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Narrows & Slot Canyons, Photography by Laurent Martrès, except as noted.

NOTE: this exhibit appeared in July 1998. Click here to visit the current showcase.

All other exhibits: Click here to access

Note: For best viewing, set your monitor to 16-bit color. You may not download any images except for personal use on your personal computer or if you will be posting them on your personal, non-commercial website. If you do post them on your personal, non-commercial website, you must provide a link to this site and a notice that the images may not be further copied from your personal website. The images cannot be further distributed in any way. If you like these compressed images, you should see them full-size and in high-resolution. You can find them, among many others, on our Canyons CD-ROM. If you have great images of the West which you'd like to show to the world, please contact us

Hiking the Virgin Narrows
One of the more popular "adventure hikes" on the Colorado plateau, it can be done either as a day-hike from the Gateway to the Narrows trailhead or as a rewarding 2-day journey involving lots of wading. Many great photographic opportunities; take fast film or a small tripod.


Below Big Springs
Just a couple of hours from the Gateway to the Narrows trailhead, you'll encounter Orderville Canyon. The real "Narrows" begin just above that. Here the Virgin has carved its way with great force through a bend of the canyon south of Big Springs, forming a subway-shaped tunnel.


Magical Pools of the Subway
The Subway is a narrow canyon carved tunnel-like fashion by the waters of North Creek. This is a fantastic location, but also a very hard hike, and if you are thinking of taking heavy photographic equipment, you'd better think twice, because you will feel it all the way and back. However, the surreal sight that awaits you at the end of the journey makes it all worth it.


Golden Wall of the Virgin Narrows, photographed by Gene Mezereny.
This exquisite shot taken in the upper part of the Virgin Narrows shows the extraordinary light you can capture on the Navajo sandstone walls. See Gene's photography of the
Sierra Nevada in the October 98 Showcase.


Entrance to Peek-A-Boo
Peek-A-Book is a remarquable little slot canyon located in the dry fork of Coyote Gulch, in the Escalante River drainage. Getting into the canyon takes some scrambling, but an exciting adventure awaits you there.


Scrambling through Peek-a-boo
Once inside Peek-A-Boo, you scramble through an extremely narrow canyon with beautiful forms and striations. Peek-A-Boo is not very high and gets better light than most slot canyons; a tripod is nonetheless highly recommended to maximize depth of field.


Peek-A-Boo Tunnel
Visiting Peek-A-Boo is not for the claustrophobic! Only 200 yards into the canyon, you'll need to scramble through the hole you can see at the bottom of the photo. Watch out for a dwarf species of rattlesnake that inhabits the canyon...<g>


Choprock Narrows
Choprock is located at the North end of Glenn Canyon NRA on the East side of the Escalante. It can be reached easily from the Egypt slickrock bench, although it does require an overnight trip. A beautiful canyon cuts through exquisite Wingate sandstone.


North fork of Choprock Canyon
The North fork of Choprock is a short 1 mile spur leading to a beautiful dryfall. In Spring, Fremont cottonwoods line the trail and reflect in water holes.


Golden Cathedral of Neon Canyon
Two large potholes have caved in and form a pouroff into the lower section of Neon Canyon at a place known as the Golden Cathedral. The Wingate sandstone glows an intense deep red in the reflected light.


Death Hollow
Death Hollow is located North of the town of Esacalante in the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness. It can be hiked from the top by starting from the Devil's backbone or it can be reached by following the Escalante River north of the Scenic Byway 12 trailhead. It is one of the least visited narrows in the Colorado plateau because it is so hard to get in and out, requiring a multi-day backpack and constant wading. Contrary to its name, it is one of the most verdant canyons, thanks to its white and pink Navajo sandstone walls. Wildlife and vegetation are abundant and people are few.


Tunnel Slot
The tunnel, which is about 80 feet long and ends as abruptly as it begins, gets its name from the fact that it is almost closed on top. There is plenty of room to move standing up and no obstructions, except for seasonal pools of mud.


Zebra Slot
This little slot canyon is fast becoming the latest craze among the "been there done that" crowd, now that Peek-a-boo and Spooky have become so popular. The Zebra slot is often filled with deep muddy pools, especially in wet years, but it can also be totally dry.


Zebra Slot 2
Navigating through the slot is easy at first, but gets tricky toward the end when the slot narrows drastically. You'll have to do a bit of easy chimneying in order to get to the best spot, where you can photograph the beautifully-striated narrow walls with moki marbles encrusted in the delicate sandstone.


Paria-Buckskin confluence
Paria Canyon is one of the "classic" hikes of the Southwest. A 37-mile 5-day journey deep into the Paris River gorge. This image was taken at the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch.


Buckskin Gulch Narrows
This image shows the narrows at the confluence with the trail coming from Wire Pass. You are likely to find water holes in Buckskin Gulch at almost any time of the year.


Buckskin Gulch Tree
This image of a tree trunk stuck ten feet above the canyon floor shows the devastating force of the flash floods that regularly rip through Paria Canyon. The Paria offers some of the most extraordinary Narrows on the Colorado Plateau.


Little Wild Horse Canyon
This slot canyon, located in the San Rafael Reef near Goblin Valley State Park, is a little gem and one of the more accessible canyons. It will provide a highly rewarding mini adventure, both very visual and tactile.


Polished walls of Little Wild Horse Canyon
This image shows off the exquisitely polished sandstone walls of Little Wild Horse Canyon.


Little Death Hollow
Little Death Hollow is one of the most exciting slot canyons in the Escalante drainage, with just the right amount of technical challenge to spice things up, without being difficult. Although not quite as spectacular as others photographically, this long slot canyon can nonetheless yield some great action shots and its beautiful red walls of Wingate sandstone, often pock-marked with spectacular Swiss cheese, are definitely worth shooting.


Swiss Cheese in Little Death Hollow
This image shows off the remarkable "Swiss cheese" carved by wind and water in the Wingate walls of Little Death Hollow.


Inner Sanctum
Flash floods run regularly through Antelope Canyon and a wall of water can descend without warning upon happless visitors. Visiting the Canyon is now heavily regulated after the accident that took the life of 11 tourists in the lower part of the Canyon. In this image, taken in November 97, the ground is about 3 feet higher than in the prior year, due to heavy flash floods.


Antelope Canyon detail
This image captures strong ocre, orange and yellow color on the walls of Antelope Canyon.


This striking image by photographer Steve Berlin captures the essence of Upper Antelope Canyon, the most famous of all slot canyons, located just a couple of miles outside of Page. See Steve's beautiful digital creations in the
November 98 Showcase


Lower Antelope Canyon ledge
This image was shot by pointing the camera vertically at a rock formation near the entrance of Lower Antelope Canyon.


Eagle's Eye
The Eagle's Eye is located close to the narrow entrance to Lower Antelope Canyon. Surprisingly, you'll find some of the best light very early in the morning.


Lower Antelope Texture & Color
This image illustrates the remarkable texture and range of colors you can capture under the right light in Lower Antelope Canyon.

Find photos of the Southwest and Colorado Plateau in Photographing the Southwest and Land of the Canyons, the Photo Trip USA landscape photography guidebooks.

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