Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Antelope Slot Canyon

Monument valley in the Cave

The Aman concierge got us a great Navajo guide named Raymond to take us on a tour of Antelope Canyon with minimal tourists. Antelope Canyon is a popular location for photographers and sightseers, and a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation. It has been accessible by permit only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a part of the Navajo Tribal Park. 
Photography within the canyons is difficult due to the wide exposure range made by light reflecting off the canyon walls. Raymond was fantastic. He knew just what to do with the light. We went early and pretty much had the caves to ourselves. When we left there were 100’s of tourists just getting there.
Tami Holding Light in Her Hands
So what is a Slot Canyon? There are many slot canyons with Antelope being the most famous. Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone primarily due to flash flooding. Rainwater, especially during Monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways are eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic 'flowing' shapes in the rock.
Angel's Wings
Antelope Canyon is called Tsé bighánílíní, "the place where water runs through rocks" by the Navajo. It is the most frequently visited by tourists, due to two considerations. First, its entrance and entire length are at ground level, requiring no climbing. Second, beams (shafts of direct sunlight radiating down from openings in the top of the canyon) are much more common in Upper than in Lower. Beams occur most often in the summer months, as they require the sun to be high in the sky. Winter colors are a little more muted. Summer months provide two types of lighting. Light beams start to peek into the canyon March 15 and disappear October 7 each year.
Rubbing the Bear's Face
Check this place out! The Antelope Canyon is truly a unique and magnificent sight. It’s otherworldly.

Highly recommended!
If you’d like to check out more pages of the blog . . . Click here


  1. Love the Angel's Wing photo! Antelope Canyon might just be on my list of places to go to now...

  2. Your articles are amazing. I love all the pictures. It is one of my dreams to go west and explore all the great settings out there