Chasing Light in Antelope Canyon

To see more photos and videos from Antelope Canyon, check out the Antelope Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon location pages.

Tucked away along the northern border of Arizona lies Antelope Canyon, one of the most visited—and photographed—locations in the American Southwest. Located on Navajo land, the landform is technically classified as a slot canyon, or a narrow canyon that is significantly deeper than it is wide. Like all slot canyons, Antelope Canyon was formed by flash floods rushing through underground crevices. Over time, the waters eroded the rock into the smooth, flowing landform seen today.

Antelope Canyon is divided into two sections, upper and lower, known in the native Navajo language as Tsé bighánílíní (“the place where water runs through rocks”) and Hazdistazí (“spiral rock arches”), respectively. The Canyon’s narrow top opening restricts the amount of sunlight than can enter, but results in a few dazzling beams that make it to the canyon floor. These beams, along with the canyon’s intense red glow and flowing lines, have made Antelope Canyon especially appealing to those Instagrammers adventurous enough to make the trek.