Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Page, Arizona - Highly Recommended

RT 98 on the way to Page
Continuing our westward trek, Cav and I left Monument Valley and headed west to Page, AZ.  Page is on the northern border of Arizona above the Grand Canyon. It never held any interest to me other that several of my blog readers highly recommended it as a place to see.  The things recommended were Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Marble Canyon, Navajo Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, and Lake Powell.



Its a lonely drive down Rt 160 and then up RT 98 into Page.  Its fairly flat and scrub desert with lots of sandstone formations.  It was real windy on the day we drove.  We had high winds from the south with gusts up to 40 mph. It was two hands on the wheel and at times felt like a wrestling match with the RV, but we make it into Page without incident.

First stop was Upper Antelope Canyon.  This is a small slot canyon just outside of Page.  Its a very popular place for its photography.  We came into Page at 11:30 am and I was lucky to get on the noon time tour into the canyon.  The Navajo's own the canyon and you have to pay to park at the canyon trail head ($8 per person) and then pay for a tour guide to take you in.  The tours at mid day are the most expensive because that's when the light is the best (think of a light shining down a stove pipe).  I paid $40 to go with a group of 10 people.  Tours earlier in the day or later in the afternoon are $25 but there's not as much light in the canyon. You can get the tour right at the trail head and get one out of Page.

The canyon is three miles down a wash and they take you in 4 wheel drive trucks. Its a very bumpy and dusty ride.  Its also a busy place.  There were about 85 people in the canyon when we went in.  With all the people in a narrow space, I felt a little claustrophobic.  Here are some pictures of the trip and canyon.  Because of the wind there was lots of sand falling (more like raining) into the canyon.  The photos aren't as crisp because of this.

On the wash to Upper Antelope Canyon

Entry to Upper Antelope Canyon


Next stop was the Glen Canyon Dam right outside of Page.  It a huge dam built in 1966 on the Colorado River.  The bridge over the river canyon is also pretty spectacular.  There's a visitor center at the dam and you can take tour, but we passed.

Cav at Glen Canyon Overlook

Glen Canyon Dam

 Our campsite D-76 at Waheap Campground
It was hot outside.  Mid 90's type of hot with a hot wind which made it feel even hotter.  Like standing under a heat lamp with a blow dryer on your body.  We hustled over to the Glen Canyon Recreation Area to our campsite at Waheap Campground right on Lake Powell.  This is very popular place, especially for boaters. Its part of the National Park system so my Annual Pass got us in for free, otherwise its $15 to get in the park.  The campground has over 150 full hook up sites and as many tent sites.  The RV sites are pricey at $48 per night but they're well spaced and right on Lake Powell with great views.  The A and D loop sites are the ones most near the water.  There's showers and laundry at the camp store. You can also use the nearby facilities at the Lake Powell Resort (pools, fitness rooms)

The inside RV temps read 94 when we got there and it took several hours of AC to get it down to the high 70's. That's where I stayed until the sun started to set.

The next day it was off to see Horse Shoe Bend, a famous bend in the Colorado Rive just south of Page. Rt 89 south of Page had a major land slide and is closed 13 miles south of Page.  Luckily, Horse Shoe Bend is only two miles south on RT 89.  Its a rugged 3/4 mile hike to the overlook.  Its tough because for most of the way you walk in soft sand and a lot of it is up hill.  But once you get there, the views are spectacular.  Here are some pictures.
 
Trail to Horse Shoe Bend overlook
J. Dawg at Horse Shoe Bend


We stayed two days in Page.  There's a lot we didn't do like take a boat tour on Lake Powell, see Lee's Ferry and Navajo Bridge, go hiking, or take rafting trip.  Page definitely rates a return visit and I join my fellow blog readers in highly recommending it.

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