Antelope canyon: the most photographed canyon in America



The gorge of Antelope Canyon


The colors of Antelope Canyon

Did you know that Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular places for photographers in America? The unique beauty of Antelope Canyon is much appreciated by professional photographers and amateurs looking for the perfect shot.

The peculiarity that attracts thousands of tourists and photographers who visit Antelope Canyon every year is the spectacle of colors that the sun, penetrating from above through the narrow opening, manages to offer lighting up the walls.

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This spectacle of nature changes continuously according to the angle of the sun's rays that penetrate into the canyon, so photographers can immortalize dozens of different shots of the same point in different hours of the day but also in different seasons.

A real challenge for photography lovers who, however, have recently had to abandon due to some new rules that prohibit the use of professional equipment to prevent the prolonged stay of some individuals who hindered the passage of tourists.


Ray of sunshine in Antelope Canyon


The morphology of Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is considered a slot canyon, a very narrow type of canyon formed by the erosion of water and wind which, in the course of hundreds of years, have shaped the sandstone rock of this area.

The sinuous walls of the canyon give an idea of ​​how the erosion of water on a rock such as sandstone can change the landscape and, in the case of Antelope Canyon, create shapes so harmonic they seem sculpted by an artist.

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Despite being in a very arid area of ​​Arizona, the canyon is subject to sudden and violent floods that have helped to sculpt the rock but also make it a potential dangerous trap.

In fact, in 1997 one of these sudden floods, coming from a storm that occurred tens of kilometers away, surprised tourists inside the Antelope Canyon, killing 11 people who had no escape.


Antelope Canyon


Guided tours in Antelope Canyon

Following this tragedy, the site can only be visited with the various guided tours that start from Page and, being inside a Navajo reserve, are managed directly by the local community.

All tours allow you to visit the various slot canyons inside the reserve accompanied by expert guides who transport visitors with their pick-ups along the uncomfortable dirt roads that lead to the entrances.

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Facing one of the most popular attractions in Arizona and having a limited number of visitors allowed, it is highly recommended to book well in advance the visit with one of the accredited tour operators.

There are 3 most famous slot canyons in the Page area that you can visit as well as several other natural attractions including the Horseshoe Bend, another popular destination for photographers, and the beautiful Lake Powell, a popular holiday destination famous for its cobalt-colored water.


Rock erosion in Antelope Canyon


Antelope Canyon entrances

The most visited is undoubtedly the Upper Antelope Canyon which, although it is a few hundred meters long, is also the most comfortable and accessible of the 3, then the V shape allows a greater penetration of light to be able to appreciate it better.

The Lower Antelope Canyon is less crowded but certainly a more adventurous alternative as it has some stretches to be covered with the aid of stairs where the utmost attention must be paid.

The least known and the most difficult to visit is the Antelope Canyon X which contains the characteristics of the other 2 canyons but with a particular morphology that makes it a place quite inconvenient to access and therefore not suitable for everyone.



My impression about Antelope Canyon:


By booking well in advance, I was lucky enough to be able to visit Antelope Canyon in the middle of August, on a sunny day and at the best time when the sun's rays descend perpendicularly inside the canyon and the show I saw was magnificent but if I hadn't had even one of these conditions, probably the expectations I had from the many photos seen on the net would have been disappointed!

So my advice is: try to book the best tour even if at a higher price.


Have you ever been to Antelope Canyon?

Tell your experience in the comments or ask me a question.



Must see places near Antelope Canyon:

  • Lake Powell (14,8 Km/9,2 mi)

Lake Powell is an artificial reservoir famous for the intense color of its waters.

  • Horseshoe Bend (13,9 Km/8,6 mi)

Horseshoe Bend is a particular and suggestive observation point of the Colorado River.

  • Big Water (38,5 Km/23,9 mi)

From Big Water there are several routes to observe the curious rocky conformations of the area.