Rainbow Bridge and Glen Canyon, Arizona

Trip Start Oct 10, 2012
Trip End Oct 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, October 12, 2012

We awoke to thunder again this morning, but the cruise across Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge departed as scheduled about 7:30 am. Within an hour, the sun broke through and we found  ourselves sailing through a corridor of massive sandstone formations of brilliant reds and browns and whites, and all the pastels in between.

Along the way, we learned Lake Powell was formed by the building of the Glen Canyon Dam in  the 1960s, backing up the raging Colorado River and providing a backup source of water for over  a million people in the southwestern states. The shoreline of this man-made lake is longer than  the entire west coast of the USA!

Rainbow Bridge itself was impressive, but having seen plenty of photos of it in advance, what surprised me was the dramatic entrance to the canyon on the boat, and the kilometer of walking through mesmerizing formations to reach the main attraction.

The Bridge wasn’t seen by non-native Americans until 1909 – its remote location kept it a verified Indian myth until a couple of famous explorers were led to the spot, sacred to the  Navajo, by a Native American guide.

Rainbow Bridge is a national monument – part of the national parks system, and an animated
ranger on site told story after story, both of the history surrounding the Bridge and his own personal anecdotes of flash flood near-disasters and famous personages he’d welcomed to Rainbow Bridge.

Upon our return, we did a bit of computer research, then headed into the nearby town of Page  for hotel and walk planning research... We just got back! Hotel choices look clear, but we cast  round for several hours considering various walk possibilities. The terrain is stunning! Canyons  and mesas and massive ever-changing skies give a sense of the grandiose. Everything is super-sized!

Tomorrow morning, we finalize walk plans here in Page, then drive north across the border into Monument Valley!
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andreatravels on

Looks like an amazing trip, Dan. Watch out for your time zones when you get to Monument Valley--AZ doesn't use daylight savings time, but the Navajo Nation does! I always get confused.

Mamie Bennett on

I checked out the pictures of Lake Powell and the mile hike to the bridge but no bridge, what happened?

sparkie on

guess the prior person didnt know that the bridge is a rock formation.. ??

your photos are awesome..

friesendm on

Hi Mamie - I had some technical challenges with internet the first night and couldn't get the bridge pics uploaded. They should be there now if you check again.

friesendm on

Hi Andrea - yep - time's a pretty confusing thing here. We're now in Utah though - the Utah part of the Navajo Nation, so for rest of trip until we return to Vegas, we can leave our watches alone.

Thanks Sparkie - the SW is a photographer's dream: great color, perfect light, perpetual (almost) sunshine.

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