Adventures at the Arizona – Utah border

What started off as a one to two-week visit to Page, Arizona, ended up turning into four weeks. Yep, an entire month! Changing our travel itinerary on a whim is a wonderful thing and since we didn’t have our next RV Park reservation until May 1st, we took full advantage of the freedom to roll at will.

cairn

After a month of exploring around the Lake Powell / Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in northern Arizona and southern Utah, one might think we’d seen it all, but such is not the case. Although, we did manage to see and do a bunch of things, I know there’s still much more to discover. Guess that means we have to come back!

Our first week whizzed by as our adventures were shared with friends. We hiked a slot canyon with friends. We enjoyed a back road 4×4 excursion with friends, and we also spent a week boondocking with friends. Sharing our adventures made our time in the area that much more enjoyable and entertaining. That week was filled with hikes, campfires, laughs, and beautiful scenery.

Lone Rock Beach

Lone Rock Beach

Camping with friends

Al and I arrived to the Lone Rock Beach area a couple of days ahead of our friends which gave us the opportunity to scope out the lay of the land.

Once our friends arrived, the four of us found a level spot to call home for the week. Faye and I began to gather rocks and set about building a fire ring. I recall there being a lot of laughter, especially when she and I decided to build some trail cairns to aid Dave in finding his way back to the RV from the campfire 🤣

cairns

Our friend Mona Liza had heard about our antics and expressed concern. Not to worry Mona, we broke no rules gathering the rocks and no rocks were harmed for the sake of our entertainment. All rocks were later returned to their original home …. leave no trace 😁

Unfortunately, our friends had a travel schedule planned and after a week they moved on leaving Al and me to our own devices. No problem …. I had formulated a list of things to see and do over the coming weeks.

Dining at Lake Powell

Our first stop was the Antelope Point Marina.  Al and I enjoyed a very tasty lunch at the recently opened Jádi To’oh Restaurant. Great atmosphere and good food. After lunch, we walked the docks looking at boats … boats or yachts?

Yeah, some of these boats were huge and Al and I had fun visualizing the owners, or most likely companies, that own these floating beauties. Walking up and down the docks served as a great way to not only entertain us, but also get in some exercise.

Next up, was a visit to the Wahweap Marina and the Lake Powell Resort. The views from the resort are beautiful and I would highly recommend a visit here. Al and I stopped by for happy hour and enjoyed drinks and a sandwich in the bar area.

But the dining room …. oh my, what a view! I’d venture to say, it might be worthwhile enjoying breakfast or dinner here in the Rainbow Room (no lunch service). I can’t speak for the food or service, but those views are amazing.

While strolling around the Lake Powell Resort, we stumbled upon a wedding. Wow! What a great spot to get married. “Hey honey, wanna renew our vows?”

Hiking, hiking and more hiking

What can I say about the hiking possibilities around northern Arizona and southern Utah? …. Toadstools, slot canyons, mini waves, a rim trail, a hanging garden, and Horseshoe Bend …. and those are just the few trails we hiked. There’s many more.

Hiking a slot canyon in northern ArizonaWhen it comes to hiking, the slot canyons around here are the crème de la crème and a photographers delight. Folks from around the world travel here to experience one of these slots – Antelope Canyon being the most popular. Since the majority of these slot canyons are located on Navajo Indian land, permits and/or guides are required.

We hiked two slot canyons during our stay in Page. First was the Waterholes Canyon and second was Wire Pass Canyon. Both canyons had obstacles to negotiate, and this is when team work came in handy for me. I could not have hiked either canyon by myself, but I did discover several non slot canyon hikes that are easily doable solo.

New Wave trail – The newest trail around Page, Arizona, is what’s called the New Wave and although it doesn’t come close to the real Wave, these mini waves are made up of the same Navajo sandstone with extensive fine detailing and cross bedding.

Rimview trail – This 10 mile scenic Rim Trail loops around the town of Page. Hikers and bikers can access the trail at any number of locations.  I hiked this trail several times during my visit, BUT fear not, I never completed that ten mile loop. Nope, not me! Instead, I made my own much shorter hike. I parked at a small parking area near the  Lake View Primary School, and by hiking this northern section of the trail, I was able to take in the sparkling blue waters of Lake Powell below me.

Horseshoe Bend overlook – No trip to northern Arizona would be complete without a visit to the Horseshoe Bend overlook, but be forewarned, it’s a crowded tourist attraction that brings in bus loads of people from around the world …. literally, tour buses filled with tourists.

I was lucky to visit during a lull in tourism – spring break was over and ‘the season’ hadn’t yet begun. During spring break, I saw the line of traffic stretch dangerously down Highway 89 and there was no way I was going to join those masses. Currently construction is underway to improve access and parking.

