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Upper Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Photos of Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Taking a trip to Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona has been on our “to-do” list since we moved to Arizona. It’s gorgeous in photos, so we needed to see it up close in person.  One weekend we planned our trip to Antelope Canyon from Phoenix.

Antelope Canyon includes two separate, scenic slot canyon sections, referred to as Upper Antelope Canyon (or The Crack), and Lower Antelope Canyon (or The Corkscrew), and is an example of a geological curiosity known as a “slot canyon.” Slot canyons are tiny canyons formed when water gets into a crack or fissure in the bedrock. Slot canyons are more commonly found in deserts or areas with low rainfall, and is the result of thousands of years of weather extremes. Antelope Canyon comes from an intermittent creek that now empties into the Colorado River, which would erupt in turbulent flash floods that wore away the sandstone rock face. This was followed by hot, dry periods where sandstorms buffed the canyon walls to a swirled finish, giving them their photographic finish.

History of Antelope Canyon

The origin or history of how Antelope Canyon was first discovered differ, depending on your source. One of the more popular versions suggests that around the time of the Great Depression, a Navajo girl was herding livestock on her family’s lands near Page, AZ. At one point, she wandered into a “crack” in a sandstone wall where the outside world fell silent, and rays of sunlight illuminated the sculpted chambers of the cave-like formation through a gap in the roof. Some elders of the Navajo tribe maintain that “Long Walk” holdouts took refuge in Antelope Canyon in the late 1800’s, and that spiritual beings continue to keep watch over the area.

Visiting Antelope Canyon

Today, Antelope Canyon is a popular location for photographers and tourists, and a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation.

To visit either the Upper or Lowe Canyons, you’ll have to schedule a tour, you can’t visit on your own. During our visit, it was extremely packed with tours, and how much you enjoy the ‘tour’ probably varies depending on your guide. They tend to cramp as many tours in the canyon as possible, at once. We opted for regular tour, and not to spend $200 per person for the photography tour.  *UPDATE: As of early 2020, they have cancelled Photography Tours at the canyons. You can only opt for the regular tour.

Below are a few images from my first trip to the Upper Canyon. Photos don’t do this place justice. 

Purchase Prints of Antelope Canyon

If you’re interested in purchasing prints, they’re available here.

Have you been before? Feel free to leave a note about your experience or share your photos!

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