Beautiful Lake Powell: where the desert meets the water

There are two places I wish we had spent more time on our recent spring break trip to Arizona: the Grand Canyon itself and the beautiful Lake Powell area near Page, Arizona.

Page is truly the perfect meeting place of desert and water, with the Colorado River and Lake Powell making up the wet half of that equation.

We stayed at the Wahweap Resort and Marina in Page, which is actually just inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and adjacent to many other spectacular and scenic destinations.

There are so many national parks, monuments and other federally protected, beautiful natural areas in this part of the country that it’s almost dizzying.

In fact, Page is at the heart of what’s known as the Grand Circle, America’s largest concentration of national parks and monuments joined together by extraordinary designated Scenic Byways. In other words, it’s gorgeous literally everywhere you look and it can be hard to choose where to go and what to do!

The Grand Circle is a magical, huge region located in the Southwestern United States and encompassing portions of five states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Before booking our spring break trip, I had never heard of the Grand Circle – yet I inadvertently planned our family roadtrip all across and through it. Lucky us!

Our night and day in Page, AZ

We arrived at the Lake Powell Resort after dark, so we couldn’t see much of our surroundings. We were, however, greeted by a desert hare or jackrabbit – much larger and taller than a typical wild bunny, with enormous ears that stand another six or eight inches off its head. We were so delighted to see a wonderful, new-to-us creature immediately upon arriving!

The next morning, I got up before the sun (and my family) and went for a walk by myself around the resort property to see my first Arizona sunrise over Lake Powell. It was bitterly cold and windy that March morning, but also indescribably beautiful. The resort property is lovely with two pools, both with lake views.

The sunrise over the lake that morning, surrounded by buttes, canyons and red rock outcroppings, made for breathtaking scenery that was simply unforgettable. I would love to come back in warmer weather to enjoy those pools and lake views even more. It was tough checking out of the resort after only one short night!

Unfortunately, the chilly and windy conditions made it impossible to do our planned activity for that morning: a guided kayak tour through picturesque Antelope Canyon. Although hiking tours of Antelope Canyon are on hold right now because the Navajo nation has been devastated by COVID, it is still possible to see the slot canyon from the water on calm days. Alas, our tour guide called to let us know our trip was canceled and would be refunded.

Instead, we stayed on dry land and hiked at the Wahweap Bay scenic overlook and iconic Horseshoe Bend. Both were gorgeous places to stretch our legs, climb some red rocks and enjoy scenic views. A few photos may have been taken – and then some more – until at last the other two members of my family begged me to stop.

We had the Wahweap Bay overlook to ourselves and it was beautiful, but again very windy and cold. E and Z hiked down toward the water while I stayed halfway up the hillside to take pictures. Then, our drive over to nearby Horseshoe Bend took us past so many gorgeous red rock cliffs and canyons, I literally wondered aloud “how can the Grand Canyon be grander than this?” (I soon found out the next day!)

Horseshoe Bend is one of the coolest and most picturesque places I’ve ever visited. It’s no wonder the iconic image appears on the “Welcome to Arizona” sign and state license plates. The red rocks, uniquely shaped canyon and islands, crystal green water and birds-eye viewpoint all add up to a jaw-dropping sight. E and Z climbed around quite a bit here, too – which explains why Z crashed hard the moment we got back in the car to head to our next destination: Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon.

Like I said, I wish we’d had more time to explore near Page. There are so many other national parks, monuments and canyonlands to see here – and I’m still dying to see Antelope and some of the other slot canyons. I am vowing to return one day!

Have you ever visited a travel destination and just knew you had to go back and see it again someday? I’d love to hear your travel stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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