About Slot Canyons

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Slot canyons generally start as a surface or subsurface fissure. Much of the Colorado Plateau consists of solid blocks of sandstone, which sometimes cracks leaving a fissure where water may accumulate. A downslope can cause it to become a drainage channel. The awesome erosive power of flowing water may then interacts with the soft sandstone over eons of time to create a slot canyon.

(Photo, Left) It’s popular to pose for a photo in the canyon’s natural “spotlights”. Here, the picture taker becomes a poser as well.

For more information on guided tours, hours, and fees, please visit the Antelope Canyon-Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park website or call (928) 698-2808.

Photography Tips

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

With the proper equipment, an individual with modest photographic skills can take a great picture at Antelope Canyon. Here are some tips from our resident photographer.

  1. Use a good digital or SLR camera that allows you to set the aperture and shutter speed manually.
  2. Use high-speed ISO 800 or better for hand-held photographs. For slower ISO speeds, A tripod is necessary for the slower shutter speeds and longer exposures. But beware that the canyon is narrow and can get crowded requiring you to move your tripod.
  3. The canyon can be quite dusty so try to avoid changing lenses if you can.
  4. The best time to get photos of the light shafts would be at mid-day when the sun can shine into the narrow canyon. Your camera’s meter may under or overexpose the scene, so it is best to bracket your exposures.
  5. Look for good lighting within the canyon. Strong sunlight and deep shadows can make it challenging to get good photographs.
  6. Stay hydrated. Be sure to carry water with you.
Antelope Canyon IV, Arizona Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

(Above: Assorted beams of sunlight are a special highlight of particularly of Upper Antelope Canyon near the noon hour when the days are long, and the sun is high. All of the photos were taken in Upper Antelope Canyon.)

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