Upper Antelope Canyon – 5* Pix

Total Shots taken 623
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 23 (4.2 %)


Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located east of Page AZ, on Navajo land. Slot canyons are narrow and deep, formed by rainwater rushing through rocks, such as in a flash flood, or eroded by other weather events (e.g., frost). Since Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land, they run the site, and tours are provided by members of the Navajo Nation.

(Note: Slot canyons are prone to flash flooding – even light rainstorms can lead to quick, dangerous floods, with fast moving waters, resulting in loss of life. A case in point: two weeks after we visited this location and another one in Utah, there was a flash flood that claimed the lives of seven people canyoneering at the time.)

The canyons are set back from the highway – at least a 10 – 15 minute drive — while we drove to the Upper Canyon, I noted the beautiful surroundings. In fact, as we left the canyons, I made sure to sit where I could get some great images (even though we were driving pretty fast).

Our tour through Antelope Canyon was a photography-specific tour. This means that the guide, in addition to telling us the story of the Canyons and related Navajo traditions, cleared the way of other tourists so that we could get clear shots, and advised us on potential images and camera settings.

City dweller that I am, novice to the American Southwest, and certainly, novice to ‘canyoneering’ (Really? Who knew that was a word?), I hadn’t done the research, and didn’t know what to expect. The canyon interior was fabulous!! I hope you enjoy these 5* images from this excursion.


  • Hands On – Dust is used for some of the photographic effects. Our guide, Diana stopped before the entrance of the canyon to gather a bucket of dust, rubbed from the sandstone walls. I loved the sight of her square hands rubbing the walls, leaving hand prints behind.


  • Walking Through — Once inside, we walked through the canyon’s narrow, winding path.  From time to time, the overhead sun provided beams of light through the canyon opening, other times, the interior was muted. Even so, you could see the many colors in the sandstone layers.


  • Undulating Curves – Over the years, with the ebbs and flows of water through the canyon, the original angles in the sandstone have softened, curving lines and spectacular shapes have emerged to shape the canyon walls.


  • Iconic – The iconic image of the upper canyon is one showing a beam of light striking the canyon floor, or the stream of sand falling from a ledge. So yes, I have one of the iconic images in the mix here.



  • Looking Up — The overhead light appearing through the canyon opening is amazing.  In this image, I am looking up… the sunlight creates a glow near the opening, but as the light is muted near the base of the canyon, so are the colors.


  • Canyon Entrance One of the land features we passed on the drive to Upper Antelope Canyon had an entrance to another canyon. From the road, I could see the way the canyon walls shaped the canyon walkway, something that I missed on our approach.

It is always challenging to screen through a lot of images taken in a strikingly beautiful location. I had 600+ from the Antelope Canyon, so reducing that number to 23 was a major accomplishment.  I hope you enjoy this tour, based on my 5* selections.

4 thoughts on “Upper Antelope Canyon – 5* Pix

  1. The three middle shots remind me of chocolate. These are beautiful. I have only seen this natural beauty in pics captured by photographers – so thanks. 🙂 And yes, I had heard about the dangers of flooding. What were the sounds (the images suggest a silence).

    • JRJ, thank you so much for your feedback. Sounds….hmmmm? It was beautiful, but quite busy. It is a well trafficked tour location, so we didn’t experience the silence. There was a guide walking thru with a flute-like instrument to move the groups along. That gave it a quieter feel

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