Lower Antelope Canyon
Gently carved and formed by the erosion of Navajo sandstone over the course of countless centuries, Antelope Canyon outside of Page, AZ is one of the most bewildering places on earth. Over time rainwater, particularly during flash flooding, ate away the passageways of the canyon, making the corridors deeper and smoothing the canyon walls in such a way as to form distinctive ‘flowing’ shapes in the rock.
‘Hazdistazí’ – Navajo for “spiral rock arches”
The canyon includes two separate slot canyon sections known as Upper Antelope Canyon (“The Crack”) and Lower Antelope Canyon (“The Corkscrew”). Lower Antelope Canyon is the less visited of the two (but still very busy!!) because there is some climbing up and down some steep ladders and at about a half mile long, it’s more of a hike. The shafts of direct sunlight emanating down from openings in the top of the canyon are also less frequent than in the upper section, but both canyons offer spectacularly vibrant colors when the sun shines overhead, producing deep contrasting textures and layers of sandstone.
The canyon has been accessible by tour only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo Tribal Park and is a major source of tourism for the Navajo Nation.