Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Antelope canyons - Page AZ

After several days of planning and re-planning, frequent visits to weather channel, several phone calls and email exchange...the weather site was my homepage and we had memorized every move of the snow storm Draco. Finally with all fingers crossed, we went ahead with our travel bookings, less than 24Hrs before our trip !

Antelope Slot Canyons are truly mother nature's awe-inspiring work of art.
This most-visited and most-photographed slot canyons of American south-west are located in the Navajo land near Page, Arizona.

Erosion of Navajo sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes formed these slot canyons. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways.

Over time the 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. 

Antelope Canyon is visited exclusively through guided tours due to flash flood danger. 
Rain does not have to fall on or near these canyons for flash floods to whip through. Rain falling miles away 'upstream' could funnel into these canyons with little prior notice.

One such flash flood in 1997 took lives of eleven tourists. 
At that time, the ladder system consisted of amateur-built wood ladders that were swept away by the flash flood. 

Today, ladder systems have been bolted in place. At the fee booth, a NOAA Weather Radio from the National Weather Service and an alarm horn are stationed.

This was the entrance to the lower canyon ! Unbelievable isn't it ? We were very surprised when the guide first told this. 

We were looking at was a piece of art which took mother nature millions of years to carve. This was a place of tranquility and peace. No doubt these canyons are very spiritual for the Navajos.

The Antelope canyons are a photographers dream. With my amateur skills, I do not have great shots to flaunt. These were a few of my captures, a humble attempt which perhaps makes no complete justice to this amazing place.

All Photographs by Anupama Puneeth
Information courtesy

Some Useful Information :
~ The visit to the canyons requires a guide. Advance reservation is highly recommended, specially during peak season and for the best time of the day.

(We didn't make the reservation and took a chance since it was off-peak season.)
~ Upper Antelope canyons would certainly be best during summer when the sun is at the highest elevation leading to streaming beams into the canyon. That sure would be a magical experience. (Hoping for another visit to see this !)
~ Walking through the Lower antelope canyons involves lot of stairs unlike Upper antelope canyon.
~ These canyons are pretty crowded with LOTS of tourists from other guides. Since you need to stick to your guide and keep moving ahead with him, be very patient :) 
~ In between all your shots, don't forget to take few moments to enjoy and feel the magic in this place !


  1. Hello, I love your images. I'm hoping to visit on January 4 - two weeks hence.
    I'm planning to book a phort tour on Caroline Ekis' site

    Can I ask you some queries please

    1. Were your images from December/January last? (ie winter not summer sun?)

    2. were there a lot of people at that time or is summer the perak season?

    Thanks again for your wonderrfful images, which have cxonvinced me it's worth a day away from Vegas overnight in Page, AZ.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and your kind words.
      1. These images are from late December. Not the summer sun !
      2. There was a decent crowd but I could imagine it is much less compared to the peak summer season.
      I took the normal tour and was still able to shoot images using a tripod ! I dont believe this is possible in peak summer when the crowd is way too much to cooperate tripod shot in regular tours :)
      Wish you have a great trip !