Antelope Canyon Facts
- The truly amazing Antelope Canyon represents yet another visually stunning geological formation in the United States southwestern region.
- Located within the Leechee Chapter of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, it actually comprises two sections:
- “The Crack” or “Tse bighanilini” in the Navajo language, meaning “The place water runs through rocks” and
- “The Corkscrew” or “Hazdistazi” in Navajo, meaning: “Spiral Rock Arches”.
- Since it formed on what is now on native Navajo land, it is accessible only by guided tours. The terrain in this remote area is rather hazardous and access is strictly controlled.
Antelope Canyon Sections
The breathtaking landscape of Antelope Canyon has a highly fascinating origin. Erosion of the Navajo sandstone formed the two sections of the canyon.
This occurred over the course of thousands of years primarily by the flash floods the region is prone to during the monsoon season.
A secondary erosive effect was that of desert winds funneling through the slot canyon throughout the years. Such events still occur – the one on October 30, 2006, lasted for 36 hours.
Antelope Canyon Flooding
Flash floods continue to pose a serious danger to the Antelope Canyon, even though safety measures are in practice. The United States National Weather Service has a warning siren in place at the point where tours enter the canyons.
However, the flow rate of such floods through the two sections of Antelope Canyon is varied and unpredictable.
On August 12, 1997, prior to the installation of the siren, eleven tourists lost their lives in a sudden flash flood in the Lower Antelope Canyon.
No rain was falling at the site, but a locally heavy thunderstorm 7 mi (11.2 km) upstream dumped enormous quantities of water into the slot canyon in a matter of minutes.