Gateway, Summer, 2019, FINAL

mcaywood

Gateway

SUMMER 2019

Introduce your kids to the

Great American Roadtrip

The Joys of Meditating

in the Wilderness

Explorer’s Photo Gallery

Zion, Bryce, Lake Powell

North Rim

A father introduces his

daughter to the stars

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 1


Winter Hours:

November 1-

February 28

8:45 am - 2:45 pm

7 Days a Week

Summer Hours:

March 1 -

October 31

7:45 am - 4:15 pm

7 Days a Week

Hiking Tours Depart

Every 30 Minutes

$48 00* Adults

Per Person. Includes

Navajo Nation Permit Fee.

$28 00* Children

8-12 Years Old. Per Person.

Includes Navajo Nation

Permit Fee.

0-7 Years FREE

All Tours Are Guided

THINGS TO BRING:

HIKERS:

• Bottled Water

• Closed-Toe Hiking Shoes

• Sun Screen & Hat

Hiking Tours Depart Every 30 minutes

TO BOOK CALL:

928.640.1761

www.antelopelowercanyon.com

book@lowercanyontours.com

2 Gateway *Prices to Canyon subject Country to change.


Set against the dazzling Glen

Canyon Overlook off Highway

89, the Sleep Inn & Suites® hotel

and Baymont Inn & Suites® hotel

in Page puts guests close to

gorgeous Arizona landmarks like

Horseshoe Bend and Rainbow

Bridge.

SLEEP INN & SUITES

673 Scenic View Rd, Page,

AZ, 86040, US Phone: (928)

645-2020 Fax: (928) 645-4950

These non-smoking affordable

Page hotels are also near attractions

like:

• Antelope Canyon

• Horseshoe Bend

• Lake Powell

• Wahweap Overlook

• John Wesley Powell Museum

• Water Holes Canyon

We want you to feel refreshed when you stay with us, that’s why our indoor heated

pools and whirlpool is a great place to relax. Our exercise rooms are the perfect

place to keep your endorphins going.

Other amenities include:

• Free full breakfast • Free WiFi • Free parking • Guest laundry

All guest rooms offer a 40-inch HDTV and desk. Some rooms feature a balcony,

coffee maker, whirlpool, microwave, refrigerator, sofa sleeper

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Dream better at the Sleep Inn & Suites

and Baymont Inn & Suites® hotel.

Hotels in Page, AZ offer cozy,

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677 Scenic View Rd, Page AZ

Ph: 928-645-5050 • Fax: 928-645-0028

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 3


Dispatch from the Editor

Brilliant Bursts of Summer

Gateway

to Canyon Country

is produced four times a year by the

staff of the

Lake Powell Chronicle,

P.O. BOX 1716, Page, AZ 86040.

Copyright 2019 News Media Corp.

This dispatch is coming to you from one of

my favorite camp spots inside the Grand Circle,

which is located someplace on the trail between

Navajo Mountain and Rainbow Bridge.

In case you missed the news reports, the continental

United States experienced its wettest 12

month period since the National Weather Service

has been keeping records, dating back to

1895.

The Colorado River is cranking, with flows

much higher than average this time of year, and

I’ve seen photos of daring adventurers paddling

their packrafts and kayaks down the Escalante,

the San Rafael and the Dirty Devil Rivers, all of

which don’t usually flow with enough volume to

float more than a rubber duckie.

And thanks to all that snow and rain the deserts

and meadows of the Grand Circle are bursting

with wildflowers right now, and have been

since early May.

If you’re reading this magazine right now

that means you’re probably traveling through the

Grand Circle, and take it from a man whose been

exploring the Grand Circle for the last 40 years,

you picked a great year to visit.

I love summer in the Grand Circle. I make my

home in Page, Arizona, right at the very center

of it, and I can tell you summertime in the Grand

Circle is bursting in all kinds of ways. Our calendars

are bursting with summer plans and our

weekends are bursting with activities. Our backyards

are bursting with friends over to barbecue

and play cornhole, and kids running around playing

tag or creating kingdoms in the treehouse.

In May our backpacks were bursting with

camping supplies as my friends and I prepared

to hike to Rainbow Bridge, next month the cargo

hold of our Jeep will be bursting with

camping s supplies when my wife and

I take our kids to spend three days in a

secluded Forest Service yurt.

All of these trips, all this going, embarking,

exploring, is fueled by hearts

that are bursting with inexhaustible curiosity

and wanderlust.

To those who are reading this while

exploring the many beautiful places in

the Grand Circle I wish you safe travels

and big adventures and may you return

home with memory cards bursting with

happy moments captured from the trail,

the lake, the road, the river, the campground

and all the secluded, magical

pockets you found along the way.

Steven Law

Editor

Phone 928.645.8888

Fax 928.645.2209

Publisher

Mike Caywood

mcaywood@lakepowellchronicle.com

Editor

Steven Law

slaw@lakepowellchronicle.com

Office Manager

Kim Clark

kclark@lakepowellchronicle.com

Contributors

Steven Law

Nicole M. Anderson

Julia Beame

Bob Hembree

Phil Clark

Composing

Marty Sisk

msisk@lakepowellchronicle.com

Advertising

Ed Pease

epease@lakepowellchronicle.com

Norma Tsinnijinnie

ntsinnijinnie@lakepowellchronicle.com

Circulation

Jim Blittersdorf

John Baker

Connect With Us:

facebook.com/GatewaytoCanyonCountry

facebook.com/LakePowellChronicle

Issuu.com/GatewaytoCanyonCountry

4 Gateway to Canyon Country

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com

www.LakePowellChronicle.com


The Comfort Inn & Suites®

hotel in Page, Arizona

offers easy access to a variety of

outdoor activities along the Colorado

River, including water skiing, hiking,

biking, fishing, golfing and raft trips.

