Vacationing In Lake Powell, Arizona
An insider's guide to Lake Powell Arizona and Glen Canyon National Dam from a resident.
Lake Power is situated on the border of Utah and Arizona with half the Lake flowing through both states. This area, which has more miles of shoreline than the West Coast, is a traveler's paradise. Europeans, particuarly the French, flock to Lake Powell each year at the height of the tourist season in June and July. You can hear several different languages in just the walk down the long dock from the parking lot to the marina store. The best way to vacation at Lake Powell is to plan your trip around Wahweap Marina. From here you can do just about anything you want to do while vacationing in the beautiful area. Houseboat rentals, day trips to various attractions, fishing, camping and water skiing are all activities easily arranged through the Wahweap Resort.
One of the best sightseeing tours is the five hour boat trip to Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world. Check out the rock drawings of the early Indian settlers on the canyon walls. A park ranger from the Glen Canyon National Park will be on hand to answer any questions. Although you cannot walk right up to the bridge or float your watercraft under it (it being sacred Navaho ground), you can get some nice photos of the bridge late in the day. The sun and shadows do amazing things to the colors of the canyons and buttes. Navaho Mountain, also another sacred site is particuarly spectacular to behold. The blue appearance of it never seems to change, with the exception of winter, when it is always snow capped.
A shorter boat trip can be made to Antelope Canyon. It is said the walls resemble an intricate tapestry of light and color. You will find this true and as the sunlight changes, the tapestry seems to come alive with the movement of shadows across it. This trip is a shorter one, running approximately two hours.
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has some of the finest and most adventuresome hiking around. You must, however, be careful of hiking at the proper times of the year. During the months of July and August it is particulary dangerous to hike in the slot canyons. Although the play of light and color is very alluring, several people have drowned from the flash floods that occur during the "monsoon" season. Sudden and very violent storms form, frequently flooding the nearby town of Page, Arizona. The water rushes down the hillside from the town into the slot canyons, and you can witness the spectacular sight of water rushing out the sides of the canyon walls on the opposite side of the dam. You may even catch a triple rainbow over the town. Your best bet is to ask a tour guide if they would recommend going hiking at the time of year you wish to go.
Another concern when you hike and camp is the wildlife. Rattlesnakes, black widows spiders, recluse spiders, coyotes, bobcats and an occasional red fox are some of the things to be on the lookout for. At night, coyotes will race your car through the recreation area. Black widow spider bites are very common as is hospital admittance from them. A bite from a recluse spider is particularly nasty as your skin begins to decay if you don't see treatment very quickly. Your best bet to avoid any run-ins with the wildlife is wear gloves when picking up firewood, shake out all blankets, towels and clothes throughly, check your shoes before putting them on and do not leave food out in unopened containers.
There are plenty of great restaurants scattered throughout the Wahweap Marina as well as in the nearby town of Page. Some bars have karoke, happy hours and sports nights, so check the local paper or marquee for what's going on in town. The biggest store in town is Walmart and you can get most supplies you need there.
As you travel around Page you will notice the town is heavily populated with Navaho Indians. Page is actually on the border of a large Navaho nation. If you choose to travel to Flagstaff, Arizona, just two and a half hours away, you must drive through the reservation to get there. One word of caution, however, do not drive through the reservation at night. As it is a long drive through a very remote area. Better to save the trip for the daytime when there are more cars on the road.