Antelope Canyon – A Celebration of The Eye, The Mind and The Spirit

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This little known canyon in Navajo land has been called by many photographers as: “A celebration of the eye, the mind and the spirit”. It is a natural work of art in which light, color and shape make up a complex and intricate ensemble of beauty.

A long time ago, herds of pronghorn antelope roamed freely in Antelope Canyon, which explains the canyon’s English name. In fact it is a narrow ravine divided into two parts (the upper and lower Antelope Canyon). One can walk about the upper part, but the lower is only accessible by going down some stairs through a narrow crack.

The light show on the canyon’s walls is amazing. Red and orange dominate the upper part, but the more we descent and reach the lower part, blue and violet take over. The contrast between light and darkness brings out the round shapes of the canyon itself.

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The best time of the day to visit Antelope Canyon is at mid day when the sun is directly above and streaks of light go all the way to the bottom.Some places within the canyon have become famous for these light shows which come one a couple of minutes each day.

Antelope Canyon is known as a slot canyon. These start out as shallow cracks in a sandstone slab and through which water flows down. Over time and especially if the surface is at an angle, the cracks turn into deep ravines. This canyon in particular is about 4 or 5 feet wide and 120 feet deep in some places.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. Located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

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