Inside Arizona: Lake Powell unique experience - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Inside Arizona: Lake Powell unique experience

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Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2009 10:08 pm | Updated: 2:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

There are many exciting and rewarding things to see and do in Arizona. Today I’m recommending a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience in Arizona, America’s Natural Theme Park.

Lake Powell, which borders the Navajo Reservation, Page and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, is my destination.

Nowhere else are you able to find an area with this amazing beauty, culture and recreation. On my journey I will come across intriguing people, captivating views, and several wonders of the land and water.

The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, covering more than 27,000 square miles of unparalleled beauty. It is also home to more than a dozen national monuments, tribal parks and historical sites and is peppered with 12 lakes and ponds.

In order to visit you must travel to the city of Page. Page dates back to April 1956, when Congress authorized the Bureau of Reclamation to build a dam on the Colorado River. In order to create Page, a reciprocal agreement was made by the federal government with the Navajo Nation to transfer 16.7 square miles of Manson Mesa to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in exchange for desirable lands in southeastern Utah going to the Navajo Nation.

Starting as a construction camp, Page has begun to be the one of the best Northern Arizona getaways. Today Page boasts some of the finest facilities in the state, for education and cultural activities.

Page has the most magnificent “backyard” any recreationist could want — Lake Powell.

Lake Powell, the center attraction of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, was created by the construction of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, and it is the second-largest man-made lake in the United States.

The lake is normally 200 miles long with 1,960 miles of shoreline and 96 major canyons. As the thriving Colorado River runs down from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California; it stops in Lake Powell to refresh the people seeking sanctuary from the sun. Featured in several movies, commercials and books; Lake Powell has seen its share of spotlight.

During my stay, I took the 100-mile, seven-hour boat tour offered on Lake Powell. I stopped and saw Rainbow Bridge, which is the world’s largest natural sandstone bridge, reaching a height of 290 feet.

After a long day of sightseeing and souvenir hunting I relaxed at the Quality Inn in Page and took in a good meal and a spectacular sunset off my balcony.

The following day I visited Upper Antelope Canyon, which is a beautiful sandstone slot canyon a quarter mile in length whose rich, warm sandstone walls glow with diffused daylight. The colors of the canyon walls are spectacular, and the light beams that occur midday will leave you speechless.

According to Navajo tribal regulations, visitors must be accompanied by an authorized guide and are permitted to be inside the canyon for two hours.

There are several lodging and watercraft options for those who want to take their vacation and determine their own itinerary. Lake Powell is a vast recreation destination with so much to offer that one trip does not suffice. So whether you are planning a getaway weekend or a leisurely week on a houseboat, the ever changing landscape of the lake and countless activities make this a perfect year-round destination.

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