This Page, AZ hotel is also

convenient to Horseshoe Bend

and Antelope Canyon.

Guests of the Comfort Inn & Suites will appreciate our many amenities including:

• Free wireless high-speed Internet access • Business center

• Heated indoor pool & Jacuzzi! • Complimentary hot breakfast • Fitness Room

928-645-6931

890 Haul Road, Page, AZ

Indoor heated pool & jacuzzi

The Rodeway Inn® is located close

to Powell Museum and Lake Powell

National Golf Course.

Recreational amenities include an

outdoor pool. Those traveling on

business have access to a

business center at this hotel.

Complimentary wireless Internet

access is available in public areas.

Self parking is complimentary.

Additional property amenities include

free WiFi, laundry facilities, and a

picnic area. Some accommodations

have balconies or patios if available.

Free hot breakfast. All rooms with flat

screen TV’s, microwave, refrigerator,

coffee pot and hair dryer.

Great Wall of China Restaurant

inside the Rodeway Inn

Downtown Page, AZ

107 S. Lake Powell Blvd., Page, AZ • 928-645-2406

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 5


Gateway to Canyon Country

Summer 2019

CONTENTS

Mountain Morning Meditation

Page 10

Stories from the Asphalt Isthmus

Introducing our daughter to

the Great American Roadtrip.

Page 14

An Old Dark Sky Night

Page 36

Explorer’s Gallery

A photographer’s journey

of the Grand Circle

Page 40

Exploring Coyote Gulch

Before it was Famous

Page 44

By Julia Beame

By Steven Law

By Nicole M. Anderson

By Bob Hembree

By Phil Clark

6 Gateway to Canyon Country


This Page: Hiking Buckskin. Photo by Steven Law

Cover Photo: St. George Desert, by Bob Hembree

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 7


Visit our

Gift Shop!

Beer

Wine

Liquor

Bait & Tackle • Full Archery Shop

Largest selection of Yamamoto Baits in the country!

8 Gateway to Canyon Country


www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 9


10 Gateway to Canyon Country

By Julia Beame


Mountain Morning Meditation

I

am camped in southwestern Utah with my husband and two kids, who

are five and seven. I wake up as the first zinfandel blush of dawn filters

through the curtains of our camp trailer.

Being as quiet as I can, I place a kettle of water on the trailer’s stove

to boil. When the water comes to a boil I pour it, along with some coffee

grounds, into a French press, press it down, and pour the coffee into my favorite

travel mug. After adding a littler creamer, I carry it and a folded picnic

blanket outside and carefully, silently shut the camper door behind me.

We found our wonderful little camp spot quite by accident. Or serendipity.

Yesterday afternoon we left Cedar City, Utah, and drove west out of town

along highway 14 and up and up onto the top of Cedar Mountain, where we

began looking for a place where we could camp for the night. About an hour

after leaving Cedar City we found a dirt road leading into pine trees that enticed

us to take it.

Afternoon matured into evening as we slowly bumped along the rutted dirt

road. About 45 minutes later the road terminated at a place called Strawberry

Point, which marks the southernmost end of the Virgin River Rim Trail.

The Virgin River Rim Trail – l would later Google – is 45 miles long, spanning

from Strawberry Point a good distance back down the mountain toward

Cedar City. It’s a single track trail and most of it follows along the southern

edge of the Markagunt Plateau. Its elevation is high enough to put it in the

pine trees and it overlooks the backcountry of Zion National Park. The views,

I discover as I leave the camper, are particularly stunning at dawn.

I carry my coffee and picnic blanket down the trail until I find a secluded

spot among a little semi-circle of pine trees just twenty feet from the edge

of the ledge, with an unobstructed view of the Zion backcountry. It’s the absolute

perfect spot for a morning meditation. I spread out my tiny square of

blanket on top of a cushiony layer of pine needles and sit on it cross-legged

looking out over Zion’s towers, buttes, pillars and canyons, still hazy blue in

the dawn light.

I take a long drink of coffee – dang that’s delicious! – and place the mug

back on the blanket. I take a deep breath of mountain air that smells of pine

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 11


trees, hint of trail dust, dry pine duff and coffee. Oh, why can’t every

day start like this?

Before I had kids I used to meditate 350 days out of the year, 20

to 30 minutes each time. But now with two busy kids under eight my

meditations are rare as Yeti sightings. I feel blessed if I can fit in a

single meditation session on a weekend.

Sitting beneath the three pine trees I concentrate on my breathing

while, in my head, I repeat my ancient and sacred mantra word,

which was given to me from a Zen master in Boulder, Colorado and

can be traced from him back several generations to a monk in Tibet.

Around me I hear bird song and the soft morning wind hushing itself

as it passes through the pine trees.

The few chances I have to meditate nowadays usually occur in

my living room. The city where I live – Grand Junction, Colorado

– has a great meditation center that I visit once or twice a year, and

I’ve been fortunate enough to meditate at Zen centers in Nepal, Peru,

Sedona and India, some of which were led by world-renowned yogis

and Zen masters. They were all amazing experiences, yet none of

them have compared to the times in my life when I’ve been able to

meditate out in the wild, whether in a desert, mountain, forest, meadow,

what have you, because wild nature contains an inherent raw,

pure energy that is very conducive to peace, and very nurturing to

the human soul, and it seems to me that it gives off a vibrational energy

that our body is already tuned to, but due to being confined in

cities and other unnatural spaces, very rarely gets to feel. There’s just

something particularly calming, soothing and centering about meditating

in the wild.

Yes, I can find peace, I can nurture my inner calm and get centered

when I’m in my living room, or even in an airport terminal, but

it just occurs effortlessly when I’m out in a secluded, wild piece of

nature.

On this particular morning I am able to meditate undisturbed for

about 40 minutes before I hear my kids running down the trail, calling

out for me. “Mommy, where are you?”

Talk about natural, pure, wild energy!

