LAKE POWELL & GLEN CANYON, Page, AZ.
Jun 17, 2007
|Page, AZ. was very hot, 100 degrees give or take, so any major outdoor activities that involved more than a short walk for a few minutes became out of the question. We opted for an RV park with AC, indoor pool and spa and spent Father's Day doing a "sight-seeing crash course" which Howard actually pretended to really enjoy! Well, all the phone calls and good wishes helped that came from Stephanie, Terri, Caitlin and Rob!!
We started off with the Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge and the Carl Hayden Visitor Center where waters of the Colorado River and tributaries were backed up about 185 miles forming Lake Powell. Construction began in the late 50's when concrete for the arch dam and power plant were poured around the clock for more than 3 years. The dam's crest is 1560 ft. long and lies 710 ft. above bedrock and 583 ft. above the original river channel which can be best viewed and photographed from the bridge. The Visitor Center offers dam tours, exhibits, audio-visual programs and a bookstore.
We had looked forward to the boat trip on Lake Powell to the Rainbow Bridge monument but obviously forgot that it was an all day 8 hour commitment that now costs $135 per person and....since Lake Powell is so low the hike to the monument is now 2 miles instead of one-half!
Rainbow Bridge National Monument certainly deserves more than a mention. As the world's largest natural bridge, it spans 275 feet and is 290 feet high. The top is 42 ft. thick and 33 ft. wide. The monument is sacred to Native Americans and can only be reached by boat or trails across the Navajo Nation which require a permit. Luckily we made this trip a few years ago with friends Don and Joan who are now traveling in their new 5th wheel trailer in Oregon.
Shortly after our arrival at the Page Lake Powell campground we donned bathing suits and headed for the indoor salt-water pool. There we met a man and his son who had been boondock camping on the beach at Lone Rock on Lake Powell. He kept raving about what a great location it was for swimming, boating and off-roading thru the sand dunes and of course it was hot but you could run your generator non-stop! We thought it was worth checking out though no serious thought was given to actually staying there. Lone Rock certainly lives up to its name! The beach camping was packed with families and tourists from all over the world with boats and ATVs and so reminded us of the fish camps along the Sea of Cortes in Mexico's Baja.
We pulled over at one of the scenic overlooks to take in the spectacular landscape dominating this canyon country due to eons of geologic activity; Navajo sandstone being the predominant formation. While taking photos and commenting on the low water table with a couple with a bit of an accent traveling in a camper, we learned they were from Australia and come over to the states a couple of times a year. They purchased their used camper and set up a temporary residence address at one of the RV parks in Yuma and were able to obtain a driver's license and insurance benefits.
Wahweap Marina is the largest marina and lodging facility in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. Concessioners provide lodging, restaurants, shops, two campgrounds (one with full-hookups) and a full service marina with about a million houseboats for rent. In honor of Father's Day we had a wonderful brunch at the Lake Powell Resort.
Afterwards, we drove to Antelope Point, a destination for many of the tour boat operators and back country guides with the caves and slot canyons a popular tourist spot. The sun filtering thru the narrow deep slots offer some very dramatic photo opportunities. The Navajo tribes control access to these sacred canyons and charge a pretty exhorbitant entrance fee which we would have gladly paid had the temps been a little cooler. All reports from those who have taken these tours have been fantastic and well worthwhile! Definitely next time!
It is now time to head back and watch the finish of the US Open golf match!