Lower Antelope Canyon

Posted by: Aamir

Jun 19th, 2011 • Category: Eye CandyTags: , , ,

Antelope Canyon in Arizona is perhaps the most popular slot canyon for tourists and photographers. It consists of two separate canyons, the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon. This is the Lower Antelope Canyon which is not much popular with tourists (as compared to the Upper Antelope Canyon) because of its extremely narrow passages and the difficult hike involved in navigating through it. It however is very popular with photographers. If you are not in a good physical shape or are claustrophobic, this canyon is not for you.

Journey into the canyon starts with buying an entry pass from the locals who run and maintain this place. There are various tour operators who provide guided tours of these canyons but you wont need them. Just drive to any of these canyons (look for the three big chimneys, these canyons are easy to miss), buy the entrance pass and ask for a tour guide. You will get the same tour for a lower price. Once you buy your pass, it is a short walk to the entrance which is very easy to miss if you dont know what to look for.

The guide points you to large cracks and fissures in the ground and asks you to slither down there to enter the canyon. You think he is probably kidding.

No kidding! This is actually the entrance!

There are metal ladders in places where the hike is very steep. These ladders are securely bolted to the canyon floor.

You can look up and see the crack you entered through. These cracks run through the roof of the canyon providing light and air.

As light enters the canyon, it bounces in multiple angles on the sandstone and limestone walls and creates vibrant hues. Purple shades start appearing as you go deeper into the canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon is called the CorkScrew Canyon attributing to the shape of rocks often appearing as spiral arches.

This canyon is atleast 60 foot deep and the width varies as you navigate.

The hike inside the canyon is difficult in some places, requires careful maneuvering over steep rocks and is flat in other places.

This is deep down inside the belly of Antelope Canyon. Colors on rock are more stronger here. Rocks in shadows produce a purple shade while rocks in light produce an orange-ish glow.

Colors inside the canyon change with the position of sun in the sky. When the sun is directly overhead on the zenith, you may see sun beams enter and illuminate the canyon briefly. Your guide will give you tips on where and when to find these sun beams.

These gorgeous rock formations were caused over a period of thousands of years by relentless flooding and wind, slowly carving and sculpting the sandstone rocks into these beautiful shapes.

Before you plan to visit these canyons, make sure you monitor the weather for rains. Flash flooding happens at a very short notice inside these canyons often causing a hazard.

Flash floods re-define the shape of these rocks by carving swirling patterns or washing away chunks of sandstone. You can find such patterns all over the canyon.

Passage becomes very narrow in some sections of the canyon, just barely enough to fit one person. You can stretch out your hands and touch both sides of the wall. You may not have proper footing at some places and have to be very careful.

If you are traveling with kids or the elderly, avoid this canyon and instead go to the Upper Antelope Canyon which is much wider and on a more level ground making it easy to navigate.

Towards the end of the canyon, a tall steep ladder lets you climb back up to ground

Cracks in the ground stretch throughout the canyon and you can see these openings at certain places when you look up. While this opening provides light and air, it is also an annoying source of fine sand and red dust falling from above. It is a very bad idea if you are planning to change your camera lens inside the canyon.

It can get hot and stuffy when inside the canyon, dress accordingly.

If you request for a guide, you get to stay one hour inside the canyon. The guide will describe the history of the canyons and the myths and legends associated with it. If you are a photographer, you can stay inside the canyon for two hours, but you wont get a guide. You need to buy a photographer pass which is the same price as the general pass.

Words and pictures do not do enough justice to the experience inside this canyon. If you plan to visit, summer is the best as the colors inside the canyon are very vibrant.


Posted by: Aamir

Jun 19th, 2011 • Category: Eye CandyTags: , , ,
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  1. Alicia M B Ballard
    June 19th, 2011 at 12:47:


    Pure and unadulterated – natural/abstract “art” captured by your lens…
    Absolutely fabulous shots Aamir!

  2. margie
    June 21st, 2011 at 05:03:


    Gosh, I’m spellbound by these pictures!
    You truly are an amazing photographer, Aamir.
    Love these pictures!
    Margie 🙂

  3. photographe de mode
    December 13th, 2011 at 03:28:


    Excellent cet article ! Merci bcp ^^
    J’aime tomber sur ce type blog ! Je vous ajoutes à mes Favoris!

    Bonne continuation et à bientot !

    Facebook : http://goo.gl/Makbv
    My website: steeveaukingso.fr


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