Around the Colorado River // Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell

When we visited Antelope Canyon, the guided tour was pretty quick. We were close to Page, in Arizona, a small city without any particular interest except the main street full of churches and their promises. We really wanted to go back to our swimming pool at the hotel, but since we were there, we enjoyed this place and 3 viewpoints around. That’s one of the coolest thing in the Far West: each road is full of surprises, we could find nice stuff right by the road, no need to walk – or not too much. Because walking in Arizona in August can be a big issue: stains under the armpits would ruin any pictures and of course you could die anytime of dehydration. 

Horseshoe Bend and Colorado, Arizona
Colorado River

Horseshoe Bend : “what does it mean?” We arrived 2 hours before our appointment with the Antelope guide (my fault: I love being very on time + there’s a different time zone between Utah and Arizona). Instead of waiting in a Starbucks, we were told to go to the viewpoint of Horseshoe Bend, by the road 89. Unfortunately, we had to walk.

When I went out of the car, I completely ignored a sign recommending to walk with hiking shoes. I stayed with my flip-flops, because (1) I’m super cool (2) I can walk 800 meters in the sand. But my feet were really tensed to not lose my shoes which were sinking in the sand, and when they rose up, they literally were sand catapult towards the back of my thighs.  Painful. And I couldn’t leave them because the sand was too hot. I didn’t come too close to the edge because that’s the kind of situation in which I’m sure I’m gonna fall. It was impressive, very impressive though. I saw the river down the red cliffs, the almost green Colorado river. The cliff in front of us looked like a huge hoof. Pretty.

The trail was really busy, and we could hear talking French from every parts. I heard a kid asking to his mom what “Horseshoe bend” means.  “Horse, means the animal, the horse, and shoe, it’s a shoe, for feet. So it means the horse with shoes – actual leather shoes.”

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam
Glen Canyon Dam
Pont en face du barrage de Glen Canyon
This huge bridge was built in  1959. Before, you had to take a 320 km detour!

Glen Canyon Dam After Antelope Canyon visit, it was time to go back to the swimming pool! But first things first, we stopped to watch the Glen Canyon Dam. When I get back to Boston, that was one of the first question I was asked to: “You went to Arizona, have you seen the dam?” (probably a fan of shows about extreme constructors). We couldn’t go very close to it (security rules…) so it was hard to figure out how huge this thing was: 10 meters wide and 216 meters high! On one side, lake Powell with dark blue water, and on the other side, the red canyon. This is chic.

Lake Powell
Lake Powell and Navajo Generating Station

Viewpoint of Lake Powell From the dam, we followed the road to get to a higher point so we had an overview of the lake Powell, this huge artificial lake created in the 60’s, in the same time the dam was built. Far away we could see a plant: it seemed pretty weird in the middle of the desert but it’s actually an generating station that belongs to the Navajo Reservation.

Lake Powell is one of the favorite vacation place for American people: with 3 136 km of coast, you can probably find some place to lay down your towel. I can’t really figure myself going there for a vacation, the heat is almost unbearable. But we read on the guides that some places are gorgeous: natural arches, caves, etc. Just so you know, we’ve learnt that the name of the lake comes from major Powell an explorer who went on a trip down the Colorado River in 1869 in order to draw maps of this area. It was a very dangerous trip in which half of his team died before reaching the Pacific Coast. As far as we were concerned, we could now safely come back to our place.

Road trip music: Dire Straits, The Walk of Life

The next article about the road trip will be one last stop in Utah – Zyon Canyon – and the life in our motel in Kanab, and… probably some other stuff. If you miss the first articles, you can find here all the program



Rédactrice, grande organisatrice et réseau socialite du Blog de Mathilde. Quand je ne suis pas devant un écran, j'organise des visites guidées de Boston, là où j'ai fondé ma petite entreprise Boston le nez en l'air. Je suis aussi auteure de nombreux guides de voyages, de livres de yoga et de jeux chez des éditeurs français. Suivez-moi sur Instagram, Facebook ou Pinterest.

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