Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Where Water Runs Through Rocks"

Near Page, AZ, is the fourth natural wonder that we have wanted to visit since seeing photographs of this destination in several travel magazines.

Antelope Canyon is visited exclusively through guided tours and has been accessible by permit only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo Tribal Park.

Several tour groups collect between 4-16 people per vehicle from various sites around Page and in a scene that must resemble the Oklahoma Land Rush head to Antelope Canyon.

“Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. Located on Navajo land, Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

“The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon means ‘the place where water runs through rocks’" (

The tour of Upper Antelope Canyon was our choice. The slot canyon was probably less than 100 yards in length and, as the canyon’s descriptive name implies, is often only one-person wide.

The challenge confronting all of us travelers was to keep the procession moving (noting that there was foot traffic in both directions at all times),

try to avoid the people on a specific Photographers' Tour who are crouched on the canyon floor or working with tripods in the small spaces,

admire the beauty of the canyon walls,

compose a photograph, take the photo (then try to take several more photographs from the same position because of the variety of light and canyon wall combinations,

all the time recalling the web page’s advisory:
“Photography within the canyons is difficult due to the wide exposure range made by light reflecting off the canyon walls), and,

at all times, trying to keep up with the tour guide’s description of the canyon.

Mastering these challenges was quite satisfying.

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