Slot canyons are like nature’s best-kept secret that so rare and exquisite mother nature took millions of years to architect it. These canyons are so beautiful and surreal that it is hard to believe that these are natural and real. A slender canyon formed by the erosion due to water hitting the rock is known as a slot canyon. These are mostly composed in sandstone and limestone rock, but that’s not the case always. Some canyons have been formed in other rock types like granite and basalt. Even in sandstone and limestone, it’s very rare to form slot canyons and it happens only due to a combination of the particular characteristics of the rock and regional rainfall. Let’s go on and have a look at 10 most famous and beautiful slot canyons in the world.
Beautiful Slot Canyons In The World
1. Coloured Canyon
Near the town of Nuweiba, on Sinai peninsula, Egypt resides the spectacular Coloured Canyon. It is a narrow slot canyon which got its name due to its astonishing range of colours and banding. The canyon was formed because of water erosion and took millions of years to create this 800 metres long beauty which is belted by 40 metres high walls. The walls which are made of sandstone are present in a variety of colours ranging from dark brown to red to straw yellow. This colour appears like this because of magnesium and iron oxides presence. This not so long canyon is admired by hikers and is easily accessible, attracting a good amount of tourists every year.
2. Spooky Gulch
Spooky Gulch is indeed one of the narrowest canyons in the world. A dim blackish and baffling place which holds about half a mile of sinuous, thin lanes where it is barely feasible to view a few feet ahead on canyon twisting and turnings which are almost 180-degree bends. The unusual knobby structure along with the beautiful colors displayed by the sandstones make it an amazing sight. During summer, it is visited by a fair amount of hikers. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes for a fit hiker to explore all the barrows of the canyons. But people tend to spend a much longer duration clicking pictures and enjoying the haunting ambiance.
3. Siq Canyon
Siq canyon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots of Petra. This canyon is 1.2 km long having thin narrow walls. It is a magical experience to walk through these canyons as its guides towards the hidden city. At the beginning of the Siq is a bridge located an ancient dam which was built in AD 50 to prevent floodwater from Wadi Musa flowing through the Siq. This dam was later re-built in 1963. The entrance to the Siq, which by the way offers an incredible hike, was once decorated by a Nabataean monumental arch that collapsed somewhat near the end of the 19th century, though some remains can still be seen at twin niches on either side of the entrance.
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4. Antelope Canyon
There are rare geological formations that are breath-taking and scenic as Antelope Canyon. Situated in Page in Northern Arizona, this magnificent slot canyon is a beautiful sandstone creation. It would not be wrong to call it “photographer’s dream” because of its wave-like structure and the light beams that shine directly down into the openings of the canyon creating a surreal beauty. The architect of Antelope Canyon is water erosion which took millions of years to build it. It draws thousands of tourists every year and is a must-visit place for the people visiting Northern Arizona.
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5. Oneonta Gorge
The Oneonta Gorge is a picturesque canyon residing in the Columbia River chasm area of the American state of Oregon. This area, being a habitat of unique aquatic and woodland plants, has been designated as a botanical area. Oneonta Gorge is known as “one of the true dramatic chasms in the state.” Four major waterfalls are present which add to the scenic beauty of the place.
6. Gorges du Fier
The Gorges du Fier is breath-taking natural beauty residing on the doorstep of Annecy. It is basically situated in Lovagny which is around 10 km from Annecy. These narrow canyons have been attracting a lot of tourists for a long time. In 1869 a suspended footbridge has been built right above the stream to make it convenient for the visitors to explore the canyon. Water erosion carved these beautiful structures over a period of thousands of years The suspended footbridges were completed in July 1869. Gorges have a spectrum of multiple colors making it a spectacular sight.
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7. Weano Gorge
Weano Gorge one of the most spectacular canyons found in Karijini National Park. This 1.5km long trail in starts as an easy walk but to get into Handrail Pool is no easy task as one has to climb steep cliffs and narrow walking passages. But it’s totally worth the effort as the ones who make up to the pool are rewarded with Australian beauty at its best as it is totally a surreal experience to find yourself soaked in a water hole covered by a mixture of yellow and red stones. This challenging walk is often described as a ‘journey to the centre of the earth.
8. Subway Canyon
Located within the Zion Wilderness in Zion National Park in north-eastern Washington County, Utah, United States, The Subway is a tiny, uniquely-shaped slot canyon. This canyon is named Subway because of its resemblance to a subway tube. A breath-taking optical view is generated due to the reflection and refraction of light on the canyon walls. Several pools of icy cold water are present that stands in holes created during the erosion process. These pools act as habitat to many insects and amphibians
9. Buckskin Gulch
The Buckskin Gulch is a canyon located in southern Utah, USA. It is definitely one of the longest and deepest slot canyons around the globe attracting tons of slot canyon hikers and being a premium destination it sees a high amount of foot traffic. Being 21 km long, it is often visited by people looking for a hiking day trip. Wire Pass which is a shorter tributary of the Buckskin is an ideal alternative for a short day hike giving hikers the feel and experience of the narrow, curving features that are the characteristics of slot canyons.
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10. Echidna Chasm
Echidna Chasm is one of the spectacular sites residing inside the World Heritage Site of the Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park. This narrow canyon has around 1.6 km long walk trail which is not too large but due to some rocky sections which require some moderate climbing makes the walk somewhat difficult. It is a complete delight for the photographers because of its ever-changing light. Unbelievable golden hues are created during the middle of the day by the sunlight which penetrates into the canyon.
These are the few most beautiful slot canyons in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.