23 Dec 2022


Upper Antelope Canyon - Hiking, Photography, and Tours

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Academic level: High School

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The Upper Antelope Canyon is one of the most crowded attraction sites in Arizona. For most families, friends, and other groups of people, it forms an ideal spot for passing out time, especially holidays. The Navajo people refer to the canyon as “Tse bighanilini” which means “a place where water runs through rocks”. Certainly, the Navajo people must have been thrilled by the way water sipped through the irregular-cut stones, cascading down the deeply eroded rocks. Most people prefer to visit the Upper Antelope Canyon because of the serene environment that helps, albeit briefly, people to forget the buzz of the urban life that is typical of most cities in the United States. 

Getting to the Upper Antelope Canyon mostly requires one to be in a group. The best way is to book a visit through a tour and travel company, which are always plenty. The journey to the canyon involves traveling hundreds of miles on a sand track. Any vehicle other than a four-wheel drive is bound to get stuck or break down along the way. That will mean spending hours in the deserted Navajo land before any help comes on the way. However, the long road trip in the desert and vast dry land helps one’s thoughts to wander. Save for the dust, especially when the sun is hot, the road trip is fun in the company of friends. 

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One of the most ideal items to wear is boots because of the rugged landscape and the canyon itself. Boots can withstand the sharp edges of some rocks, preventing avoidable accidents. The hot sun particularly during summer makes it necessary for one to carry a few bottles of water. Even when it is not too hot, walking and climbing on rocks can be exhausting. Sunglasses may also be necessary especially in the hot sun. Perhaps the most important item to carry is the camera to capture the spectacular canyon for reminiscence. 

The Upper Antelope Canyon’s most eye-catching aspect is its structure; the deeply eroded rocks form passageways, which resemble corridors. These corridors are irregular, and one has to move in curve-like passageways through the canyon. You can actually feel the dense depth of the canyon when inside because the eroded rocks rise several feet above the ground. The walls of the canyon are smooth and seem to be flowing. The canyon is not like a cave because when you try to shout, you cannot hear any echo. High above the canyon, light beams try to penetrate through the narrow irregular cracks. These beams cause some places in the canyon to be illuminated while others receive partial or no light. This contrast between dark and illuminated spots presents a picturesque scene. In fact, most people visiting this canyon are photographers who try to capture those award winning shots. Therefore, the canyon is crowded most of the time because most people try to capture a shot of the same scene. 

Often, the tour guides allow a given number of people to explore the canyon for a given period of time before other groups are allowed. The reason for this arrangement is to minimize congestion and minimize accidents. With natural features such as the Upper Antelope Canyon, you can never tell when some rocks may collapse and fall. In case of such situations and emergencies, it is easier to try and save fewer people as opposed to crowds. The tour guides are always available and friendly just in case anyone needs something. Although the guides conduct proper security checks, including the stability of the tall rock walls, it is also important for individuals to observe their personal security. Once the given time expires, one can consider just sitting outside the canyon observing the Navajo landscape. Some of the native people are always available to teach visitors about their native customs and practices. Apart from that team-building activities, especially for corporates can be performed. Additionally, in case one has extra time to spare, they can explore the Lower Antelope Canyon which is a short distance from the Upper Antelope Canyon. It is also an equally attractive site, although it has steeper inclines, which makes it less accessible. 

To conclude, the Upper Antelope Canyon does not only offer an opportunity to release the stress and strain of the American life but also to socialize. Most people visiting the canyon try to escape a lonely life and instead try to search for company. Consequently, it could be a golden opportunity to establish important networks. The best time to visit the canyon is during summer, when the sun is up in the sky and when beams of light penetrate through the cracks of the tall rocks. The Upper Antelope Canyon forms a perfect get-away spot for families, friends and colleagues who would want to rejuvenate their energy and strength in a natural and serene environment. It is also an attraction site which has a lot of lessons to offer, especially in relation to geography. The tall rocks are always gradually eroding due to the effects of agents such as wind and water. Perhaps in the next hundreds of years to come, the canyon would have been deeply affected by the aforementioned agents, leaving it to be an anachronism of its past. The best time to document it is now when it is still attractive so that future generations can learn about its existence and the effects of nature. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Upper Antelope Canyon - Hiking, Photography, and Tours.


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