Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the US southwest.  Antelope Canyon is five miles east of US89 on AZ98 between Page, Arizona, and the Navajo Generating Station.  It has two sections: Upper Antelope Canyon - The Crack, and Lower Antelope Canyon - The Corkscrew.  The Lower Canyon is north of AZ98, the Upper Canyon is on the south side.  Antelope Canyon is 275 miles north of Phoenix, 386 miles south of Salt Lake City, 135 miles east/north of Grand Canyon Village.

The Navajo name for Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní dóó Hazdistazí, which parses to Tsé bighánílíní for the Upper Canyon, which translates to the place where water runs through rocks, and Hazdistazí for the Lower Canyon, which translates to spiral rock arches (Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation advertises it as "Hasdestwazi" as seen on the map).  The Upper Canyon is most often visited because the entrance and length of the canyon are at ground level for easy entrance and movement, and because the popular light beams - shafts of direct sunlight radiating down from the top of the canyon - occur more frequently in this canyon (usually between March 20 and October 7).

This report on the geology of Antelope Canyon comes from Wikipedia.  “Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone,[2] primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes.  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 eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic "flowing" shapes in the rock.”

Northern Arizona weather is critically important:  flash floods continue to be a problem.  Rain many miles away can cause flash floods here, one reason the only entrance is by guided tours - the Navajo keep a close watch on weather conditions.  A flash flood in 1997 killed 11 tourists - that rain was many miles upstream.  A flood occurred in 2006 that lasted 36 hours and closed the Lower Canyon for five months.  In 2010, several tourists were stranded on a ledge when two flash floods occurred at the Upper Canyon.  The Flash Floods menu selection is a video of two flash floods on August 2, 2013, one in Page that ran through a Maverik station and one that was shot from the top of Upper Antelope Canyon, that show the violence of flash floods.

In the early hours of February 20, 2013, a landslide closed US89 25 miles south of Antelope Canyon for 25 months.  US89 reopened on March 27,2015.

Information about the Lake Powell Tribal Park, of which Antelope Canyon is a part, is available at  globe Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation.

The Photo Gallery has 15 photos of Antelope Canyon with an auto-show of the photos in the gallery.

Navajo Map shows the canyons' relative to the power station, Page, and Lake Powell.

Flash Floods and US89 Landslide  have more information and videos of each topic.