There is a big difference between vast spaces of canyons like Grand Canyon, which fill the entire landscape in their mighty from horizon to horizon, and canyons in Antelope valley (Utah), which are just barely visible cracks in the desert soil. There is no visible sign of any sort of rock or stone for a traveler in that empty landscape.
Antelope valley canyons were found accidentally, and are situated on Indian reservation lands. From outside it looks like a narrow (less than three feet) curvy crack, running for a few hundred feet in the soil. Probably, water is responsible for the formation of the canyon. Unless you know what and where to look for, it’s alsmost impossible to found the crack. To provide tours, there were permanent ladders installed inside to reach the bottom of the canyon, which is somewhat 20-30 feet deep. The most interesting part is at the bottom, of course!
Entering through a narrow path, sunlight creates impressive shapes and lines on colorful curvy sandstone walls. Being reflected multiple times in the narrow pathway, light plays with color and shadow, giving an observer unforgettable chiaroscuro theater.
Photo camera tells you, that it’s dark in there (in contradiction with your own eye), thus it’s almost impossible to photograph inside without a tripod. Don’t even try to use a flash for photographing, as you would ruin the magic of light and would depict ‘nothing special’ yellow walls. It’s also necessary to get a special permission to photograph with a tripod, as Indians lead organized guided one way tours each 20 minutes or so, as the canyon is very narrow. I was lucky to photograph there for three hours.
Here are some of the shots.
By the way the “Antelope Rose” on my portfolio site was depicted in the canyon and composed as a panoramic shot from three single images.