Though these two bundles of commotion produce their own brand

of raw vibrational energy, it lies at the opposite end of meditation’s

soothing, calming energy spectrum; yet these two energy bundles

have their own unique way of centering me.

Meditation is the raw, pure, wild energy that rejuvenates me. My

daughters are the raw, pure, wild energy that drains. Yin and Yang.

Balance.

And that is fine with me. It is wonderful, in fact. After all, what

use is it to get re-energized if you never use that energy? What good

are batteries waiting unused in a cupboard? Put them in the flashlight

and lead your kids down a new hidden path.

Shine on!

12 Gateway to Canyon Country


Pow Wow Trading Post

Specializing in

Native

American Arts

& Crafts

635 Elm Street, Page, Arizona

powwowtradiingpost.com • 928.645-2140

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 13


Feature

Exploring Arches, Deadhorse Point and Monument Valley

while introducing our daughter to the joys of

the family roadtrip.

14 Gateway to Canyon Country


Memories from

an Asphalt Isthmus

Story and photos by

Steven Law

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 15


16 Gateway to Canyon Country


Day One | The Rhythm of the Road

Orangeville, Utah to Moab, Utah

One of the greatest virtues an explorer

can possess his the ability

to put his or her home behind

them, and focus on the trail, the road and

the horizon before them.

If you want to return home with a

good story to tell, you must first travel

beyond the horizon and encounter the

tribulations, and self-doubt, the triumphs

and glories – also known as the Life Lessons

(or the Boon, as mythologist Joseph

Campbell phrased it) – that lay there.

Horizon, here we come!

After leaving Orangeville, we travel

north on highway 10 until we reach

Price, where we turn east on highway 6

and soon thereafter we encounter light

rain. The sky is the gray of oxidized zinc.

Driving down the rain-wet highway

gives us the illusion that we’re speeding

down a canal flickering through the

gray spectrum from dull pewter to polished

chrome. The wet highway shimmers

with lambent light and puddles

flash like the CDs my mom hangs in her

orchard to scare the birds away. The tires

passing over the wet surface make a sibilant

sound, the windshield wipers slap in

3-4 time.

The scenery along this part of highway

6 isn’t particularly beautiful or stunning.

The terrain consists of gray tropic

shale with few plants growing on its

nutrient-poor soil. Through the passing

millennia rain storms and melting snow

have eroded the bare, gray hills into

shapes like pleated, bell dresses, flying

buttresses, the sinews on the neck of a

straining man. But

all that gray does

nothing to dull our

moods and the rain

does nothing to

dampen our spirits,

for there is something

very special,

and invigorating,

about the first day

of a roadtrip.

I was fortunate

enough to grow up

in a road-tripping

family. Every summer

we took a trip

to Montana for a family reunion, as well

as a trip to Flaming Gorge and the Hite

section of Lake Powell.

Every three years we’d take a long

road trip. One year we traveled from

Utah to New York and Washington D.C.

Another year we drove up the California

coast. Three or four times a year I helped

my dad load the camper onto the back of

our truck, and off we’d go. Wherever we

traveled my siblings and I watched vast

swathes of our beautiful country roll by

from the camper’s window over the cab.

Roadtripping

in a campervan or

a camper is one of

the best ways to

see America. It’s

a movable basecamp.

Up front, the

driver and navigator

read the maps

and scan for roadside

attractions,

while in the rear

the kids get to chat

and play games. A

roadtrip in a campervan

is like a mullet:

business in the front. Party in the

back!

My dad took a lot of photos during

our trips and when we returned home

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 17


he’d mail off the film to get developed.

When the slides came back a couple

weeks later our family gathered in the

living room and watched them. We had

almost as much fun watching the slides

and reliving the trip as we did taking the

trip.

This is our daughter’s first roadtrip.

She turned three just a month prior.

She’s a naturally curious, inquisitive kid

who loves exploring and interacting with

our world. Our goal is to introduce her

to new places, new faces, new art, new

roads, new cities, new views, new ideas

new experiences, new people to keep her

curiosity piqued, to introduce her to the

lost art of browsing and to help her cultivate

an appreciation for travel and adventure.

Highway 6 takes us to Interstate 70.

Along the way we have passed out of the

rain zone and back onto dry roads and

the sound the tires make turns from sibilant

hiss to dry thrum. When we reach

I-70 we turn east and continue driving

a half hour until we reach highway 191,

where we turn south and drive until we

reach Moab.

18 Gateway to Canyon Country

Our daughter is a very active, energetic

kid. When we’re home, she demonstrates

this often, by showing us how

many times she can jump on one leg, or

how long she can postpone bed time. After

three hours in her car seat my wife

and I can see the signs she’s growing

restless and agitated. She sits in her car

seat as uneasy as a champagne cork in its

bottle on New Year’s Eve. She may look

calm, but she’s ready to explode. “Hang

in there, Roo,” I tell her. “We’ll be to

Moab soon and then you can get out and

run around.”

We arrive in Moab about 20 minutes

later. If highway 191 is a river, Moab is

an eddy where traffic, tourists and adventurers

move out of the swift current

and slow down, and that is what we do,

too.

It’s lunchtime when we arrive in

Moab, so we make our first stop Eddy

McStiff’s, a pizza and burger joint.

Moab is a great little town. It was founded

in 1878, but gained popularity in the

1950s during the uranium boom, and enjoyed

a second resurgence in the 1990s

(which is still on-going) among outdoor

enthusiasts, as it’s home to some of the

world’s greatest mountain biking, hiking,

Jeeping and rafting.

