Northern America is a wide territory which offers a huge range of different habitats: traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast, you’ll be able to go through lush green forests, full of pines and other conifers, and then suddenly find yourself surrounded by green fields as well as in the middle of a desert area. And you may decide to leave behind the chaotic and crowded cities, in order to explore the wildest part of the West Coast. In this case, a nice pick is Arizona and its natural wonders, driving you in a sort of incredible “journey to the center of the earth”.
Arizona is actually in the southwestern region of the US and it has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico -in addiction to one single point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. The most interesting thing about this state is that almost one-quarter of the state includes Indian reserves: these are the home of 27 Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation which is the largest reserve recognized not only in the state, but in the whole United States. And it’s exactly on the Navajo land that is located the Antelope Canyon: one of the most beautiful places you could ever see in the world.
Antelope is a slot canyon -formed by water rushing through rock- that includes two separate sections, each one has been called with a proper name: the first one is “Upper Antelope Canyon” or “The Crack”, whereas the second is “Antelope Canyon” or “The Corkscrew”. In recent years, the amazing colors of the Navajo sandstone have contribute to transform Antelope in a very popular location for photographers and for tourists from all over the world, who are attracted by the opportunity to walk between these tall walls made out of red and orange colored rock. Actually, just in 1997 it became a Navajo Tribal Park and since then the Navajo population started to organize guided tours to the heart of the canyon.
Obviously the best way for visiting Antelope Canyon is booking a tour with a local guide -as you need a special permission to enter the canyon-, who will be able to show you the best places where to shoot some really good photos. Local guides are there to accompany you along the whole path, which isn’t always so easy, depending on which one of the two parts of the canyon you’re going through: Upper Antelope Canyon (Tsé bighánílíní in Navajo language) is quite frequently visited by tourists of every age, because its entrance and entire length are at ground level, so that no climbing is necessary to reach the rocks; visiting the Lower Antelope Canyon (Hazdistazí) instead, requires good climbing skills, because metal ladders have been installed is lower areas and it is a more difficult to walk along the path without slip on a step covered by the sand.
Anyway, once you find yourself at the bottom of the canyon, take a look around: look at the incredible effect of light beams hitting the rock. You are surrounded by stripes of red, orange and yellow stone. If your passion is travel photography or you are writing a travel notebook, don’t miss the chance to take great pics of pale light beams stream from the top. You can touch the sandstone, feel the quiet of this place, admire the colors of the earth…
Antelope Canyon is a magical place.