The Mesmerizing Antalope Canyon
Antalope Canyon is said to be the most photographed canyon in the world, and if you have ever been there you will know why. The sandstone along with the beams of light can turn this canyon into a magical place. It can mesmerize you with its stunning visual illusions. As the sun moves across the sky, the views within Antalope Canyon change constantly as light is filtered softly across the stone walls. A dazzling display of color, light, and shadow are created by the ever-moving sun angles bouncing light back and forth across the narrow canyon walls. As part of our Southwest National Parks Road Trip in April of 2014, we witnessed this slot canyon first hand.
In the photo below, this as refered to as ‘Monument Valley’ as it mimics the famed valley made famous by the many movies filmed there. This view can only be seen if you look straight up the slot canyon as the beam of sun light illuminate the narrow crevasse.
This next scene depicts a man’s face. If you look carefully you can see facial features most noticeably the nose.
This photo is ‘the torch’, need I say more.
This incredible canyon has been created over many thousands of years by the relentless forces of nature in the form of water and wind, slowly carving and sculpting the sandstone into shapes, textures and forms we see today. The primary engineer of the canyon is the flash flooding. Rainwater runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. The “flowing” shape of the rock is created by the passageways being eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing the hard edges.
This canyon is conveniently less than 10 minutes away from Page, Arizona. The canyon can only be accessed through guided tours and the best times are between the hours of 10am and 1pm when the sun is directly overhead allowing the lights to illuminate the canyons revealing the “flowing” shape of the rocks. We, unfortunately, had to settle for the 4pm tour as the prime viewing hours were already full. I suggest you reserve your tour time a few days ahead of your planned day.
Tours through the upper canyon are run every hour and multiple groups are run through the canyon every hour and it can be frustrating to get a photo without someone walking into your shot. In fact, tour guides do the best they can to keep their groups together, eventually people stray and end up either joining the group ahead of them or lag behind to blend in with another group. If you’re a photographer, I suggest you take the photography tour through the upper canyon which cost more but you avoid the hoards of tourist in the lower canyon.
I’m a novice with an ill-equipped camera for low light photography so it made sense to do some photos in black and white.
If you are a photographer, imagine what you could do here.