Canyon X

Stephen Fischer Photography

Rating: 1A-I

This slot canyon is similar in characteristics in terms of rock shapes, patterns, and color to the much more popular Antelope Canyon.  It is not as well know, more isolated, shorter, and requires a paid guide to see it.  If you are looking for something private that is more intimate, or have some private photography project that requires uninteruppted access to a beautiful slot, then this can be the perfect place, with the main issue being the money.  As a result, it is sometimes used for commercial photography shoots where models and/or more complex setups can be used without disruption by others.  The location is not marked, and there are no facilities, ladders, or even a practical road for a 2wd vehicle, so this all helps to keep the riff-raff out. 

Myself and Don Van Dyke got in to Canyon-X after negotiating a deal on a slow day from a local guide and photographer Jackson Bridges out of Page, Arizona.  Jackson drove us out there in his high ground clearance jeep, in what looked to be even more out in-the-middle-of-nowhere as one could imagine, crossing into Navajo controlled lands through an unmarked locked gate.  After descending down a non-descript gulch, Jackson pointed out the key areas of this canyon for photography.  He was also quite knowlegable in his understanding of the lighting conditions, and what areas are best at what times of day.  We were able to stage our photography accordingly to get some attractive images utilizing the reflected light off the walls of this deep slot. Given we came in somewhat on the trailing end of the prime lighting conditions, we had to work quickly to maximize our shooting during this limited time of our access.

It was a nice alternative from the experience one finds at Antelope Canyon where you are herded through it with a bunch of other tourists like a bunch of cattle, while also dealing with a constant stream of folks photo-bombing your compositions or throwing sand in the air.  In Canyon-X, one could enjoy the uniqueness of this beautiful canyon in solitude, while also giving yourself more thoughtfulness in your photographic compositions.


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