7/07/2019 to 7/12/2019
Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and Rainbow Bridge
Sunday 7/07/2019 We left Las Vegas this morning for a 278-mile drive to Wahweap Campground which is just outside of the town of Page, Arizona. It was a long drive and we kept going across state lines. We started in Nevada, crossed into Arizona then into Utah, back into Arizona, then back into Utah and ended up right across the Utah line in Arizona. The drive was long enough that we had to stop for diesel fuel near Hurricane, Utah. Hurricane is where we stayed when Danny was with us and we visited Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Wahweap Campground is in a beautiful location inside The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area which is situated near beautiful, blue Lake Powell. Lake Powell was created back in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam first opened and is fed with water from the Colorado River. The campground is very nice and we have a cement pad on a pull-through site. One side of all the trailers are very close to their neighbors but the other side has a nice, slightly shady area in-between with a little more space. The campground resides in Arizona but if you take a very short walk across a road to a parking area and boat launch – you’re in Utah. There’s a sign posted on the road showing you when you return to Arizona. We took a walk toward the evening near the boat launch area and took some photos of the lake and sunset.
Monday 7/08/2019 Today we visited Horseshoe Bend. In doing my research, it was suggested that you arrive at the parking area before 9 am. After 9 am the parking lot fills up and large crowds from tour buses arrive. We got there at 8:30 am and had no trouble finding a parking space. Horseshoe Bend is free to visit but it’s $10.00 to park. It was already beginning to fill up with people and not many of them were English speaking, maybe only 10%. We heard a lot of German being spoken among other languages. We arrived pretty early but it was already fairly crowded. You start the very sandy path by walking slightly uphill and then you continue mostly downhill into the viewing area for Horseshoe Bend which is less than a mile away. You can’t get lost, you just follow the steady stream of people in front of you. The water surrounding the bend isn’t a beautiful blue like Lake Powell, but rather a green, mossy color. But the canyon and the Colorado River together makes for some gorgeous photos. We hiked around the neighboring area on stones with a windswept appearance. The return walk was a little more strenuous as it was uphill in loose sand.
After Horseshoe Bend, we drove a few miles back to the Glen Canyon Dam and walked around the visitor’s center and the museum. Then we walked across the bridge in front of the dam to take some more photos.
On the drive back to the trailer, we stopped at the park lodge to make reservations for a boat trip on the Colorado River which takes you to The Rainbow Bridge. We’ll be doing this on Thursday, July 11.
Tuesday 7/09/2019 This morning was another very early wake-up call, 5:00 am. We needed to be at our first adventure by 6:00 am. We are touring the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon and it leaves at 6:30 am from the town of Page. There were five different shuttle buses that held 14 people giving a grand total of 70 people entering the canyon at the same time. Each shuttle bus had their own driver who also served as the guide. We moved very slowly through the canyon as each group stopped multiple times throughout the stone slots to take photos. We feel like we were able to take some beautiful ones. Our friendly Navajo guide also helped us to choose some great scenes and he even took several shots for us. The canyon is a little dark because the sandy floor you walk on is wide and then the walls narrow as they rise. Once you made your way to the end of the slotted canyon and into an open area, you turn around and go back the way you came. This is where it gets a little trickier as you have to maneuver around all the other groups of people heading towards you. The entire tour from beginning to end took about 90 minutes and we were back to the starting spot by 8 am.
I planned a second tour later in the morning that started from a different location. This tour was run by Ken’s Tours and it was for the Lower Antelope Canyon. We arrived at Ken’s at 11 am for an 11:30 am tour. While we were waiting for our tour to begin, we walked around the gift shop and snack bar area. There are so many people visiting from other countries that they find it necessary to post a sign on the counter explaining what our coins look like. We thought the morning tour was crowded but this tour was much more so. They have about nine groups of eight or so people leaving every half hour. You leave right from the tour office/gift shop and walk about a half mile to a sloping stone covered walkway. (the cover was very nice because it was so hot and sunny) At the end of the walkway were many somewhat steep steel steps that bring you down into the slotted canyon. Some of these steps felt more like you were climbing up and down a ladder because they were so steep. This canyon is shaped the opposite way of our morning tour’s canyon. It’s narrow at the bottom and wider at the top. (some spots were sideways moving only) This made for more sun into the canyon and I think even more impressive photos. This tour moved twice as slow as the morning tour did. I think they sell as many tickets as they possibly can. Hopefully, you can tell from the photos how crowded it was. Once again we had a Navajo tour guide. This time a very nice and friendly girl who pointed out many views and stopped and took photos of the people in our group. We were grouped with a family from India now living in Kingman, AZ. The groups slowly made their way through the slotted canyon. This tour did not turn around at the end but instead, you emerge through a very tiny slot in the canyon floor into the bright sunshine and you’re right back at the tour office. It was a beautiful walk through the slotted canyons. The only thing that would have made it nicer was if they took fewer people on each tour and if you could take more time inside the canyon to really take in the beauty of it. We were finished and driving away by 1 pm.
