I found my way to the town of Page, AZ and the south end of Lake Powell, where I had to cross the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam to get to my campground. This 710-foot dam is quite impressive. I stopped in the Carl Hayden Visitors Center to look around and learn more. It took 7 years to build and was completed in 1963. The adjoining powerplant was completed in 1966. The dam is part of the 1.25 million acre Glen Canyon Recreation Area which spans across part of Arizona and Utah.
Equally as impressive, is the steel arch Glen Canyon Bridge which was completed in 1959. It is two-lane, 1,271 feet long, and 700 feet above the river; making it one of the highest bridges in the United States.
Lake Powell is actually a 186-mile reservoir located in both Utah and Arizona. It took 17 years to fill, reaching full capacity in 1980. It is a major vacation spot with about 2 million visitors a year. One of the unique features of the resort is the rental houseboats. You can rent a 46-foot houseboat that sleeps 6, for around $3000. a week.
I did not rent a houseboat but stayed near the marina, at the Wahweap campground. Check out my views-beautiful morning and night. It was a lovely place, with big campsites, showers and very clean adobe style restrooms! These are all important things when traveling in a 4X6 ft van!
My first day there I signed up for a boat tour into the lower Antelope Canyon, leaving the marina at 4 that afternoon. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, part of the Navajo Tribal Park just east of Page. There are two separate parts of the canyon, the upper “crack” and the lower “corkscrew”. They are only accessible by a guided tour.
The lower canyon boat tour provided an up close opportunity to view the narrow, colorful and sculpted geology of the lower end of Lake Powell. The tour travels 4 of the 10 miles into the corkscrew canyon before it narrows. The towering walls are Navajo Sandstone in red and burnt orange. The lighting was beautiful at the end of the day, but unfortunately the camera did not always capture the depth of color. I will let the pictures speak for themselves!
The following day I went to Horseshoe Bend Overlook, a horseshoe-shaped meander in the Colorado River located 5 miles downstream from Glen Canyon Dam. It is a long hot hike to the overlook from the parking lot with no shade. Signs warn of extreme heat and the need for water. They were not kidding! On my way, I met my first wedding party!
I continued down to the rim of the canyon where there were many people standing way too close to the edge for my liking, including another bride and groom with a photographer. It really was the most spectacular view! I inched my way up and looked over and took some pictures before quickly moving away from the precipice. Heights are not my thing and when I saw people standing on one foot hanging over the gorge, it literally turned my stomach. I finally asked a woman to take my picture. I did call my grandkids and was able to show them pictures with my phone from near the rim.
I left Horseshoe Bend and headed over to the Navajo Indian Reservation at Upper Antelope Canyon. My foot was bothering me (ongoing plantar fasciitis) so I reluctantly decided to skip the hike and drove to the beautiful Antelope Point and Marina.
My last night I found a hill up behind the campground where I could look to the west and see the setting sun and look to the east and see the sunset illuminating the sandstone buttes and plateaus in the distance. It was amazing.
Next: Sedona and the Grand Canyon!