Sublime views, breath-taking engineering and a gentle lake cruise would be the order of the day. We left Flagstaff extra early and were happy to be on the road again. We were soon in Navajo Indian country and so crossing into a different timezone (the Navajo Nation keeps its own timezone) for breakfast. We were on our way to Page, just short of the Utah state line and our first port of call was Horseshoe Bend – a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River, which afforded the most wonderful views.
At the time we arrived, the car park was already overflowing and a large crowd of people were heading down the mountainside towards the Bend. The number of people was quite shocking at first, but once in sight of the Horseshoe Bend it was obvious why so many wanted to be here.
We stayed for about 30 minutes but the heat was already oppressive and so we continued our journey – our next stop being the Glen Canyon Dam. It’s only $5.00 for a really interesting tour of this magnificent structure and we could not help marvelling at the feat of engineering required to complete such a project.
The Colorado River runs the 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, to Mexico and the Gulf of California. Here, near Page in Glen Canyon, the river was dammed in order to manage water supplies for the population and also to provide hydro-electricity. We were shown photographs of the construction of the dam, in which eighteen people lost their lives. Once the dam was completed the resulting water levels took 17 years to reach optimum depth and so form what is now known as Lake Powell. Here are some of the photos we took.
Later we took a cruise on the lake and into Antelope Canyon; a round trip of approximately 90 minutes. The canyon narrowed as we progressed and we saw the intriguing rock formations and vivid colours so typical of this corner of Arizona.
Lake Powell was a pleasure and a delight – we found it difficult dragging ourselves away from the vast, sunny landscape and the blue, crystal clear waters of the lake. Unlike in Sedona, the ‘crystal’ nature of Lake Powell really was good for the soul.
Next, we head east to Canyon de Chelly.