If you would like to see more, here's a great video I found on YouTube.
Wednesday 7/10/2019 We had no plans today other than packing up and moving to another RV park just a few miles away. We were only able to reserve three nights at the Wahweap Campground and I wanted to spend more time in this area. We didn’t really want to leave as this was a nice campground with beautiful scenery and is right next to the lake cruise we are taking on Thursday. Check out time at Wahweap is 11 am and check-in at our next site was noon and it would only take us a short time to drive between the two. So, I called the Page-Lake Powell Campground when we were close and asked if we could arrive early and they said that would be fine. We set up at the new spot, which is okay, but not as nice as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Wahweap Campground. There’s a rock mountain range behind us which is pretty. We found a small Italian restaurant nearby called Stromboli’s and enjoyed a good pasta meal. After dinner, we came back to the campground and strolled around for a while. They have an indoor swimming pool, large laundry room, and a small exercise room. As we continued walking, we even came across a couple of covered wagons that they’ve fixed up to serve as cabins. We thought that was a unique idea.
Thursday 7/11/2019 Today was another very early wake-up call for us. We needed to meet at the resort’s boat tour desk at 7 am. The resort is back inside the Glen Canyon Recreation Area which is about twenty minutes away. We drove to the resort, stopped at the tour desk and picked up our tickets and waited around the resort lobby until 7:15 am when they called us to have a photo taken (which I never buy) and then walk down a paved walkway to the pier where we boarded the boat. It was one of their smaller tour boats as we only had 36 passengers plus our Navajo tour guide and the ship’s captain – both woman. The boat was only about half full. When we made our reservations, we inquired as to whether the boat had any air-conditioning and were told that the ground floor of the boat did. We found out we were given incorrect information and we were in for a very hot ride today. The cruise is about 50 total miles (round trip) and takes approximately five and a half hours total. We cast off at 7:30 am and began the long journey. Most of the passengers chose to ride up top in the open section of the boat. The sun was much too hot for us and we chose the ground floor. The boat’s destination was the Rainbow Bridge and the only way to access the bridge is by boat. Hence, our cruise. There is a bounty of breathtaking scenery along the way and the lake is busy with many large houseboats, speedboats, jet skis, and even beautiful small yachts. The lake itself is beautiful, at times glistening in clear blue hues, then it appears turquoise, and finally a not as beautiful green. I guess it depends on the depth of the water and how the sun is shining on it.
After about two and a half hours, we came to a large cove where we docked and disembarked to a long, metal pier. We walked along the pier until the sandy, rocky trail begins. The captain said it was a one and a quarter-mile hike to the Rainbow Bridge. There were two covered viewpoints along the way but we decided to walk the entire path directly to the bridge and then stop at the other viewpoints on the way back. We were only allotted 30 minutes to hike to the bridge, thirty minutes to take photos and then thirty minutes to hike back to the pier. (a total of 90 minutes) We felt a little bit of pressure to make sure we were able to complete the hike within the 90 minutes but it wasn’t a problem. We took some great photos along the trail and of the amazing Rainbow Bridge. We were the only tour boat that arrived at this time, but there were several private smaller vessels full of families that docked and took the hike. It began not too crowded but ended up with a good amount of people. We walked back to the pier and boarded the boat.
On the return trip, a lot more people chose the bottom, covered section of the boat. I guess they had enough sun. We began the voyage back and were snapping away with the camera. We were amazed by the huge amount of houseboats that use this lake. I think a lot of them use the houseboats as campers and anchor out on the lake and stay for days at a time. Most of them were dragging a speedboat and several jet skis behind them. Others winched their jet skies to the upper deck of their houseboats. We noticed that some of the houseboats were rented and I asked the captain what they cost and she said about a thousand dollars a day. We weren’t going directly back to the resort on the return trip. Instead about 40 minutes into the voyage, we docked at a marina called the Dangling Rope. It’s in another cove and is only accessible by helicopter or boat. There’s absolutely no way to reach it by land. The employees live in housing units behind the marina for the entire season. The marina company does give them the use of a boat if they need to leave the cove. We only stayed for twenty minutes and then continued on our way back to the resort to dock the boat. After disembarking, we had to walk up the long, paved sidewalk back to the lobby and then drove back to the campground for the evening.
We had no plans for today so today was laundry day. The laundry room was okay and had a lot of machines although several were out of order. We only put the clothes in the dryer for part of the time and then hang them out to dry on our portable plastic rack. It doesn’t take long for them to dry in 100-degree heat and bright sun. A little later on, we drove the truck to the quarter car wash (actually cost $4.00) and gave it a bath. We went to Walmart afterward and stocked up on food for our next four days which is in Monument Valley, Utah. According to my research, there are not many restaurants in the Monument Valley area, just a couple connected to the hotels. And that was our last day in The Glen Canyon area.
Questions or comments? Contact us today.