After lunch, my wife, daughter and I

enjoy strolling along Moab’s mainstreet

perusing its bookstores, art galleries, antique

stores and t-shirt shops. After a

couple hours of that we get back in the

Wandervan and go in search of a place

to camp for the night. I know from previous

experience that Moab has several

campsites a short distance out of town

along the Colorado River and that’s

where I drive. It’s a lovely little corridor,

where the river, the highway and the

long row of campsites are nestled in the

bottom of the canyon like a bouquet of

roses in the arm of an actress. We find

an open campsite in one of the campgrounds,

pay our fee and pull into our

site. Camping in a Wandervan is great.

Setting up camp involves nothing more

than parking the van in the most level

spot I can find.

Our campsite – as are most of the

campsites located along the river – is

nestled in among white oak trees, cottonwoods

and willows, which are abso-


lutely beautiful in autumn. The leaves of

the willows are gone, but the leaves of

the cottonwoods are golden yellow and

the leaves of the white oaks are the yellow-orange-red

of a campfire.

The first thing we do after settling

into camp, which takes only a couple

minutes, is to find a path that leads down

to the Colorado River, which flows just

100 feet away. It takes Roo just a few

minutes to find a flat rock on the bank

where she can sit and dangle her feet in

the river.

Soon we all have our shoes off,

splashing our feet in the cold, refreshing

river. The sun, which hovers just a

hand-span above the western cliff wall,

is warm on our faces. The river is muddy

brown with fall runoff, the river bank

smells of mucky mud, and the coppery

smell of dry, winter willows. The cottonwood

trees, which grow along the river

bank, are extremely wonderful this

time of year, and particularly so during

the last hour of the day. When the wind

blows through them, their flickering gold

leaves look like lambent flames.

After Roo has had her fill of splashing

her feet in the river we climb the

hill to our camp. The sun dips below the

cliff wall about 40 minutes later and the

temperature drops quickly. Though the

sun is below the rim in the west, it still

shines upon the cliff walls which stand

east of our camp.

Our campsite is nestled in under a

cozy nook of white oak trees, which includes

a firepit and picnic table. I have

parked the van in front of our camp,

which adds an additional wall of seclusion.

I start a campfire while my wife

dresses our daughter in warm clothes for

the evening. The campfire, the leaves of

the white oaks and the sunset-saturated

cliff walls –which cups our camp like

hands holding a nest – all contain the

same color qualities: Red-orange-yellow-russet.

My wife makes Girl Scout Stew for

dinner, which we eat from bowls while

we sit around the campfire. After we finish

our delicious stew we roast marshmallows.

Quite spontaneously, our

daughter starts telling us knock-knock

jokes, but she’s new to them and she

leaves off their punch lines. They go

something like this: “Knock-knock?”

Roo says.

“Who’s there?” we say.

“Strawberry-banana,” Roo replies,

then laughs like it’s the funniest joke in

the world. Her laughter is infectious and

soon my wife and l are laughing along

with her, which, of course, makes Roo

think her joke was a great success, so she

keeps telling us knock-knock jokes.

It’s a pretty great way to spend the final

hour of the day.

We let the fire burn down, and spread

out the remaining embers and enter the

cozy van to sleep for the night. The van

has a heater, which is independent of the

engine-mounted heater all vehicles have,

and I turned it on an hour earlier. When

we enter the van it’s toasty and warm,

perfect for this chilly, autumn night.

One of the greatest things about

camping in a Wandervan is all the conveniences.

It has a heater, it has a sink

for brushing our teeth and washing our

faces, it has lamps and the beds are very

comfortable. My wife likes the extra security

that comes from being able to lock

ourselves inside for the night.

We brush our teeth in the Wandervan’s

sink, read a bedtime story to Roo

and go to bed. My wife and daughter

sleep in the bottom bunk, snuggled together

under a blanket, and I sleep in the

top bunk.

Before I tuck myself in beneath the

covers I spend a few minutes writing in

my travel journal writing down the many

highlights of a perfect day exploring

with my family.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 19


Day Two | A Day in the Slow Lane

Exploring Arches National Park

I

step out of our warm camper van into

crisp autumn air and the dim light

of dawn. The smell of woodsmoke,

coffee and bacon drifts from a nearby

camp. The sides of the van are tattooed

in swirling, interconnected ferns of frost,

the picnic table wears a peach-fuzz layer

of it.

I start a pan of water heating on our

camp stove for coffee and oatmeal, then

walk down the frost-covered sandy trail

to the river. The edges of the river are

frozen, the ice thin as layers of Baklava.

My wife and daughter are still sleeping

snugly in the van.

After about seven minutes of river-watching

meditation I return to camp

where I find the coffee water boiling,

and pour some into my mug and stir in

some instant coffee. I carry my coffee

back down the trail toward the river and

a short ways down the trail I find a flat

rock on which I sit and watch the morning

come to life. A few minutes later sun

rises over the cliff wall and begins to

warm our little camp, much like the hot

coffee warms the cold cup I hold in my

hands while I watch the Colorado River

roll by. A nice

way to start the

day.

I hear the

door of the van

slide open about

the time I finish

my coffee, and

hear my wife and

daughter’s voices

as they step

out into the brisk,

October morning.

We eat breakfast,

pack our camp

chairs and stove

into the rear of the van and drive the

short distance to Arches National Park,

where we will spend the morning and

early afternoon introducing our daughter

to one of America’s great treasures.

The park takes its name because more

than 2,000 sandstone arches exist within

its borders. It was originally designated

a national monument in 1929, and

re-designated as

a national park

in 1971. Some

of the park’s

most famous features

include Balanced

Rock, Delicate

Arch, Double

Arch, The Organ,

Landscape

Arch, the Three

Gossips, and Double

O Arch. The

road leading into

the interior of the

park passes many

of the park’s famous features – such as

Balanced Rock, The Organ and Double

Arch – but the majority of the arches can

only be accessed by footpath.

We make frequent stops as we progress

deeper into the park, stopping in

some place to take photos and other

places to walk and

run and explore.

