Antelope Canyon Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed canyons in the world. In this lesson, discover what makes Antelope Canyon so beautiful. Find out what a slot canyon is and how it is formed.

World Record Photo

Do you know the location of the most expensive photograph ever taken? Believe it or not, a photograph called Phantom by Peter Lik was sold for $6.5 million in December 2014. It was taken in Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is a mystical place located in northern Arizona, outside of the town of Page, in Navajo Tribal Park. The Navajo are Native Americans living in the American Southwest. They call the canyon 'the place where water runs through rocks.'

Let's discover how Antelope Canyon was formed and what makes it so special.

Slot Canyon

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, which is a narrow gorge formed by water rushing through rock. Slot canyons begin as small cracks in rocks that gradually grow bigger over time. They are deeper than they are wide, creating narrow passageways and corridors. In fact, in Antelope Canyon there are places where the walls are over 160 feet high, which is like 30 refrigerators stacked on top of each other.

Above Lower Antelope
light beams

Many people enjoy exploring Antelope Canyon. If you would like to visit someday, you can hire a Navajo guide to take you. But first, you'll have to decide if you want to tour the upper or lower canyon.

Antelope Canyon is actually two canyons. Lower Antelope has tighter spaces and more stairs and ladders to climb. Upper Antelope has a flat floor and less tight spaces, but can be crowded with tourists.


Have you ever felt sandpaper? It's so rough it can make a jagged piece of wood smooth. The smooth walls of Antelope Canyon were formed in a similar way.

The walls formed when rain water mixed with sand and flooded the canyon, swirling around like a whirlpool. After millions of years of erosion by this sandy water, the sandstone walls of the canyon gradually became wavy and smooth. Erosion is the process of the earth's surface getting worn down.

The walls of Antelope Canyon are one reason it's so beautiful. The sandstone appears in colors of red, magenta, pink, and orange. In the winter, you may even see the stone turn shades of blue and purple.

Colors of the Canyon

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