“Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops Sail o’er the canyons and up to the stars And reach for the heavens and hope for the future And all that we can be and not what we are.” (John Denver)
On day 55 of our spring road trip, we left Las Vegas traveling eastward on Interstate 15 in mid morning. Entering the rugged canyon lands of Southern Utah, two lane, curvy roads would be a more challenging drive yet motivate us to detour for several hours to sightsee/hike in Zion National Park in the afternoon. Driving south determinedly for two more hours after Zion, we at last settled into our latest Air B&B destination in Page, Arizona at dusk for some much needed rest. Our next two days in this tourist friendly town would thus provide a convenient spot for exploring the famed canyon landforms and engineering marvels of the Lake Powell watershed. The grand finale on this canyon leg of our road trip journey spontaneously happened in our decision to stop along the Grand Canyon South Rim on the way to our next destination, Sedona, Arizona. Enjoy the following photographic displays from each of these stunningly beautiful locations.
ZION NATIONAL PARK
Private vehicles are restricted into the interior of Zion National Park. So we hopped on the free shuttle at the Visitor Center along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to experience spectacular views of immensely steep cliffs along both sides of the tram.
Stepping off the tram for a look at the Human History Museum, I became immediately mesmerized by multicolored layers of ancient rock on a steep cliff opposite the tram stop.
We exited again at the last stop of the tram circuit to enjoy a short hike along the rushing waters of the Virgin River to the beginning of the famed “Narrows” region.
Spectacular views of Glenn Canyon Recreation area overlooking Lake Powell captivated our attention near Page at Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon Dam Overlook.
A leisurely drive north along the Lake Powell perimeter road brought us a closer view of the waters below. At Wahweap, we hiked down a boulder strewn beach to relax amidst the gently lapping shores.
Booking the mandatory tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, we descended deeply into a maze of spectacularly visual caverns. At times, the surreal rock and light show down there caused me to act a bit goofy.
We stopped at an Navaho Trading Post along Route 89 on the way to Grand Canyon. Here I noticed a distinct nostalgia for the “Old West on surrounding murals.
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM
We entered the the Grand Canyon at the inconspicuous east entrance along Highway 64. At nearby Desert View Overlook area, we ascended to the top of the Watchtower for breathtaking views of the enormous depths descending down the surrounding canyon. This vantage point also offered clear views of the Colorado River flowing wildly in its narrow chasm.
Driving along the rim to the west, we made time for a tourist popular stop at the Park Visitor Center where we hiked briefly to famous Mather Point Overlook. Here I focused my attention on the surrounding high plateau vegetation and upper reaches of the canyon.
The Grand Canyon holds great meaning for the long existing Indian tribes there. At various overlooks along the South Rim, I noted authentic signs of their “sacred” connection to this beautiful place.