The first place

where we stop and

get out, and let Roo

run ahead and lead

the way, is Balanced

Rock, where

we spent 30 minutes

circumnavigating

the famous rock

feature at the pace of

a curious (read: easily

distracted by lizards,

chipmunks and

flowers) three year

old. Our next stop is at Fiery Furnace, a

wonderful little stop with trails that reach

like peavines over the sand dunes, along

cliff walls and into shady alcoves and

canyons.

Our daughter climbs onto a sand dune

spine and down its other side and leads

us into a shady alcove that’s home to junipers,

silver sagebrush, narrow-leaf

yucca, Brigham

team and prickly

pear cactus. Yesterday,

the weather

was overcast and

chilly, but today we

have clear, sunny

skies with temperatures

in the 70s. It’s

an absolutely perfect

day for exploring.

I quite enjoy exploring

at a threeyear-olds

pace. It

consists of numerous

stops, and looking around in wonder

at the new and amazing world. Hiking

with a three-year-old involves lots of

touching, feeling, smelling and full-sensory

engagement with the natural world.

The word itinerary does not exist for

a three year old. She picks dried juniper

gum off a juniper trees, she finds a

stick lying on the ground and spends 10

minutes using it to draw lines, circles

and strange designs on the surface of the

sand.

Although the word itinerary isn’t in

a three-year-old’s vocabulary, the word

`cookies’ is, and we use it to entice our

daughter that it’s time to return to the

Wandervan and eat lunch. My wife and

daughter claim one of Devil’s Garden’s

picnic tables while I retrieve sandwich

makings and cookies from the van’s

mini-fridge.

During lunch, Roo bites her cheese

slice into the approximation of a coyote

silhouette. “I love coyote cheese,” she

says.

After lunch we get back into the Wandervan

and drive deeper into the park.

20 Gateway to Canyon Country


Roadtripping in a campervan or

a camper is one of the best ways

to see America. It’s a movable basecamp.

Up front, the driver and

navigator read the maps and scan

for roadside attractions, while in

the rear the kids get to chat and

play games. A roadtrip in a campervan

is like a mullet: business in

the front. Party in the back!

After a busy morning and a satisfying

lunch Dana tells me that she and Roo

wouldn’t mind taking a nap. Not a problem

at all.

I park in the Devil’s Garden parking

lot and while I spent 100 minutes walking

down its trails taking photos and

gawking, my wife and daughter crawl

onto the bed at the back of the van and

take a nap. Win-win.

After wandering through a small section

of Devil’s Garden, I return to the

van where I find my wife and daughter

sitting up in bed talking to each other,

having just woken up from their nap.

I get in the driver’s seat and take us to

Double-Arch. The three of us walk to the

base of the arches. My wife, who is five

month’s pregnant, remains at the base of

the cliff walls that comprise the double

arches, while Roo and I steadily climb

up the grade till we very nearly reached

one of the arches. There we took some

photos, climb back down to my patiently

waiting wife and return to our Wandervan.

The shadows from the Organ, Balanced

Rock and the Three Gossips are

growing pretty long across the desert

floor. We’ve had a very fun, satisfying

day scratching the exploration

itch, and most importantly Roo – who

rolled down sand dunes, ran along trails,

jumped on one leg along a short stone

wall – had the kind

of day that we hope

will go a long way

to instilling in her a

lifelong love for the

outdoors, exploring

and family outings.

Arches National

Park is big, comprised

of more than

76,000 acres inside

of which lie the Fiery

Furnace, Devils

Garden and many

one-of-a-kind natural

features.

We’ll just have

to come back another

day and explore

it a little longer,

a little deeper,

because like

Roo drawing shapes in the sand with her

stick at Devil’s Garden, we have barely

scratched its surface.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 21


Day Three | Ablaze and Aglow!

Deadhorse Point to Monument Valley

The fourth day of our family

roadtrip is the most eventful. For

the second day in a row we wake

up on the banks of the Colorado River,

just outside of Moab, Utah. It’s just

starting to get light when I wake up, the

sun hasn’t yet risen above the 800-foothigh

cliff walls that border the river. The

air is invigoratingly chilly as I step out

of our Wandervan to start the coffee and

oatmeal water boiling. My wife joins me

a few minutes later. Our three-year old

daughter remain asleep tucked in snug

and cozy on her bed in the warm van.

The gray October morning brightens

a few f-stops while the water heats. Coffee

for me, cocoa for my wife. We pack

up camp while we wait for the water. I

shake the dew off the camp chairs, fold

them up and tuck them under the van’s

22 Gateway to Canyon Country

bed along with our marshmallow roasters.

With our camp packed and our campsite

cleaned up, I climb into the driver’s

seat, my wife gets in beside me. Roo still

sleeps in the back, safe behind the bed’s

crash net.

And on we drive to the day’s first of

several destinations. I tune in NPR as I

drive. The calm NPR voices blend nicely

with the thrum of the van’s tires rolling

across an American interstate.

Coffee. NPR. Driving at dawn while

the cliff walls of the Colorado Platea add

color to themselves. And scroll by, and

scroll by. Perfect.

Along the way our daughter sits up in

bed and asks where we were.

“Well,” I reply, “it seems we’re driving

across one of the most beautiful spots

in the world.”

Ten minutes later we arrive at Deadhorse

Point State Park.

I’ve never been to Deadhorse Point

before. Nor has my wife or daughter. I

drive to the visitor center and park. We

step out of the van and then, Oh wow!

Directly in front of us, facing east, we

see six rows of cliff walls and mountain

peaks. The morning sun is only 90 minutes

above the horizon so we are seeing

the shadowed sides of the cliff walls

and mountain peaks which are varying

shades of blue-gray. It looks surreal, like

panes of blue glass leaning one on the

other. The morning air is still delightfully

cool, like leaning your cheek against a

marble column.

