In the Arizona desert, shifting sunlight colors high stone walls, worn by water into fantastic shapes.
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Horseshoe Bend, a dramatic curve of the Colorado River, has become a popular stop along the highway north of the Grand Canyon. Despite increasing crowds, until now Horseshoe Bend has had minimal development. 2018 is seeing the addition of a viewing platform with a guardrail, and an accessible trail. Local planners aim to limit the project’s effect on the land. But human impact on the region’s landmarks is a contentious subject. Nearby Glen Canyon Dam which created the vast reservoir of Lake Powell is still controversial decades after construction.
A little southeast of the dam, Antelope Canyon’s two segments lie on Navajo land. They’re considered the most-photographed of the slot canyon landscapes in the Southwest. Colors in the sinuous channels change as light shifts. Generally dry, the riverbeds face the risk of flash floods when rains hit. But such forces also carved the sandstone’s flowing shapes.
Read more in “Road Trip to the Underrated Side of the Grand Canyon”
Enter the Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Do you have what it takes?
Explore the Twisting Desert Landscapes of the American Southwest | National Geographic