Utah, Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon

Spring having sprung it was time to head north and say goodbye to our winter home of Arizona. We continued our journey straight up the middle of Arizona. Starting in Sedona, past Flagstaff, through Navajo Nation (with a 40 mile detour) and ending just over the border of Utah on the shores of Lake Powell.

Welcome to Utah

Lake Powell is, of course, a huge reservoir on the Colorado River. It was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam. Our destination was Lone Rock Beach, an area where one can camp right up against the water. We heard this was a popular beach and quite the party spot. Luckily, it was still a bit chilly for the crowds. Or maybe it had something to do with the sandstorm created by the strong, constant wind. Ears, eyes, nose, and mouth got filled with sand as did the Airstream seemingly as soon as we opened the door. Hoping this wind and sand was not normal and would soon pass we paid $30 for 3 nights and spent the rest of the evening tucked inside with the hatches battened down.

Sandstorm

The wind died down enough on Saturday to keep the sand from blowing, and then even more on Sunday, allowing us to get out and about to explore this new state. Lone Rock Beach (named for the enormous pillar of rock rising out of the middle of the lake just offshore) is flat area of sand on top of sandstone. The lake level is down 100′ from its high point, leaving a large open area for camping. Those brave enough can camp as close to the water as they like. We choose a hard packed spot a hundred or so feet up from the water and wouldn’t have even come this close without 4WD. (Amanda likes collages, but Tim is writing this post so you’ll just get a ton of bigger images because he is lazy like that)

Us in the sand with Lone Rock
Us in the sand with Lone Rock
Off to go exploring. Notice the jacket and hat. Brrr.
Off to go exploring. Notice the jacket and hat. Brrr.
Campers at Lone Rock Beach
Campers at Lone Rock Beach
Off-leash heaven for Phin
Off-leash heaven for Phin

We had wanted to hike what appears to be the awesome slots of Antelope Canyon, but they are only explorable via guided tour. The cheapest being $26 per person is not in the budget at the moment. Instead we settled on some roadside geocaching and the $5 dam tour of Glen Canyon Dam. It was a good dam tour, our tour guide even helped build the dam. He was probably better at building then leading a tour. Not a single dam joke was uttered.

Our dam tour guide
Our dam tour guide
Amanda and dammed water
Amanda and dammed water
The dam itself
The dam itself
Dam
Dam
Lake Powell
Dam turbine generators
Lake Powell
Dam sign

We will probably stay here another night or two before heading westward over to Zion National Park.

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14 Responses to “Utah, Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon”

Comments

  1. John and Pam Wright

    Enjoy your peace and quiet where you are now because you won’t find that here at Zion! The masses moved in Sat. It looks like there is still room at the campground. It is hard to tell though because there is a tent only area right next to it and the tents are all over. There is BLM land about 2 miles from us. That would put you about 15 miles from Zion. I did see two units parked there the other night. You’re coming at a good time for the temperatures. The last two nights have been very cold. Sat night we had our water freeze but only for an hour. Nights are moving into the 40’s and days into the upper 60’s and 70’s. The park is a little colder than here in Virgin 13 miles west of Zion.

    We went out to the East Canyon yesterday and it was almost empty. A very quiet alone place to hike. The shuttle is running now in the Main Canyon so so at least you won’t have to fight for a parking space which is nice.

    I love your location! So beautiful with all that beach (when the sand isn’t blowing). Phin looks very happy…water, a ball, and open space!!

    Hope to meet up with you this week. Travel safely over to Zion.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Hopefully we’ll get a spot at the campground tomorrow morning. Good to know about the BLM land. I read somewhere they had closed it down because of over use, but maybe that was another spot. It’s been cold at night here too, but as soon as the sun comes up it warms quickly. The advantage to dry camping is you don’t have to worry about your exterior water hose freezing!

      Reply
  2. wheelingit

    One of our fav spots!! If you get the chance to take a photo tour of Antelope Canyon it is well worth it (not the regular tour, but the photo one).

    Which way you heading in UT? We’re going to spend all of April there in the Eastern Section. If you’re heading towards Bryce/Capitol Reef I’ve got some good drycamping spots for you.

    Nina

    Reply
    • Amanda

      We’re heading over to Zion next for a a few weeks and then up to the Moab area maybe until the end of April. The cell coverage around Bryce and Capital Reef looked kind of sparse so we didn’t put it on the itinerary. Although we’re open to suggestions.

      Reply
      • wheelingit

        Indeed…I DO remember Verizon being pretty poor in the area. We had a dribble of a signal at Bryce (Red Canyon NFS campground) and no signal at all in Capitol Reef (Singletree NFS has installed WiFi since we were there, but it’s a bit high elevation for this time of year).
        We are planning to be in Moab staying at one of the BLM areas end of April (18th-25th or so)…maybe we can meet-up?
        Nina

        Reply
        • Tim

          Cool. That appears to be about the same time we will be in Moab. Meet-up for sure.

          Reply
          • wheelingit

            Awesome. I have some BLM sites researched for the area so I’ll share info and you can see if any of them speak to you. Don’t seem to have your proper e-mail for some reason, so if you get the chance send me a note.
            Nina

            Reply
            • Tim

              watsons@watsonswander.com should get to both of us.

              We might try one of the first two BLM sites along the river northeast of town. Or I think Amanda had details on another. We’d love to swap notes.

              Reply
  3. Leigh

    Gorgeous! How is the cell there? I don’t think I would ever leave if it gets good reception!

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Excellent Verizon & at&t! Faster than we’ve had in a while. The downside is that it’s cold this time of year (can be windy too) and when it gets warm the place gets very crowded. Some of the pictures I saw showed the entire beach full of RVs, tents and ATVs. Not sure I would want to be here for that. There’s also a lack of nearby hiking- although we have a fun geocaching adventure planned for later today :)

      Reply
  4. ken and shirley

    We took the Antelope Canyon tour and u didn’t miss much…sure the canyon itself was beautiful..but we felt like cattle being shoved through the tour…too many people, not enough room and too much $$ for the tour. We much prefer Carlsbad Caverns National Park where you go at your own speed and the inside is incredible! and cheaper too!! Sounds like u are having a wonderful life!! Will be following your blog now!!

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Good to know we didn’t miss much. Guided tours are often so disappointing. It seemed like a cool canyon though- it’s too bad they won’t let you explore without a guide.

      Reply
  5. Marsha

    Love your spot at Lone Rock.

    We are friends of Pam and John. They linked to your blog today. Think we will go along for the ride. Enjoy.

    Reply

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