Navajos. There are two types of tours: photographic and the regular one. Although this was not a photographic tour, our Navajo guide Andrew was well acquainted with the best positions and methods to obtain some amazing photographs worthy of a professional. When I told him how much I appreciated his pointers even though we weren't on the photographic tour, he said he enjoyed working with the amateurs. We let him give us pointers and show us the best ways to adjust our cameras.

Flash Flood Precautions

Although we weren't there during monsoon season, Andrew still took precautions against flash floods. He parked the van so that it was ready to leave the area without having to turn around. He pointed out the water levels and told us how the floods would bring in so much sand the floor of Antelope Canyon was raised by 8 feet. The next flood would wash the sand out and the level of the floor would go down.

Anyone who enjoys the beauty of nature would enjoy this tour. Even if you are an amateur photographer, bring your camera. You'll be amazed at the photos you'll be able to show off.

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