We spend 90 minutes walking along

the trails at the leisurely pace of bib-


928.484.1117

880 Haul Rd.,

Page, AZ

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A welcoming smile, breakfast on a real

plate, a complimentary Wi-Fi connection

to those you love. Enjoy the comforts that

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www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 23


liophiles browsing their way through a

bookstore. Or, at least my wife and I do.

Our daughter, invigorated by the adventure,

rushes ahead down the trail, then

back to us. She points out every plant

and rock she finds interesting, which is

most of them, and explains to us what it

is she found interesting about them. My

heart nearly bursts with joy as I watch

her actively engage with her beautiful

world.

One of the big reasons why we have

taken this roadtrip is to introduce our inquisitive

daughter to our beautiful world,

and encourage her natural curiosity. My

wife and I are very pleased to watch it

happening.

We stop at half a dozen viewpoints

during our all-too-brief visit to Deadhorse

Point, but our roadtrip is coming to

an end and our day’s itinerary is packed.

We get back in our van and continue our

roadtrip, driving south through Moab

and eventually on to Monument Valley

with several stops at roadside attractions

and scenic overlooks we pass along the

way.

One of the most scenic sections of

24 Gateway to Canyon Country

our drive, in a day filled with scenic sections,

is that from Moab to Bluff. I just

love those long views across the farmland

of Blanding and Bluff with the

snow-capped mountains in the distance.

The bottom of every canyon, wash and

gully we pass along our river is ablaze

with golden-leafed Cottonwood trees.

Seen from above, the Colorado Plateau

must look like Kintsugi pottery.

We stop at Forrest Gump Hill and

take the obligatory picture, then push on

to Monument Valley where we spend the

last two hours of daylight at the Mittens

Overlook.

After dinner at a restaurant appropriately

named The View, which is situated

so diners can look out on the Mittens, we

return to our Wandervan and drive on a

little farther into the darkening dusk.

As I drive I reflect on what an amazingly

beautiful day it has been! We woke

up on the banks of the Colorado River,

watched the day come alive at Deadhorse

Point, goofed off at various roadside

attractions, and finished by watching

the sun set in Monument Valley. Not

too shabby.

If Woody Guthrie had made the drive

we made today it would have inspired an

album of anthems.

I grew up in Orangeville, Utah, which

is on the northern end of the Colorado

Plateau, which has terrain similar in

a lot of ways to that of Page. Big cliff

walls, gorgeous sunsets. I spent another

eight years as a river guide in the Grand

Canyon, where, from April to October

I was lucky enough to witness flowers

bloom and die in the spring, then bloom

and die again after the monsoon season.

I slept on my raft and watched the constellations

change hour by hour as well

as month by month. I should be immune

to long views over farmland, flowery

meadows, the sun setting on cliff walls.

But I’m not.

What a beautiful, amazing place we

live in. America is so beautiful, and –

in my opinion – the Colorado Plateau

is the most beautiful place inside it –and

that’s saying a lot considering we live

in a country that also includes Yosemite,

Yellowstone, the Everglades, Glacier,

Montana, Utah.

One of the best things about living in


Cowboy Cookin’ at

Juicy Steaks & more!

Freshly made

Sandwiches!

Authentic

Navajo Tacos!

Great Food &

Great Prices -

come on down

and see for

yourself!

Fresh Salad Bar!

Open 11 am to 2 pm; 5 pm to close

718 Vista Ave., Page, AZ • 928-645-0908

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 25


our area is that so much of it belongs to you

and me. A large section of what lies inside

the Grand Circle is public lands. Sitting inside

the borders that make up the Grand

Circle we have six national parks, ten national

monuments, one national recreation

area, four national parks, four national forests,

two wilderness areas and about a half

dozen state parks. Home to great hiking,

backpacking, skiing, fishing, snowmobiling,

sight-seeing and roadtripping.

And our happy little city of Page lies at

the very heart of it all.

26 Gateway to Canyon Country

If my daughter ever asks, Why do we

live in Page?, my wife and I can say, “Remember

that morning in Deadhorse Point

when the blue cliffs were stacked on top of

each other like panes of blue glass leaning

against a wall? Remember our cozy campsite

beneath the glowing cliff walls? Remember

all those thousands of stars that

seemed close enough to touch? Remember

how your sweatshirt smelled like a campfire

for a week after we got home?”

“That’s why.”

Wandervans can be rented from

Salt Lake City, Utah or Boise, Idaho.

A Wandervan includes a minifridge,

a two-burner Coleman camp

stove, a folding camp table, camp

chairs, a sink with running water,

and a heater that’s independent

of the van’s engine. They also have

curtains that can be pulled closed for

privacy.

Wandervans can include several

extras to make your trip more

comfortable such as bike and cargo

racks, sleeping bags, deluxe sheets

and boosters seats if you’re bringing

kids.

The windows can be left open to

let air flow through. Wandervans

provides nets that attach over the

windows to keep the bugs out.

Wandervans offers small, medium

and large vans. The small and

medium vans have one bed and

sleeps 2. The large van has two beds

and sleeps 4-5. Dogs are allowed

with a $20/day pet fee.

The lower bed can also be converted

into a comfortable couch.

To see more, or make a reservation,

visit www.wandervans.com


The Orderville Mine

Rock Shop

Located at mile marker 85 in Orderville, Utah

Bob & Diane Lane, owners of the “Orderville

Mine Rock Shop,” have been in business for 21

years. They have the largest selection and variety

of rocks & gems inn Southern Utah.

Their museum collection includes Jewelry,

Rough Rock, Beads, Mineral Specimens,

Meteorites, Crystals, Fossils, Petrified Wood

and more including decorative items.

Mention this ad for a free Geode!

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 27


28 Gateway to Canyon Country


www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 29


89

Morgan Rd.

Hawk Ct.

Falcon Ct.

Elk Rd.

Cameron St.

Bonita Rd. W

Bonita St. Bonita Rd. W

Piute Piute Ct.

