Roaming The Southwest Day 6: Page AZ, Glen Canyon Dam, and Horseshoe Bend

After one final breakfast at Maswick food court, we set out for our next destination: Page, Arizona and its famous Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Slot Canyons. But first, there was some still some exploring to do in the eastern reaches of the Grand Canyon. Click any photo for larger version.

Yavapai Point

First up was Yavapai Point. Besides the viewpoint itself, there is also a geology museum with some well done exhibits that give an overview of the geology of the canyon. There are also some large panoramic windows which are labeled with points of interest on the canyon walls and floor. While geology is no great passion of mine, we spent a pleasant 30 minutes or so at the museum.

Yavapai Point Geology Museum
Geology Museum exterior. Photo courtesy of US National Park Service.
Inside of the Yavapai Geology Museum
Inside the museum. Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park.

Desert View Watchtower

Nest stop was the Desert View Watchtower, which was designed by Mary Colter, the same architect who was responsible for so many iconic structures at the Grand Canyon including El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House, Hermits Rest, and more. Although it looks quite old, the tower was built in 1932 using a steel frame. The rock is just a facade.

Desert View Watchtower at Grand Canyon
Desert View Watchtower. Photo courtesy of US National Park Service.
Inside the Desert View Watchtower
Inside the tower.

Outside the tower, there is a memorial to the victims of a 1956 crash involving two commercial airliners which happened nearby. This crash would lead to the implementation of a nationwide radar system and flight data recorders. I recalled seeing this crash portrayed on the television show “Air Disasters” and if I remember correctly, the consensus was that pilots at that time were regularly deviating from their assigned flightpaths in order to give passengers a glimpse of the canyon.

Grand Canyon Plane Crash Memorial

Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

After an uneventful 2 hour drive, we rolled into Page, had a fast food lunch and checked into the Best Western Views of Lake Powell. Since we wanted to arrive at Horseshoe Bend around sunset, we relaxed for a little while and caught up on the internet since wi-fi at the Grand Canyon was limited and our cellular data didn’t work at all. Actually, our cellular data didn’t work in Page either so don’t rely on your phone as GPS when traveling to this area.

Before heading to Horseshoe Bend, we made a quick stop at the nearby Glen Canyon Dam Overlook. Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966 to provide hydroelectricity and regulate river flow. Before the adjacent Glen Canyon Bridge was built, it took a 190 mile drive to reach the other side.

Trail to Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
The short path to the overlook.
The view at Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
Glen Canyon Dam.

Horseshoe Bend

The parking lot for Horseshoe Bend is only a few miles south of the Glen Dam Overlook. Everything in Page is really close. We arrived about 45 minutes before sunset and the parking lot didn’t seem too crowded, perhaps because our visit was so out-of-season. The walk to the viewpoint is about 1 mile each way but much of it is through energy-sucking soft sand. There is a very large area for visitors to spread out and claim their favorite spot for photography, but there is no fence or railing whatsoever at the edge so do be careful.

Horseshoe Bend
Yes, I took this photo myself!

Horseshoe Bend

Sunset at Horseshoe Bend near Page Arizona
Scared of heights and trying to look normal.

On the drive back to the hotel, we decided that we were feeling too lazy for a restaurant meal, so we swung into a Walmart to pick up some high-end frozen Chinese dinners to microwave back at the room.