Friday, April 18, 2014

The Antelope Canyon Experience

An early morning two-hour drive from the Grand Canyon National Park to Page, Arizona was another great way to start the day. Long, wide open desert roads across some of the most dramatic landscapes in the American Southwest is an experience in itself. 


I remember one of the highlights of the trip some years back was a visit to Antelope Canyon, deep inside Navajo Land, and another must-see destination after the Grand Canyon (see more in my other blog here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2012/03/side-views-antelope-canyon.html).

The cool December air makes you forget you're driving through the desert, but it's a good idea to bring sun protection. After a quick breakfast and securing the tickets, we boarded the huge 4x4 trucks and head down Upper Antelope Canyon.


Years of erosion from water and wind created some of the most impressive natural sandstone formations, and light pouring in from the shafts above paint the smooth sandstone walls in a palette of colors. Called Tse bighanilini in the native Navajo language, or "the place where water runs through rocks," Antelope Canyon is a unique, even mystical, experience. Entering the slot canyon, the smooth sandstone walls are cool to the touch, and each step deeper inside the slot canyon reveals even more formations.


The beams of sunlight paint the walls in dramatic colors, from deep blues to bright orange, and the grooves on the sandstone formation give it the impression of flowing water. Light and shadow seem to bring the sandstone formations to life...


...and you can probably spot the "bear" in this formation. The slot canyons are usually packed during summer, and travelling off-season allows you to explore Antelope Canyon in smaller groups for a more intimate experience. You'll definitely want to bring a camera for your visit, and this remains one of the most unusual and beautiful stops on that road trip.   

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