Castle Rock St.

Driftwood

Del Barrco Ave.

1

2

Page Hospital

Urgent Care

Police Station

Fire Station

Park

ATM

KEY

Must See

Visitors’ Centers

Scenic Overlooks

Marinas

Lake Access

Church

School

Golf Course

United States Post Office

A B C D

To Glen Canyon Dam

Wahweap Marina

& Kanab, UT

Glen Canyon

Dam Overlook

89

View Rd.

Scenic

N. Navajo Dr.

89

Lake Powell

National Golf

Blvd.

Powell Lake N

Date St.

Clubhouse Dr.

Dr.

Eagle

Dr.

Navajo N.

St.

Gum

Fir St.

Ave.

Vista

Ave.

4th

19th Ave.

Pueblo Dr.

Dr.

Rim View

N. Navajo Dr.

18th Ave.

Dr.

Rimview

17th Ave.

Ave.

16th

15th Ave.

14th Ave.

6th Ave.

13th Ave.

St.

Bureau

20th Ave.

Ave.

Vista

A

8

Ave.

7th S.

Elm St.

4

Mesa Dr.

B

Ave.

12th

Grandview St.

13th Ct.

Ave.

Knoll

N. 10th Ave.

Hemlock St.

Pine St.

Poplar St.

S. Lake Powell Blvd.

View Dr.

W.

14th Ave.

Ct.

Butte

Ct.

Valley

Padre Escalante Dr.

Ave.

11th

Cathedral Ave.

Coconino St.

Kachina Kachina

20th Ave.

Westview Dr.

10th N. Ave.

Aero Ave.

Plateau Ct.

Ave.

Turquoise

7th Ave.

Grandview St.

Ave.

Mesa Red

8th Ave.

Gunsight St.

S. 9th Ave.

Grandview St.

Glen Canyon Dr.

Gunsight St.

Golliard

Park

Glen Canyon Dr.

Thunderbird Ave.

Gramdview St.

Spruce

Tower Butte Ave.

Page Municipal Airport

Redrock St.

Mirage St.

El

St.

10th

Cll Hermosa

Pondersoa St.

Juniper Ave.

Cypress Ave.

Tamarisk St.

Crestview

2

Colorado St.

Willow St.

Vermilion Ave.

Tower Butte Ave.

Sage Ave.

S. Navajo Dr.

3

S. Navajo Dr.

1st Ave.

Ave.

2nd

Ave.

3rd

Cedar St.

St.

Birch

Aspen St.

Date St.

S. Navajo Dr.

3

5

5th Ave.

John C.

Page Park

9

1*

F

E 6

L

K

S. Lake Powell Blvd.

Aqua Ave.

Ave.

S. 9th

Oak St.

Village Dr.

Veronica Ct.

Antelope Ave.

Cheryl Ave.

Diane Ct.

Sunrise St.

Hopi Ave.

Lakeside Ct.

Sage Ave.

Elm St.

89

Haul Rd.

S. Lake Powell Blvd.

Kaibab Rd.

Haul Rd.

Golden Eagle Ct.

I

Cache Rd.

Bran Rd.

K

S. Lake Powell Blvd.

Cemetery Rd.

San Francisco Rd.

Azure Rd.

C

Cameron St.

7

Page

Public Library

Cascade St.

Manson Rd.

Marble Rd.

Granada

Via Valdez

Jerome St.t

Newburn Rd.

Maverick Loop

Rd.

Newburn

Coppermine Rd.

Coppermine Rd.

Sandpiper Dr.

Osprey Dr.

Buckeye Dr.

4

Appaloosa Rd.

e Powell S. Lake Blvd. Powell Blvd.

Cameron St.

Haul Rd.

Palomino Rd.

Clydesdale Rd.

Cliff Ct.

Manson Rd.

Packer Ct.

Bass Ct.

Rd.

Coppermine

Sunset Rd. W Sunset St.

5

89

To Horseshoe Bend

lake powell

printing

98

Rd.

Pinto

Shetland

Mustang Rd.

San Francisco Rd.

98

Azure Rd.

Loop

O’Neil

C

Sunset St.

Aztec St.

Amand Cir.

Scott’s Lake Powell Printing ©2015 All Rights Reserved

315 S. 12th Street :: Montrose, CO 81401 :: 928-645-3663 :: scottb@scottsprinting.com |Reproduction of the whole or any part of this publication, by any method for any purpose whatever, without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Amado Rd. W

Amado St.

Bonita Loop

Cameron St.

To Antelope Point Marina

Navajo Generating Station

& Kayenta, AZ

98

To Flagstaff, AZ

Aero Ave. C, D-2

Amado St. C-4

Amado Rd. W. C-4

Armand Cir. C-4

Antelope Ave. D-3

Appaloosa Rd. B-5

Aqua Ave. D-3

Aspen St. C-3

Aztec St. C-4

Azure Rd. B-4

Bran Rd. B-4

Bass Ct. C-3

Birch St. B,C-3

Bonita Lp. C-4

Bonita Rd. W. C-4

Bonita St. C-4

Buckeye Dr. D-4

Bureau St. C-2

Butte Ct. C-1

Cll. Hermosa D-2

Cache Rd. B-4

Cameron St. B-3, D-3,4

Cascade St. C-4

Castle Rock St. C-2

Cathedral Ave. C-2

Cedar St. B,C-3

Cemetery Rd. B-3,4

Cheryl Ave. D-3

Cliff Ct. B-3

Clubhouse Dr. B-1,2

Clydesale Rd. B-4

Coconino St. C-2

Colorado St. D-2

Coppermine Rd. (89T)

C-3,D-3,4,5

Crestview Ave. D-2

Cypress Ave. D-2

Date St. B-2,3,C-3

Del Barrco Ave. D-2

Diane Ct. D-3

Driftwood Ave. D-2

Eagle Dr. B,C-2

Elk Rd. B-3,4

Elm St. B,C-2

El Mirage St. D-2

Falcon Ct. B-4

Fir St. C-2

Glen Canyon Dr. D-1,2

Granada Rd. C-4

Grandview St. C-1,2

,D-2

Golden Eagle Ct. B-3,4

Gum St. B,C-2

Gunsight St. C-1, D-1,2

Haul Rd. A,B,C,D-4

Hawk Ct. B-4

Hemlock St. C-2

Hopi Ave. D-3

Jerome St. C-4

street index

Juniper Ave. D-2

Kachina St. C-2

Kaibab Rd. B-3,4

Knoll Ave. C-1

Lake Powell Blvd.

