North Rim Grand Canyon travel blog

Mr Tree at our Red Rock Motel was seeing us off.

An oddity in Page - a steamboat seems a little misplaced in...

Tourists headed down the long trail to Horseshoe Bend

Quite a trail!

Getting closer but still oh so far to go!

Horseshoe Bend

Another view of Horseshoe Bend

Kayakers at the bottom of the canyon

Splendid

The river is far below - we saw lots of tourist get...

And now back up that trail!

Part of our wonderful road through Cottonwood Canyon

Currently dry creek bed is a torrent during flash floods - lots...

The colors of the rocks intrigued us

Great rock formations

It was an challenging road in places

Jim was pretty excited to spot the antelope near the road

Nice

Fun

Grosvenor Arch

Grosvenor Arch is a unique double arch

Great rock formations

The hills were very colorful

A rutted and bumpy road

Cottonwood Canyon Road is a really scenic though challenging drive

Efficient closet in our hotel


Tropic, UT Our last trek in Page was a visit to the famous Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River. The overlook is 4,200’ above sea level, and the Colorado River is 3,200’ above sea level, making it a breathtaking 1,000’ drop. There are hundreds of images of Horseshoe Bend Canyon, as it is the most popular bend of the Colorado River. However, no picture can do justice to how amazing it is. And it had better be amazing because of the effort that it takes to get there! Totally exposed to the hot sun in the barren desert (when entering the parking area the staff admonish everyone to take water with them), one must first climb a fairly steep, sandy hill and then traverse a more moderate decline to the canyon's edge, reversing the effort in the return trip. Once there, there are steep drop-offs and always idiots who climb out onto rocks above the precipice to obtain that “perfect” picture.

Since that was not enough adventure for the day, Jim found a truly wonderful road to Tropic. After checking to make sure it was passable, we set out on a 46-mile road of graded dirt with an underlying clay base through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that is totally impassable when wet. Many sections traverse ancient seabed deposits of mudstone, silt, and shale. When wet the clay surface becomes exceptionally slick, rendering even four-wheel drive useless. Additionally, many drainages cross the road in various locations, and these wash out during periodic flash flooding, particularly during summer thunderstorms. Even in dry weather the road can be muddy to the point of being impassable in low areas. And the ruts and washboarding!!! It was a very scenic drive and we not only survived, we loved it.

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