The hike to the overlook is about 3/4 of a mile one way in a sometimes sandy trail and is uphill on the return to the parking lot.

Hanging Garden Trail – This is another short and easy hike not far from the Carl Hayden visitor center (Dam). The trail leads to an interesting rock overhang where vegetation grows out of the rock, but the real fun here begins with a little off trail exploring. Fascinating, perplexing and colorful rock abound with more wave like action.

Scenic drives

If hiking isn’t your thing, how about a scenic drive? We enjoyed two back country 4×4 excursions. Our first outing was to the most amazing scenic overlook known as Alstrom Point, and second was a drive via Cottonwood Road through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

We didn’t need four-wheel drive on either excursion, but found the high clearance on the Toyota Tacoma was helpful, even though not necessary. Also, the weather was very agreeable for both excursions … meaning it hadn’t rained in quite sometime and the ground was extremely dry.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Without the Glen Canyon Dam there would be no Lake Powell, and Lake Powell is obviously the star of northern Arizona, and the Grand Canyon, of course. The Carl Hayden Visit Center is perched on a ledge overlooking the Glen Canyon Dam and the waters of Lake Powell and the Colorado River.

The visitor center is a great place to stop and gather local information, pick up a trail map, take a tour of the dam, or walk the Glen Canyon bridge. Walking across the bridge to take in the sight is a must do, but I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of the bridge vibrating when semi-trucks crossed 😮 The bridge and the dam are an engineering marvel, especially amongst such challenging terrain.

Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River

The above photograph was taken at a scenic overlook located on Scenic View Road near the Wingate, Baymont Inn and Sleep Inn. The overlook requires a short downhill stroll over sandy slick rock. For the more adventurous, hike around the ledges and bluffs for impressive views in all directions.

Lodging in Page

There’s no shortage of hotels around Page with more being built to accommodate the influx of tourism. However, there is a shortage of available RV parking (in my opinion) especially on weekends which is why many end up boondocking out at Lone Rock Beach or Wallie-docking at the local Walmart.

If money is no object, consider staying at the exclusive Amangiri Resort. No lookie- loos allowed beyond the gate …. sorry, I tried. Perhaps, it’s understandable that if guests are paying upwards of $3,000 a night, that they’d like their privacy. Can’t imagine why they wouldn’t allow this hiking clad RVer into their luxury abode for photo-ops 😏 I don’t think they believed me when I told them my Louboutin’s were back at the RV 👠🤣

Fenced out 😕

Time to move on …

After having more fun in Page – northern Arizona, than we ever imagined, the time has come for us to lift the jacks and move on. It’s what RVers do 🤗 It was a memorable visit …. one we hope to repeat!

 

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70 thoughts on “Adventures at the Arizona – Utah border

  1. Hi Ingrid! Lovely to catch up with your adventures on one of my favourite parts of Arizona. I too was a bit worried about your rock gathering until I read your full disclosure !!
    I think I’m back on WordPress for the cooking with thermomix but will stick to Instagram for my travels and photography. X

    • Hey Anne, so nice to hear from you! I’ve missed your posts. Oh, how I wish you’d return to posting travel adventures. I know you’re on Instagram but that’s a platform I haven’t embraced. I hate shooting pics with my phone. Have you been to New Zealand lately?

      • No not NZ recently. We went to Antarctica and South America in January – that was amazing!
        My IG shots don’t normally come from a phone . I just found the time needed to write a blog was too much.

  2. So glad we got to experience this amazing place with you two. Great guide to all there is around Page, can’t wait to get back there.

    • We had such a great time even during those sandstorms. We became well acquainted with the library when it was impossible to be outside. We found at least one amazing discovery that I won’t be blogging about, but will share with friends 😉

  3. Wow, what a wonderful month you had. I like the train cairns you set up in a humorous reason. You have seen so much that is on our list in the Arizona area…Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are among the top of our list. I just think you have had a wonderful adventure taking your time in April and just enjoying the area. Hopes for a wonderful month of May.

    • We had more fun than we imagined we would. It is such unusual land that we kept wanting to explore more which kept my camera working. Hope you get a chance to visit.

  4. I just stumbled upon your site, and I love your photos! You take absolutely breathtaking landscapes. I am so excited to see more!

  5. You two certainly made the most of your time there. Love the fact that you not only took advantage of the scenery (which is second to none) as well as the dining and other amenities the area has to offer.

    Love the cairns that you put together for Dave. I am sure he appreciated them (and needed them). Also glad to hear that you put the rocks back and left no trace!

    • We enjoyed a great week camping with Faye and Dave…. lots of laughing and silliness along with some fantastic explorations.
      I always enjoy checking out a new town and at least a restaurant or two in the process. Oh and it seems I forgot to mention what a great library the town has. On those excessively windy days, Al and I would spend the afternoon at the library gobbling up free WiFi.

