Exploring Page, Lake Powell and beyond

Page, Arizona is located in northern Arizona near the Utah border and is home to one of my favorite recreational lakes…Lake Powell.

IMG_3859-1024x682This stunning body of water has more coastline than the entire west coast…with finger inlets of turquoise blue water stretching for miles.

Lake Powell is encompassed within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is at the mouth of the Grand Canyon. The lake is extremely scenic with tall canyons, red rock formations and sand dunes—it’s a wonderful place for recreation such as house-boating, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, exploration and so much more.

Recently, over the Memorial Day weekend, I took my girlfriend Terri to Page, where I had a fantastic time showing her around this wondrous area in which I’ve explored many times. While there are a number of lodging options in Page, we opted to camp under the stars since we both really enjoy the outdoors. Whether you want to camp by the water, in a developed campground, or in a remote area like we did, there are plenty of options.

Our first two days were spent right in the Page and Lake Powell area, where we toured the Glen Canyon Dam, a local museum and took a cruise of the lake. The next day, we hopped aboard a converted transport vehicle en route to Antelope Canyon, a popular sandstone slot canyon made up of unique formations and light castings that only nature can provide. On our third day we headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, about a 2.5 hour drive from Page. The North Rim is only open a few months out of the year, with far fewer people visiting. While my girlfriend hails from Canada, she’s lived in Arizona most of her life and had never seen the Canyon before. Her expressions of the awe-inspiring sight were priceless—I was excited to share the experience with her. As the afternoon waned, we left the park in search of a new spot to camp…this time at nearly 8000′ where the landscape contrasted that of our previous two days. We found a remote site nestled among tall pine trees, where we quickly hung a hammock and relaxed as we watched a gentle breeze move clouds past the swaying the tree tops.

The next day we headed back toward Page down highway 89a, where in what seemed like only a matter of moments, we dropped from the dense forest, to a vast vista of red rock. Along the way are some really interesting Navajo sites to see, including an area with giant eroded boulders in which the native people utilized by laying smaller rocks to create walls, while the boulder acts as a roof. These structures are open to explore, while you’ll often find Native Americans selling their handmade jewelry. As we continued, we veered off and took a road down to Lee’s Ferry, which is located on the banks of the Colorado River. This area is popular with folks interested in fishing and to be near the water…while also being the starting point for many rafting expeditions.

It was a fantastic introduction to Northern Arizona for Terri, however we clearly have to go back as there are so many activities and sights to explore.

Here are 10 ideas of things to do when visiting Page Lake Powell:

  1. Rainbow Bridge – Access is by boat only…if you don’t have your own, there are a couple of tour companies offering excursions.
  2. Tour the lake – Again, if you don’t have your own boat, do yourself a favor and hop on a tour boat for the Antelope Canyon Cruise…a short introduction to the lake.
  3. Dam tour – You can visit the Glenn Canyon Damn both atop and below…both are very interesting.
  4. Lone Rock – Located at the north-end of the lake with great access for boats with sand dunes and cliff-jumping, this is a cool place to explore.
  5. Hiking – You can chose from difficult routes like West Canyon or the White Canyon hikes, or, enjoy a more leisurely stroll along the beaches and into side canyons. There are a number of hiking tours companies available…depending on skill level and duration desired.
  6. Fishing – Catch small-mouth bass, striped bass, walleye, catfish and bluegill in the lake’s various canyons and bays.
  7. Kayaking – Renting a kayak or taking a tour and exploring some of the remote canyons is a great solace experience.
  8. Antelope Canyon – You’ve probably seen the amazing pictures of Antelope Canyon before, but probably didn’t know where it was located. This is an fantastic experience and a must when visiting Page / Lake Powell. Tip: for photographers…try and get on a tour that puts you in the Canyon around noon for the best light. Also, there are tours for both upper and lower Antelope Canyon…I’ve done both and would give the edge to the lower.
  9. Wesley Powell Museum – Learn about the canyon before, and, after the damn was built. John Wesly Powell was the first person to traverse down the mighty Colorado River.
  10. Relax – Don’t forget to just relax and take in all of the scenery. Take lots of pictures and video. The sky is always changing, so no two pics are ever the same.

If you’ve ever been to Page and/or Lake Powell, please leave a comment below and share your favorite activities.

Mike Shubic

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Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

5 Comments

  1. You say you camped under the stars. I’ve never been to Arizona and I was wondering if you could help me understand their camping laws. Where you can go for free or low fee tent camping? Any info would be really helpful. Thanks!
    Deedra

    1. Hi Deedra, great question. I’ve camped all over the state of Arizona. The state has tons of BLM and National Forest land, both of which you can primitive camp for free. The state is wide open, tons of places to camp. Just head down a dirt road and veer off until you find a suitable and remote place. There are of course lots of state parks that offer campground camping for a small fee (depends on the park). Let me know if I can answer any additional questions. Cheers, Mike

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