Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the America Southwest. It is located on Navajo land near Page Arizona.
The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí (advertised as“Hasdestwazi” by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department), or “spiral rock arches.” Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.
Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, 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 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 a popular location for photographers and sightseers, and a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation. It has been accessible by permit only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo Tribal Park. Photography within the canyons is difficult due to the wide exposure range (often 10 EV or more) made by light reflecting off the canyon walls.
The road to Antelope Canyon is gated by the Navajo Nation and entry is restricted to guided tours led by authorized tour guides.
Tours can be purchased in nearby Page, and range from $30 to $80 per person, depending on the time of the day and length of the tour.