Update: March 2004
Antelope Canyon

The highlight of our trip to the Page, Arizona area was photographing Antelope Canyon. This slot and corkscrew canyon is located southeast of Page on Navajo lands. This canyon is a popular site for photographers.


Antelope CanyonAntelope Canyon

We drove east on Highway 98 toward the Navajo Powerplant and arrived at the parking lot at 9:50AM. We paid a Navajo guide for a photo tour. He drove us the 2 miles through a sandy wash to the entrance of the Upper Antelope Canyon. Along the way he entertained us with Navajo history and stories. The narrow slot entrance could easily be missed if it weren't for the wash filled with tire tracks of SUV and jeep tours.

As soon as we entered the slot canyon, we knew we were in a special place. This canyon is sometimes called the corkscrew, and we could see why. The brillant orange colors, smooth curves and textured colors were beautiful. Although it was warm outside, once we got inside the narrow slot canyon we were glad we wore our long pants.

Antelope Canyon

The canyon was exciting from every angle. One of the most interesting perspectives was the view directly overhead. As the sun rose in the sky, the angle of the light entering the canyon changed. The photo below shows a view straight overhead.

Antelope Canyon


Antelope CanyonWandering Through the Canyon

After a few directions and suggestions for the best places for photographs, our guide let us wander around and take photographs for 3 hours. During the busy summer season, photo tours are limited to 2 hours. Even in March the canyon got very busy around noon, which is the best time to catch the beams of light shining into the canyon.

We started by walking through the entire canyon. It only took a few minutes. Then, we worked our way back taking photographs along the way. Unfortunately we (someone who will remain annonymous) had misplaced the shoe attachment that allows connection of the camera to our tripod. So we had to improvise.


Entrance BeamBeams of Light

Around noon the beams of light from the sun began appearing. The intensity and location of the light changes from season to season.

The photo on the right shows the light beam at the entrance to the slot canyon. Click on the photo for a larger version.

One videographer named Phil Giriodi was there working on a new DVD project for his company Four Points Video. He patiently waited for over two hours in the same spot for the best shot.


Antelope Canyon 3 beams

Tracking the Beams

We hustled from one area to another as the light beams appeared, slowly moved across an area, then disappeared.

It was fun to interact with the others who were there to photograph the canyon walls too. The photo on the left was taken in a narrow area of the canyon. People who weren't interested in photography would walk by quickly and sometimes miss the beauty. We waited for several minutes as the first, second, then third beam of light appeared. Click the photo for a larger version.


Annette sketchTime to Go

We could have stayed for hours, but it was time to leave at 1PM. Annette spent the last few minutes sketching at the entrance to the canyon.

We considered going to the Lower canyon, but we ran out of time. The Lower canyon has more sheer drops and was the location of the flash flood of August 1997 that killed 11 people. We decided to leave this section for another time.

Additional Resources

Use the following links to learn more about Antelope Canyon and other slot canyons of the Southwest.

Antelope Canyon

Slot Canyons of the Southwest

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 3/04.