Slot Magic on Navajo Nation

Imagine a large sandstone rock measuring 120 feet in height and several hundred feet in length situated at the bottom of a wide dry desert wash.  At some point in history, this rock was split in two with a deep vertical crack running from end to end.  Over the centuries the passageways through this rock eroded away from flash flooding during the monsoon seasons making the rock’s interior corridors deeper and rounding out its sharp edges in such a way as to create smooth wavy shapes.  Around Arizona it is called a “slot canyon” and the one in Antelope Valley on the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona, is one of the most photographed canyons in the world.

The Navajo name for Antelope Canyon is “Tse’ bighanilini” which means “the place where water runs through rocks.”  The local Navajo people do not know how the rock split in two.  Some elders say that it was caused by an earthquake.   Others say it was a blessing from the Creator, for entering the canyon is like entering a cathedral.   According to the Navajo Nation brochure, “traditionally the Navajos would pause before entering the canyon to be in the right frame of mind and prepare for protection and respect. This would allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature had to offer and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves.  It was, and still is, a spiritual experience.”

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9 Responses to Slot Magic on Navajo Nation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Stunningly beautiful ! Bet more enchanting without the humans wondering around.

    • Shanomi says:

      Hi Terrie….You’re right – there were way too many people in that canyon with tour guides pushing everyone along. I couldn’t relax and really enjoy the beauty around me, or should I say above me. I saw at least five or six tour vehicles while I was there – way too crowded and everyone bumping into me as I tried to take pics. At $46 a head for the shorter tour, it must be great revenue for the Navajo Nation in the area. I felt sorry for those more “professional” photographers who paid $60, and we were all in there at the same time bumpin’ and feelin’ our way along the curves. Thanks for checking in. Blessings Shanomi

  2. Peg says:

    Breathtaking! You are so blessed, Shanomi to be walking this incredible path.
    Safe journey home.

    • Shanomi says:

      Thanks Peg. It was truly amazing to see this spectacle with my own eyes. Several people from the RV park in Cornville told me to check it out when I said that I was headed to Page. Glad I did. Take care.

  3. mye1212 says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us. It must have been incredible to see this in person..

  4. JD says:

    Wow!!!! Those are amazing formations! What beautiful photos! Thank -you for sharing Shanomi! Godspeed to your destinations… live in the moment….take gentle care!
    Jackie and Michael

  5. Margaret says:

    OMG – what an incredible site!
    The south shore experienced an earth quake last week! Yes, off the coast of Shelburne – Ian and I were just settling down – it was raining slightsly – we both heard the rumble – I sleeplily said – oh, it must be some thunder off in the distance – the next morning – the local news reported that we had indeed suffered an earth quake – fortunately no damage – your travels look and sound fantastic!
    The navajo nation looks to be still sharing their magic with visitors from far and wide. Great hearing from you, as always – hugs, Margaret

    • Shanomi says:

      Hi Margaret…I have an earthquake website that I check almost every day, and I noticed that there was a 4.5 south of Yarmouth a few days ago. You’re the first who reported feeling something, as everyone else I asked did not know about it. Very unusual for that area. That same week there were 355 earthquakes worldwide, and normally there have only been around 200 weekly on average. Thankfully, it was not very big and no resulting damage. Thanks for letting me know that you felt it. Blessings to you both. Shanomi:)

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