    • Oops, the last thing I’d want is more tourism in the area. Ah, guess I’m guilty with the social media sharing and highlighting these amazing sights. It’s hard not to share.
      I had a lot of fun with those rock cairns. I later moved them around the various sand dunes much to my husband’s amusement. Mother Nature and her wind later toppled them all.

    • Thank you Jim. There really is so much to see and do around here. There were many mornings and evenings where the water at Lone Rock Beach was like a mirror … perfect for a paddle. You’d enjoy it!

  6. You nailed it Ingrid! Great post, there are lots of reasons to keep coming back. So a little birdie tweeted to you about my “stone” concerns, ha ha, ha, I just didnt want you in trouble! I might be late or I might be early but I know a birthday has or will be celebrated. Cheers to you and good health!

    • Hopefully the four of us can meet up again and this time for a longer visit. Would love to rent a boat or do some other adventure. Yes, the big guy celebrated his birthday by changing a flat tire on the RV and driving in high winds. We’re living the dream! We’re now in Cottonwood for a couple of days chilling 😊

  7. Love your photos – so inspiring. The interesting thing about seeing your post tonight – Just tonight I read an article published in Outside Magazine about Horseshoe Bend having so many visitors now that the park service is considering permits to hike into it. Did you see that many tourists? I will say though that I see a picture of Horseshoe Bend at least once per day on Instagram. Great post

    • Thanks – yeah, Horseshoe Bend is always busy. They’re building a whole new setup to access the place which wouldn’t include a permit process. This really isn’t a hike as much as it is a scenic overlook. So they are making it more accessible like viewing areas at the Grand Canyon. Zion NP is getting so overrun and crowded that I know there are talks about some sort of visitor limit (permit) being necessary there. With social media highlighting all these beautiful places, international tourism has increased leaps and bounds. My guesstimate is that only half the visitors to these places are American.

  8. I can see why the hoards arrive to see Horseshoe bend. One day we’ll get to to America, and obviously the Grand Canyon will be on our list. But I’ll need another lifetime to add all the spectacular places you’re showing me. I want to add them all to my bucket lust (that lust was a typo – but I decided it was appropriate to leave it in). I think I’m going to need three lifetimes…..

    • I know … so many places to see and things to do – sure wish I were younger 😀 After my daughter spent a semester studying in Sydney, she talked about the two of us renting a camper van and touring Australia. It used to be all about time and money, but now I have to add health to the equation making international travel questionable for me …. sigh! I’ll take one of those ‘lifetimes’ 😆

      • I think we still have a couple of overseas trips in our us, but they won’t be long trips. I’ll get to see some the better known places. and I’ll have to make do with seeing all of the other lovely places vicariously through the eyes of bloggers such as yourself Ingrid.

    • Knowing how you feel about cold weather, you definitely do NOT want to visit northern Arizona in the winter. At the end of March, we awoke to 36 degrees F outside and 46 F inside the RV. Thank goodness once we turned on the furnace, it warmed up nicely. I even had to remind my well-traveled friend that the north rim of the Grand Canyon doesn’t open for tourism until May. It’s all about elevation in Arizona. During our next visit, I will try and budget for a rental boat for a day. Getting out on Lake Powell is a must!

  9. Such amazing places! Love your pictures, as always. Can’t wait to get back to that area and look around some, we just cruised through this spring.

    • Thank you … that’s how we started – just cruising through. We had no idea there were so many things to see and do other than boating on Lake Powell. Definitely worth a longer stay with time to explore!

  10. This is awesome. Every time you post about this area, I add another thing to our to-do list. We have, so far, been incredibly lucky with our timing here in southern Utah. We’re supposed to be in Page right before Memorial Day. I am hoping we’ll have at least a few days of relative calm before the summer craziness really begins, but we’ll see. I might even drag my butt out of bed early in the morning to go see Horseshoe Bend before the buses role in. I imagine that the crowds are not only annoying, but also kind of dangerous in a place like that. Anyway, thanks for all the great ideas. We’re looking forward to it!

    • Don’t go too early to Horseshoe Bend – the canyon will be all shaded, but do go before noon to beat the crowds. Busiest time is late afternoon and sunset but that’s also the most photogenic. You will need to get going early for any hikes. Afternoons will be too hot to hike, but perfect for boating. Enjoy!

  11. I was brought here by way of Pit, of Pit’s Fritztown News. I am getting ready to leave on a road trip out to the Four Corners area, but I see you’re a bit west of where I’m going on this trip. Page is not too far, though, from where we’re staying in Tuba City. I’m looking forward to following your blog, because one of these days I’m going to convince my husband we should invest in an RV, and I want to do a LOT of road trips! It looks like you’re having a grand adventure!

