Friday, July 11, 2008

Lower Antelope Canyon

Shadow and Fire
Antelope Canyon captured my interest from the moment I stumbled upon images of light pouring in though the the Canyon's ceiling and striking the sand below. It's a truly beautiful canyon with striking shadows and highlights dancing on the curves and bends of the warm rock. The images in this post are from Lower Antelope Canyon. The Canyon is separated into upper and lower with the upper being at least twenty times more popular. While I got hustled and herded through the crowds of Upper Antelope Canyon, in the lower canyon, I had all the time I wanted.
I was actually alone for large periods of time in this section of the canyon, and I savored the opportunity of taking it in at my own pace. I was able to take the time to capture the sweeps, curves, and edges that flow through the rock.
The Navajo name for this Canyon was something like the Canyon of Flowing Water precisely because of the sandstone's suggestive sweeps and waves. As a side note, the name Antelope Canyon seems a little strange. There aren't any antelope around the canyon, and, if there were, they'd be too big to fit through the narrow corridors of this canyon.

A Few Words about the Navajo
Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land and is entirely administered by the Navajo people. While the Navajo have some beautiful land and a noble history, their nation stands in seeming disarray. Everything about Antelope Canyon is poorly managed. Visiting the sight is expensive (at least $51 for one person to see both canyons), the crowds are haphazardly herded through the Upper Canyon, the tours leave when they feel like it, and if you try to find a halfway useful website administered by the Navajo, you are wasting your time. This site is the closest thing you'll find. Additionally, I doubt if the greenhouse-gas-emitting Navajo Generating Station fits in with the Navajo's history of respecting the land.

The Navajo have forgotten their values, they have been uprooted as a culture, and they have lost their identity. It serves to remind me that when people loose sight of their purpose, they cease to be great.
More on Antelope Canyon
From above, Lower Antelope Canyon is little more than a crack in the ground. The images above are from Lower Antelope Canyon. For info on getting to the Canyon and shots of Upper Antelope Canyon (including the famous light beam), take a look at an article I wrote for Adventure Trip Magazine.Never forget who you are. -Ben


  1. A great post! I've wanted to visit Antelope Canyon for years. Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm very far behind and it has taken me some time to visit you. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  2. thanks a lot for this very interesting posts, Ben. your pictures are great. The article you wrote on Adventure Magazine very informative. I never thought that that would be the situation there. Yes, saw pictures of Antelope Canyon before, and wanted to visit. I haven't made plans when to go there yet, just too many to visit, too little time and money :( . But definitely, you gave us an opener and really good information as to planning for our trip there. Is $50 the fee for both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon? Thanks again for such an eye opener article and the inspiring photos.

  3. Sandpiper,
    Thanks. Don't worry about it. I know you've been a bit under the weather.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this. The fees breakdown like this:
    $6 per car for parking
    $25 per person for an hour long tour of Upper Antelope Canyon (more if you want a longer stay)
    $20 per person for Lower Antelope Canyon. In the lower Canyon you can pretty much stay for as long as you want.

  4. Thank you so much Ben for taking time to answer my query, and giving the details of the payment. If I have to pay more to stay longer for the Upper Canyon, then, like what you advised, I would just pay extra for Lower Canyon since it seems we can stay longer there. Again, thanks for the valuable information you are sharing.

  5. Hey dude. Thats a great post, some of those photos are just breathtaking. Really nice. Keep up the good blogging :)

    Tempura Pillows

  6. It is my belief that everyone who photographs and blogs about Lower Antelope Canyon should warn of the dangers of flash flooding at certain times of the year. Two very good friends of mine perished in August 1997 along with nine other tourists from four countries. It would be a good idea to post a photo of the memorial plaque at the entrance to Lower Antelope for ALL prospective tourists, photographers and otherwise, to see.