April 14 – 23, 2019
Lone Rock, Az/Utah
When our week with Barb and Jim was up we weren’t really sure where we were headed. We had put our name on the waiting list everyday for 2 weeks to take the tour of Antelope Slot Canyon in Page, Az. When finally after 2 months of waiting we got a message that there was an available spot. Wahoo, there was our decision, so off to Page we headed.
We already knew we wanted to camp at Lone Rock Campground, which is just over the border from Az and into Utah. With our National Senior Pass we only paid $7.00 a night. What was crazy was the time change, Utah is an hour ahead of Az, our phones were going crazy when we drove back and forth between the states.
Lone Rock is a super boondocking spot, there is camping on the beach with all the sand right next to Lake Powel or on the upper area still on sand but it is a little firmer. All the way at the top looking down at the beach area and before you head down to the beach, is a nice little area that is gravel, this is where we decided to stay. With it being Easter week and many vacationers coming in the beach area was very crowded. There was no place close to the water, and back further all we would have looked at would have been camping rigs and cars. We opted for the area up top, which turned out to be an awesome place as we were overlooking the beach and the lake. There was no one blocking our view or even next to us. The view was so amazing that is is mesmerizing, the mountains are free of any trees or vegetation but the colors of the rock are amazing. The lighting at all times of the day make the mountains change colors and look so different. It was something to see how dry the desert is but at the same time have a view of the mountains that was still snow covered.
During the week we did get a couple of major wind storms, one was atleast 45-50 mph, we were rocking and rolling, our slide toppers were blowing so high, we thought they were going to take off any second. We ended up bringing in the slides, and trying to shut windows to keep out all the dust that was flying…we couldn’t even see the beach area or the rigs…they were getting so much sand blown around them it was amazing.
Our appointed time for our Antelope Canyon tour was 10:30, we needed to be there 1/2 hour early to check in. When checking in your get your ticket with your group # on it. There are 10 groups going at one time, 10 people per group. Our guide was awesome, he was very informative, told a lot of jokes, and took pictures of us in all the right places.
Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed canyons, you will see it on magazine covers, posters or in books. The name Antelope Canyon in Navajo means, “Spiral rock arches”.
The canyon in on Navajo Nation land and a licensed Navajo guide must accompany you thru. The canyon has deep, twisted narrows, and is made of red sandstone. The canyon was formed by the erosion of the Navajo sandstone due to flooding, the water runs into the canyons and picks up speed, rushes the sand into narrow passageways. The passageways erode away making the canyon deeper and smoothing the hard edges to form the flowing shapes in the rock.
When the sunlight shines down on the sandstone it is truly beautiful. The day we were there it was cloudy with a little sun peaking thru, we did not get the desired bright colors that happen in full sun. There are two separate slot canyons, the Upper and the Lower. We got into the Lower, the Upper Canyon is one room. Walking thru the canyon, which is about 660’, along soft red sandstone we were mesmerized by the amazing contours and colors of the canyon.
There are 5 flights of stairs of varying widths going in, out and thru the canyon. Along the walk we experienced sand which consistently falls from the cracks above us. Our teeth were gritty and our glasses were getting dusty. It was hard getting pictures without people as it was crowded and everyone was trying to get pictures as well. There was a man and his son in front of us that were taking videos which made it slow going.
As you cross the Glen Canyon bridge on hwy 89, heading to Lone Rock you see The Glen Canyon dam. The dam is at 710 feet high and is one of the largest man made reservoirs in the US. The dam was built to guarantee water to the Lower basin states and is also a major source of hydroelectricity averaging over 4 billion kilowatt hours per year. When the dam was built Lake Powell was formed. The lake has many recreational opportunities for tourists, houseboating, water skiing, fishing, camping.
The two lane steel arch bridge has an overall length of 1,271 ‘ with a deck 700’ above the river. The bridge is one of the highest arch bridges in the US. The bridge was originally built to transport materials for the dams which is adjacent to the bridge.
While looking at the map we decided to head towards Kanab about 65 miles west. We never made it that far as our friends Ruth and Dale suggested two areas we needed to explore.
The first was into Paria Canyon (pah-ree-ah) and was just a short 6 mile drive but with all the stops we made it made it seem much longer. The canyon is 112,500 acreas of wilderness. The canyon walls are streaked with desert varnish, huge towering red rocks, sandstone arches, Steep boulder strewn slopes of rugged terrain. There was a kiosk at the beginning of the dirt road explaining about the area and how it started as a town. When we came to the end of the road there was a river with a wonderful shade tree, it would have been nice to sit, eat our lunch and just enjoy the view but the river was a mucky milky color and not very appealing at all. On our way out there was an old cematery, over the years all the rock markers had been worn away with the names of those buried there.
While we were walking around the cemetery a wonderful couple stopped, of course, a conversation started that lasted over an hour. They were from Priest Lake, Idaho and had rented a home in Kanab for the month. They were leaving in a couple of days so meeting up again was not meant to be. They gave us lots of info about the area and what else to see while we were there.
Thank you for following along on our journey around this wonderful country of ours.
Come on back to check out what our next exploration was along our path to Kanab Utah.