In between Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park lies a town called Page, Arizona with three pretty spectacular sites to see.
First up, Horseshoe Bend.
This part of the Colorado River curves sharply around to create a horseshoe-shaped canyon cutout.
We weren’t sure what to expect and like most of our adventures in the dessert, the canyons just seem to appear out of nowhere.
You can see in the photo below that as you approach Horseshoe Bend, it doesn’t look like much – just a big horizon with what looks like a few drop offs.
Then you get up close and whoa! there it is.
You literally stand on the edge of these crumbling sandstone cliffs and look over, moving as close as you dare to the edge. It is spectacular, and a bit freaky – especially with kids.
All around the canyon are rocks to climb on, so we did a bit of that. It seemed like the safer bet with our clan.
Lots and lots of climbing.
We spent about an hour in the area. That was plenty of time to take it all in, explore a little, snap some photos and head back to the car.
Our next stop was our campsite at the Lake Powell Wahweap RV + Campground. I’m not even sure how we came across this campground, but when we arrived, we were so thankful that it was where our reservations for the night were.
After setting up, the kids and I walked down to the lake. It was nearing sunset so we weren’t planning on swimming. It just sounded fun to go scout it out and wade in the water for a few minutes.
But the water was so nice and the sun was still just barely shining and there was no one else around … so the three youngest stripped down to their undies and took an evening swim.
The sunset in those Arizona desert skies over the lake was absolutely awe-inspiring. Even Mason, our 8 year old, was oohing and ahhing over the changing colors in the sky.
There is a video on instagram for your viewing pleasure (watch it here). It doesn’t quite do the real thing justice, but I just had to capture it to share.
We just spent that one night at Lake Powell and took off in the morning for our next adventure. It is one of those places, though, that we’re marking on our be-sure-to-come-back-to list.
The third attraction in the Page, Arizona area is Antelope Canyon.
You may have seen images like this – possibly on your computer screen saver or phone home screen. I always looked at a photo like the one above and thought what is that? Well, let me tell you.
In the desert are slot canyons – where the flash floods have carved down into the ground these curvy, flowing canyons made up of Navajo sandstone. As the sun shines off the walls, the reflections and bouncing light creates spectacular colors and highlights the shapes and movement of the stone.
We opted for the Lower Antelope Canyon tour – it had great reviews, was a bit shorter, less expensive and supposedly, less crowded.
You walk out a little way into the desert until suddenly, there is a hole in the ground where the canyon begins.
There is a series of steep stairs that lead down into the narrow canyon (not at all a problem for the kids).
Once you’re down to the bottom, you walk along the path, curving along and staring up at the gorgeous walls.
Just to help you understand what you’re looking at …
In the picture below, you can see the walls with us walking through:
And this is the same section of wall, but looking slightly upward.
It really is like something other-worldly and hard to describe. And quite beautiful.
The kids all enjoyed the tour. It was a little over an hour, fairly crowded, but not too bad and a great choice for our family. Anything longer would have lost all of our attention.
We had a good time taking way too many photos, playing with angles and color. Antelope Canyon is pretty famous for being a photographers dream and there are tours specifically for those with tripods and good cameras. Our tour was just the walking tour and our tour guide was helpful to point out the best angles and most popular shots and camera settings.
All three adventures in Page were spectacular. Indescribably so.
I’ve always been a bit of an ocean girl – the size and sound and vastness reminds me of how small I am and how great God is. If He can create this, if He has this all under control, if He is bigger than all of this and yet he still cares for the minute details of my life? It always puts me in a healthy, worshipful, eyes-off-myself posture and restores my soul.
These three sites – Horseshoe Bend with its turquoise waters and strange patterns in the sandstone cliffs; Lake Powell with the towering canyon walls and watercolor sunset; and Antelope Canyon, with the walls that look like fire – each has the same effect on me.
They remind me of how creative God is, of how BIG this world is, how fragile and delicate and powerful and grand it all is.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory”. Isaiah 6:3