Page, Lake Powell & Monument Valley
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Somewhere in the back of my mind our adventures revolved around an image of the American West. To fly our plane through some of these iconic landscapes was a bucket list goal. Movies like Vacation, The Searchers, Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Stagecoach, Ft. Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and many others were filmed in the area. I just had to see it. Well let's put a check mark by that bucket list item.
We stayed at the Wahweap RV Resort in the Lake Powell / Glen Canyon Dam National Recreation area. Most of this resort is closed for the winter with only a few spaces open. But that gave the area a desolate feeling that was really quite enjoyable. It is clearly Houseboat Heaven. There are hundreds of houseboats at the marinas on the lake. Many of them were rentals. We talked about coming back during the summer to watch the bumper boat show as the houseboat rentals go out and return. It is easy to see the attraction of exploring many of the canyons in the area that are only accessible by boat.
Just outside of Page is the easiest natural landmark to see, Horseshoe Bend. This is one of the many bends that dot the Grand Canyon area and the Colorado River. Pictures are difficult to do it justice. I have included a zoom in of a boat down on the river for perspective. It is deep. As with the entire Grand Canyon and surrounding area it fills one with awe of the forces of nature necessary to create these sculptures.
Another amazing place to visit was Antelope Slot Canyon. We boarded our tour bus in town and drove the short distance to the canyon. Our guide explained that the canyons were uncontrolled until fairly recently. Now organization and scheduling are a must due to the number of people wanting to see the beauty of this amazing area. It can get pretty crowded and noisy in the narrow slot canyon. Our Navajo guide was well versed in the areas to take the perfect pictures. Many world famous images worth millions were taken here. He would grab Karen's iPhone and set it properly then take pictures such as the Heart, the Coyote and the Wave. See if you can pick them out.
Next stop, Monument Valley from the air! Page is really not close to anything. While flying over many of these areas it was clear how remote these areas were. This is the country my survival vest was built for. Occasionaly on the 45 minute flight we would have mesas that could act as an emergency landing area. But most of the area consisted of canyons and boulders. And we were able to see areas of Lake Powell that are not easily accessible by anything other than a boat. We were also able to see Rainbow Bridge, which is only accessible via boat and a hike.
Then the Monument Valley came in to view. It was easy to pick out some of the most iconic structures such as Stagecoach, Big Indian and Brigham's Tomb. We flew around a while then landed at the Monument Valley airstrip. Its a private strip that requires prior approval and a $5 landing fee. While our Kitfox could likely land multiple times on the long airstrip, heading in towards a huge wall of rock will get your attention. Its one way in and one way out. We walked across the Forrest Gump road to Goulding's Trading Post and checked in. While we only explored the area from the air, it is an amazing thing to see. And you could almost feel John Wayne's presence.
Let's wrap this blog up with a view of the area from above via video. In our next blog we will cover some great flights over the Grand Canyon and a visit to Marble Canyon.