Little Colorado River Tribal Park – Located at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 64 in Cameron, Arizona and on the path to the Grand Canyon, stop and see the Little Colorado River Tribal Park. It is one of the Navajo Nation Parks with beautiful vistas of the southwest desert and canyons. There are many wilderness trails for hiking along the Colorado River, Marble Canyon, Jackass Canyon, Salt Trail Canyon, Totahatso Point, Rainbow Bridge trails, Cove Mesa and Coal Mine Canyon. Please note that you must obtain hiking permits from the Navajo Nation.
Marble Canyon & Lee’s Ferry – The area of Marble Canyon and Lee’s Ferry is the starting point for many of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River runners. Marble Canyon is not actually made of marble but limestone so colorful that it resembles marble hues of pink, gray and purple. The area known as Lee’s Ferry is also historically important as it was the only way to easily cross or access the Colorado River for several hundred years. The Navajo, Anasazi and Paiute Native Americans made use of this area for cattle grazing long before a ferry was built to aid travelers in crossing the mighty Colorado.
Tower Butte – A solitary tower of rock rises 5,000 feet from the desert floor just outside of Page, Arizona. This monolith is massive and powerful, overlooking the expansive Lake Powell. You can admire the rock from a distance but we recommend flying aboard a helicopter to the top so you can stand on top the magnificent Tower Butte.
Horseshoe Bend – Close to Page, Arizona, is a monument called Horseshoe Bend, located five miles from Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. It is called the “intimate Grand Canyon” and is an amazing site to see! The Colorado River wraps around a tall rock butte in a tight curve as the river meanders on its’ way to the Grand Canyon. The natural and unique beauty has beckoned many visitors and continues to grow in popularity. There is a short hike from the parking area to the overlook but it is a very sandy trail that requires good shoes and careful walking. This is not a good walk for those that have mobility problems.
Antelope Canyon – Just 7 minutes from Page, Antelope Canyon is one of the most fascinating places that you will ever see. Carved rock that flows like water, this unusual Canyon is located on the American Indian Navajo lands and is considered to be sacred by the Navajo. It is one of the most photographed places in southwest because of the remarkable formations. There are two areas of the slot canyon, the Upper Canyon called the Crack and Lower Canyon referred to as the Corkscrew. You will need to make arrangements for a guided tour and be aware that there is a supplement for visiting during “prime-time.”
Lake Powell – Page Arizona is the gateway city to the recreational area of Lake Powell. This is the second-largest man-made lake in the United States and was created when the Glen Echo Dam was built, flooding Glen Canyon. Lake Powell is one of the most popular holiday spots, next to the Grand Canyon because of the myriad of camping, boating, fishing and water sports activities available. Many vacationers rent houseboats with water slides and Personal Watercraft to explore the hundreds of side canyons. If you are short on time, take a guided tour for the day and experience the exquisite beauty of this lake.
Rainbow Bridge – Rainbow Bridge is considered the world’s highest natural bridge with a span of approximately 270 feet, a rise of 290 feet with the top of the bridge being 42 feet thick. Rainbow Bridge is part of the Lake Powell/Page recreational area but it is technically located in Utah. It is one of the most popular sites to visit even though it is quite remote. You can reach the bridge by boat, foot or horseback. If you plan to hike back to the Bridge, it is approximately a 14-mile hike and you must obtain permits from the Navajo Nation. Horseback excursions are available but we recommend contacting the Navajo for the permits and official tour operators at www.navajonationparks.org/htm/monumentvalleytours.htm. Boat tours are the easiest and most accessible way to see Rainbow Bridge.
Hiking at the East Rim – As you search for trails to hike near the East Rim you should first review hiking safety – Take plenty of water and salty snacks, never hike alone, let friends or family know where you will be hiking and when you will return home, understand that a GPS might not give you correct directions in this remote part of the country so consulting a map before starting out could be life-saving, and know that cell phone service could be spotty to non-existent. Also, be sure to wear appropriate clothing, especially good foot gear. Sunscreen can mean the difference between a great hike and a horrible sunburn! Check this link for day hikes in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Horseshoe Bend is the most popular day hike in the area and even though it is a short hike it is in a very hot area.
There are additional hiking areas on the Navajo Reservation but they require permits from the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department.
Camping at the East Rim – You will find campgrounds at Lake Powell, in Page, in Cameron, at Lee’s Ferry and in various areas throughout the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Some of the campgrounds have hookups and some don’t. Primitive camping is allowed on the shores of Lake Powell and is only accessible by boat with the exception of the Lone Rock area of the lake. Primitive camping is also allowed along the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lee’s Ferry. This area of the Colorado River is accessed from Lee’s Ferry by boat and is a great place to go trout fishing.
Whitewater Rafting from the East – River rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is truly a trip of a lifetime. Rafting trips start at Lee’s Ferry and range from 6 to 14 days. Rafting trips include camping, hiking, exploring, swimming and enjoying the beauty of the surrounding Canyon. There are many different itineraries to fit all kinds of travelers that want to experience one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Water Sports at the East Rim – If you like water sports, the East side of the Canyon is the best place to visit since Lake Powell provides all kinds of sports. Fishing, speedboats, jet skis, kayaks, houseboats, floating trampolines and water slides are some of the fun water activities available on this great lake. Lake Powell becomes a giant playground for those that love the water and the beauty of the southwest.