15 May, 2015

The beauty of Antelope Canyon

When I came across photos of Antelope Canyon, it made me think how amazing mother nature is. It's located in Arizona, and is a hugely popular place for photographers - from the shots below, you can see why! It's the most celebrated slot canyon (meaning its confines are narrow, with high, twisting walls) in the American Southwest, and while the photos look as though they've been doctored...I can assure you, they haven't!

The canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, due to flash flooding. During the monsoon season water runs into the basin and over time the passageways eroded, making the flowing shapes you see in the rocks. Flooding still happens in the canyon - in fact in 2006, Lower Antelope Canyon had to be closed for five months due to a flash flood that lasted an incredible a 36 hours.

The sunlight penetrates the canyon in mid-March, and disappears in early October, so the spring and summer months are the best time to visit, as that's when the sandstone takes on an incredible array of colours due to the rays of the sun.

You need a permit to visit the canyon, and the surrounding Navajo Parks, and you'll also need a guide to take you safely thought the canyon. For older Navajos, it's said to be like entering a cathedral - a truly spiritual experience, and it's easy to see why.

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