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For years, we had seen photographs in magazines of a spectacular place, filled with amazing rock formations, beautiful colors, and mysterious lighting. We just knew that someday we had to go there to see it for ourselves. We finally did some research, and learned that the photos were of a "slot canyon" called Antelope Canyon, near Paige, Arizona. Slot canyons are formed when flash floods encounter a sandstone barrier in the path of a riverbed. Over time, narrow passageways are eroded away, making the corridors deeper, and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic 'flowing' shapes in the rock.
The Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Indian land, and the only way to visit is to hire a guide to take you there. Usually the guide takes you to the canyon, let's you take photos for an hour or so, and then takes you back out. We managed to get on the first tour of the day, and arranged for the guide to leave us at the canyon all day, then pick us up on the last tour of the day. So we got to experience the changing light conditions throughout the day, and many times we were the only people there, so we could really appreciate the otherwordly atmosphere. Click on any of these photos to see a larger version.
|From above, the canyon is just a dark crack in the sandstone.||In the dry riverbed, the upstream canyon entrance is clogged with tumbleweeds and bolders that have been piled up by previous flashfloods.|
|Downstream, the canyon opening is free of debris. Your guide brings you here by jeep, and you can just stroll inside.||Upon entering, you just have to stop in awe of the beauty.|
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