Lake Powell and Page

by CameronM Sat, December 11 2010 02:33

Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in North America and is a convenient stopover on your way from Monument Valley to Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks. The town of Page was founded to house workers during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and power station nearby. Lake Powell is less like a lake and more like a lot of flooded canyons so don’t expect to see a massive expanse of water greeting you from your hotel room in Page. In fact, you can’t even see that lake from most of Page, except for from the hotels located directly on the ridge near Vista Avenue. There is also no direct access to the lake from Page although several marinas within easy-drive provide lake access, boat storage and rental.

Scenic View Road to the west of the town is located on the edge of the lake and offers a nice view of both the dam and the Glen Canyon Bridge that was built prior to the dam to provide access during construction and now carries traffic on Highway 89.

A short drive to the south on 89 is the aptly named Horseshoe Bend, a section of canyon that snakes through the countryside creating a large U shape. The 10-minute walk to the canyon from the car park affords you nice views back towards Page and the surrounding hills. Once you arrive at Horseshoe Bend be aware that there are not railings and it is a sheer drop of several hundred feet to the canyon bottom below.

Heading out from Page towards Zion National Park on the 89 you get a glimpse of Wahweap Marina, just one of the marinas where you can store your boat should you have one. You can only appreciate Lake Powell if you live in the dry, parched desert that makes up so much of Arizona and Utah. For someone who lives very near the ocean, it offers very little to entice and its scale is somewhat overrated.

 

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Grand Canyon South Rim

by Melita Wed, December 08 2010 18:12

I was and sill am amazed and blown away at the sheer size of the Grand Canyon. It makes you feel like a little ant. It’s a little bit mind-blowing and hard to comprehend. Beautiful and awe-inspiring! I am fascinated by the layers of rock and how they are stacked in different orientations – one layer the rock is vertical, the next layer is horizontal. And the colours are different shades with each layer. As the sun hits them, they seem a different colour again.

 

We drove into the park, after getting our park permit ($25 and good for 7 days) and after a short stop at the visitor centre decided to drive out towards Hermit Rest. Once again, we were fortunate in our timing as we were able to drive this route, when in summer it is shuttle bus access only. There were hardly any cars and plenty of designated places to stop and take great pictures of the view. We did a small walk along one of the pathways (bitumen and safe), but there are a lot of walks you can do ranging from a couple of miles to hours. We spoke to a couple from Wisconsin who had walked down to the valley floor the day before and it took them around 7 hours return trip (they were pretty fit). Before we talked to them, they had just done a 4 mile run. (They passed us on the walking path and we had a chuckle at them after they went past – they were both dressed from head to toe in compression suits – they looked ridiculous).

I would love to do a hike there, or a mule ride. I think a good combination would be to hike down, river rafting, then mule ride back up to the top.

Hiking Grand Canyon National Park (Hiking Grand Canyon National Park)Grand Canyon: The Complete Guide: Grand Canyon National ParkFodor's Arizona & the Grand Canyon 2011

We had a lovely morning stopping along the rim and taking lots of photos and video (with Zane tightly strapped to us via his lion backpack).  We headed back to out hotel room for cheese sandwiches before a nap all round. The hotel has heated pool and spa, although we couldn’t get the bubbles to work, it was nice to have a swim. One big plus was that the pool is indoors, so unlike Anaheim, you don’t freeze while you are trying to dry off.

Tomorrow we head along another side of the south rim on our way to Monument Valley, so we are taking it easy this afternoon.

 

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