Antelope Canyon is the world’s most famous slot canyon, and one of the most visited. This popular rift is known for its extremely narrow passageways and amazing stratified sandstone walls that close in like a cave with but thin ribbons of sunlight dripping in from above. Located on territory of the Navajo nation, access to the canyon is controlled by the local residents for whom it is an important source of tourism.
Located on Navajo land, Antelope Canyon was largely unknown to the outside world until the 20th century. Tourism to Antelope only began in the 1980s. In 1997, a group of tourists were trapped and killed in the narrow confines of the canyon when a flash flood, caused by rains miles upriver, crashed through. Flooding is an periodic problem and an ongoing concern for park visitors.
Antelope Canyon is a sandstone slot canyon with an extremely narrow and rugged profile. There are two sections open to visitors: the Upper Antelope Canyon, with a ground-level entrance, and Lower Antelope Canyon, which requires a stairway climb down. From the surface, the rift is extremely narrow and can be jumped at points.
Antelope Canyon is maintained by the Navajo Nation, which maintains the stairways and facilities at the site. Access to both canyons is by tour only, and restricted to relatively small areas. The canyon is busiest at midday, when the sun is highest in the sky and the canyon walls are at their brightest. Web: www.navajonationalparks.org (official website).