Antelope Canyon is one of the “tributaries” of Glen Canyon. A stream that dries up in the summer flows into the Colorado River. A few miles from its mouth, the creek forms two stunning canyons. They were discovered by chance by a Native American girl on a quest to find a lost goat.
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Video: Antelope Canyon
From above, the canyons are inconspicuous, just so, a narrow groove in the ground, about 40-60 inches wide. But under the ground, the water has dug the red-orange rocks to a depth of 3 to 6 meters. The walls are bizarrely shaped, licked by water, with washed-out half-caves and grottoes. Light penetrates through a narrow gap at the top, repeatedly reflected from the orange limestone, creating unlikely shimmers and shades, shadows and penumbra. Here and there you can walk through freely, there and there you have to climb.
Both canyons belong to one of the Navajo clans. Of course, there is a separate fee for each canyon, and not a small one at that. You won’t get any services for your money-no toilets, no coke stand, not even a prospectus-but despite your indignation at “Navajo people,” the canyons will blow your mind. They are different from each other: the lower one is not as deep, but more intricately shaped. The upper one is up to 6 meters deep, the bottom is almost dark, and you can walk along the sandy bottom.
Antelope Canyon lies four miles east of town on Highway 98, between the town of Page and a large coal-fired power plant. You can’t miss the power plant; you can see it from dozens of miles before you reach the town. There are signs for Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, but these are not standard U.S. road signs, but rather hand-drawn signs, so you can easily miss them. The thing to remember is that if you go farther east than the power plant, you have to go back. There is a small shack and bulletin board by the road leading from Highway 98 to Upper Canyon, and this can serve as another additional reference point.
The best times to visit are in spring and fall: March-April and October-November. During this time, the sunlight penetrates all the way to the bottom and the canyons look as if a bright light is burning inside the dark palace, but don’t turn down a trip in winter for fear there will be nothing to see or problems with access. In winter, the lighting in the canyons is quite low – it’s quite dusky inside, with deep shadows and flat reliefs. Pictures taken in Antelope Canyon are especially eye-catching and will take a prime place in your American album.
The best time to take pictures is in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its zenith. For the Lower Canyon, the preferred time is before noon and just after (10 to 11 or 1 to 2 pm), and for the Upper Canyon, the best time is around noon, from 11 to 1 pm. This is because the Upper Canyon is deeper and has less light, while the Lower Canyon gets too much direct light during the afternoon and the magic is lost.
Episodes of some movies also show Antelope Canyon, especially the Upper Canyon. Among them is the 1996 film Broken Arrow starring Christian Slater and John Travolta.
How to get to Antelope Canyon
There are some Indians on duty at the hut, gathering the group for the canyon tour. You can pay them a fee to enter the reservation and pay the guide at the hourly rate. The fee in 2002 was $3 per person. For this fee, an Indian will take you in a jeep three miles south, along the sandy bed of Antelope Creek, to the canyon. However, it may turn out that the Indian guide will take the group on a tour, and then you will have to wait for him at this hut. This is probably the easiest and least expensive way to visit the canyon.
There are several tour operators in Paige City who are involved in showing Antelope Canyon. You can contact any of these companies and arrange a tour of the canyon. For example, Antelope Canyon Adventures (http://jeeptour.com, 928-645-5501, fax: 928-645-3155) . The firm is located on Safeway Plaza . Lake Powell Boulevard is Paige’s main street. It overlooks Highway 89. It has two large plazas, Safeway and Walmart . Safeway Plaza is at the intersection of Lake Powell Blvd and Elm St . They have hour-long tours at 10, 12, and 2pm .
The hour-long tour is actually an hour and a half, with the group spending one hour in the canyon itself and a half hour spent driving from Page to the canyon and back. An optional three-hour tour is also offered for photographers.
Because the canyon has very sharp variations in light and shade, the conditions require extra time to set up the equipment and take the pictures themselves. The one-hour tour costs $29 per person, and the three-hour tour costs $45 with all fees, taxes and Indian duties.
Honestly, even amateur photographers one hour in the canyon is not enough, you will have to do everything at a pace and there will be no time left for just looking at the beauty, so if you are not in a hurry, I recommend choosing the multi-hour tour. The first way or the second, it’s up to you.
Antelope Canyon in Arizona
Antelope Canyon is located in northern Arizona in the southwestern United States. This amazing place was created by nature without human intervention. In the sandy cliffs formed huge cracks through which the light penetrates delightfully, hypnotizing its shimmer. In general, there are two canyons – the upper and lower (more popular with tourists).
Amazing Antelope Canyon in the U.S.
For several centuries in the red sandstone, water and wind have dug hollows that have already reached hundreds of meters. The canyon is usually parched. The red walls resemble the skin of an antelope, hence its name. During rainstorms, which are not every year, Antelope Canyon in Arizona is completely flooded. As it flows down the walls, it has formed an unusual topography in the rocks.
This attraction is not a U.S. national park, so its popularity is somewhat inferior to the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. The Antelope Canyon area belongs to the Navajo Indians, who collect tolls through the passage on their land.
Antelope Canyon – Arizona’s fabulous nature
Antelope Canyon belongs to the so-called slot canyons. It is formed by erosion of the Navaja sandstone. Geologists call the causes of erosion, firstly, flash floods, and secondly, subaerial processes. Rainwater, especially during the monsoon season, enters the vast basin above the slotted canyon sections and, gaining speed and mixing with sand, penetrates the narrow canyon passages.
For a long time, the passages in the rock have been eroding, becoming deeper and flattened, acquiring characteristic “smooth” shapes. Today, floods in the canyon occur with increasing frequency.
Depending on how the light falls, the outlines of the canyon create different images. The palette of colors changes through halftones from white to yellow, orange, red, and purple layered sand lined in a solid smooth polished surface, with occasional flecks of scattered pieces of harder rock that look like nuggets protruding from the walls of the mine.
Being inside this beauty you cannot believe that everything around consists of sandstone and minerals: you get the full feeling that you are inside a living organism, which is about to move, breathe, grow, change before your eyes.
Antelope Canyon – routes for tourists
Usually there are two excursion destinations – the upper and lower canyons. They are especially popular among photographers. It is best to choose spring and fall to visit. The sun’s rays reach the bottom of the canyon at these times of year. Visitors who have observed it at this time, compare the canyon to a dark palace, inside of which the master has lit up a bright light. In winter, the canyon is not bright enough, and photography is possible only with additional lighting. The climate in winter is mild, usually temperatures do not drop below 0 ° C, and summers in these parts are hot and dry.
Antelope Canyon in the United States is not very adapted for tourists. Here, even the metal ladders installed many years ago do not immediately inspire confidence. For safety reasons, to enter the canyon is possible only with a guide. Especially strict this rule applies in the rainy season, when the water can imperceptibly, but very quickly completely flood the underground palace. Visiting these places during thunderstorms is strictly forbidden.