    • Welcome and thanks for stopping by. I’m wondering what your plans are for the Tuba City area??? Well, if you do run out of things to see and do around the Four Corners, you now know a bit about Page and Lake Powell and can do the drive there … fun place. Enjoy you trip and I’ll pop on over to your blog!

      • Hi Ingrid. Around Tuba City I found Coal Mine Canyon and Blue Canyon, but I think we need guides for those. If we can’t get guides, then we’ll surely reconsider going to Page instead! I’m glad I discovered you and have found Page on the map. Where is the New Wave Trail in relation to Page? I’d also be very interested in the Toadstools and Slot canyon you mention in another post. That looks like a fun place! Thanks so much!

        • The New Wave Trail is less than a mile north of the Glen Canyon Dam off a gravel road on the west side of 89. Be sure and stop in at the visitor center at the Dam. They were very helpful. Feel free to email me if you’d like any other help/information and I’ll be interested in hearing about those canyons near Tuba City.

          • Thanks for the great information, Ingrid. I just told my husband we might want to rethink our plans about Tuba City. We’ll consider what to do tonight. I take off tomorrow morning and will arrive in Denver on the 3rd to see my son. who lives in Lakewood. Thanks so much for the offer for help! 🙂

            • Oh, please don’t change anything on my account. Perhaps there’s something about Tuba City that I’m unfamiliar with. You can always reroute later. However, do take 128 (Cisco) instead of 191 to Moab off I-70. You’ll be glad you did 🙂

            • Thanks again, Ingrid. We’ll see. We’re going to check with our hotel in Tuba City to see about getting guides to those canyons. If we can’t, we may reroute. It’s not that far from our planned path. Thanks again for that recommendation to take 128 to Moab. 🙂

            • I just came across a blog … he will be visiting those two canyons not far from Tuba City and they look worthwhile. Fascinating landscape so hope you can visit!

            • Thanks, Ingrid. Do have a link to the blog? I found those two canyons on someone’s blog, but I don’t remember whose. I’ll let you know all about them if we can find our way there! Thanks for all your help!

    • Antelope Canyon is one of those sights you really should see even though it may be crowded. But there are a bunch of other slot canyon tours much less crowded and worth looking into. We loved our time in Page and are already looking forward to a return visit!

    • Thanks – great area to spend time exploring. It would be fun to get a group together to rent a boat for a day or do more slot canyon hiking. I loved your posts on Zion 😊

  12. What a joy to share the marvels with you, Ingrid, of the Arizona-Utah border. Your descriptions and adventures sound wonderful, and the photos demonstrate a picturesque southwestern venue…one that I am motivated to explore more of, having visited here with you. Many thanks.

    • If you’re looking for a unique adventure, this part of the country definitely delivers. And with other wonderful sites like the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Lee’s Ferry and Zion NP all easily accessible from Page, it makes for a fantastic week long loop excursion… something to consider … perhaps even a mystery novel book idea may emerge 😉

      • Thanks for the very inviting teaser, Ingrid, about this gem in the country. This is one area I have not been to, and would love to, and now I know more. Chuckled at your comment about the mystery novel setting, too. Many thanks and many smiles to you–

  13. Such a beautiful place, always, That floors me they bring bus loads to horseshoe bend. I remember when it was a little known spot, with peace and a lovely view. Sounds like it’s been ruined, That makes me sad. Are you heading north? We are still in Utah and have to be here until mid June.

    • One afternoon as we drove by the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, we saw 3 greyhound type buses in the lot and couldn’t begin to count the rental RV’s. It was insane and yes very sad. Construction is underway to reroute the road to accommodate traffic and concrete/rail overlooks are being built to make it handicap accessible. I’m ‘guessing’ there may even be a ranger station requiring a fee or NP pass since this is all part of the Glen Canyon National Rec Area.
      We just arrived in Cottonwood yesterday and Tuesday we head into a RV Park in Prescott Valley for the summer – not my favorite thing, but we have family stuff happening this summer. No exciting travels in our near future 🤨

  14. Wow, it’s going to be hard to find a better place than northern Arizona for your next adventure! I’ve enjoyed all your posts about your month there. Looking forward to seeing where you end up next.

    • We did have a very adventurous month… most fun we’ve had in a while. Unfortunately, the rest of our year won’t be as nearly as exciting. We’ll be sitting still for a while focusing on family stuff. I’ll need to think a little bit outside of the box to come up with blog material 😄

        • For May, I’m re-purposing a couple of my Telluride posts. And since I’ll be loading up my external harddrives with all my photos from the past couple of months, I’ll be perusing those drives for photos and ideas. That could be time consuming 😄

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