A-3,B-1,3,C-1,2,3, D-3

Lakeside Ct. D-3

Manson Rd. B,C-3

Marble Rd. C-3

Maverick Lp. C-4

Mesa Dr. C-1

Morgan Rd. B-4,5

Mustang Rd. B-5

Navajo Dr. B,C-1,2,3,

D-2

Newburn Rd. C-3,4

Oak St. D-3

O’Neil Lp. B-4

Osprey Dr. D-3

Packer Ct. C-3

Padre Escalante Dr.

C-1,2

Palomino Rd. B-4

Pine St. C-2

Pinto Rd. B-5

Piute Ct. C-3

Plateau Ct. C,D-1

Ponderosa St. D-2

Poplar St. C-2

Pueblo Dr. C-1

Red Mesa Ave. C-2

Redrock St. D-2

Rim View Dr. C-1

Rimview Dr. C-2

Sage Ave.

Sandpiper Dr.

D-2,3

D-3,4

San Francisco Rd. B,C-4

Scenic View Rd. B-1,2

Shetland B-5

Spruce D-2

Sunrise St. D-3

Sunset St. B-4

Sunset Rd. W. B-3,4

Tamerisk St. D-2

Thunderbird Ave. C,D-2

Tower Butte Ave. D-2

Turquoise Ave. C-2

Valley Ct. C-1

Vermilion Ave. D-2

Veronica Ct. D-3

Via Valdez C-4

W. View Dr. C-1

Village Dr. D-3

Vista Ave. C-1,2

Westview Dr. C-1

Willow St. D-2

1st Ave. B-2,3

2nd Ave. B-3

3rd Ave. B,C-3

4th Ave. C-2,3

5th Ave. C-2,3

6th Ave. C-2,3

7th Ave. C-2

8th Ave. C,D-2

9th Ave. C,D-2,3

N. 10th Ave. C-1,2

10th St. D-1,2

11th Ave. C,D-1

12th Ave. C-1

13th Ave. C-1

13th Ct. C-1

14th Ave. C-1

15th Ave. C-1

16th Ave. C-1

17th Ave. C-1

18th Ave. C-1

19th Ave. C-1

20th Ave. C,D-1

30 Gateway to Canyon Country


Wahweap

Bay Warm Creek

Bay

Hole-

In-The-

Rock

Antelope

Point Marina

State Line Launch

Ramp

Dangling

Rope

Marina

Rock

Creek

Escalante

River

San Jaun

River

Halls

Creek Bay

Bullfrog Bay

Bullfrog

Marina

Halls

Crossing

Marina

Colorado

River

Hite Marina

Lake Powell

Lone Rock Beach/

Fee Camping

Last Chance Bay

Padre Bay

Wahweap

Marina & Launch

Ramp

Glen Canyon Dam

West Canyon

Navajo Canyon

Antelope

Point

Marina &

Launch

Ramp

City

of

Page,

AZ

Colorado

River

Rainbow Bridge

National

Monument

Wahweap Marina

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 31


32 Gateway to Canyon Country


Thunderbird Resort

at East Zion

Restaurant (435) 648-2262

Golf Course (435) 648-2188

Gift Shop (435) 648-2203 ext 5

www.ZionNational-Park.com

Zion National Park - 12 miles

Bryce Canyon - 60 miles

Grand Canyon - 85 miles

Mt. Carmel

Junction, Utah

Junction of

Scenic Byways

US 89 & SR 9

Hours:

7 am - 11 pm

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 33


34 Gateway to Canyon Country

By Nicole M. Anderson


An Old Dark Sky Night

Looking back, I didn’t realize how important that dark night sky was. The

sky was pitch black, like a giant piece of black butcher paper, pierced

with holes that the light shone through. There must have been a billion

stars that night, maybe trillions. I was probably nine years old that night,

and I stood upon an arch in the middle of a red rock desert with my Dad and our

dog by my side.

I was one of the lucky ones who was blessed with a rich childhood full of

campfires, dirty jeans, a camper with an old pump faucet, where, as a kid, I took

baths in an old green bin that fit perfectly in the camper’s sink.

Lucy, our old Ford F150, was orange and had white lace pinstriping down her

sides. She took us to some of the most amazing places. Old eight track tapes blared

as Don Williams and my Dad sang, “Lord, I hope this day is good” and my mother,

refusing to ride in the truck any longer; stood along the side of the dirt road

convinced that the road was too steep and too dangerous to travel.

The family dog, Chance, bounced and jumped up-and-down in the back of

the camper, excited for whatever adventure lay ahead of us that day, making our

camper, which was already too big for the truck, appear to be incredibly unstable

to most passersby.

That old truck, old camper and ancient red rock desert took me to places of the

heart. Places where memories were made, and the dreams of a nine-year-old girl

would come true.

We had camped there often, the place we camped that night, and I longed to

hike to the top of the arch, which was one of the camp’s many attractions. As I

think back, it probably wasn’t that big but to nine-year-old Nicole, it was giant.

It may as well have been Mt. Everest because I truly believed that from the top of

that rock I would surely be able to touch the stars.

My parents, mostly my mother, I suppose, had raised me to have a love affair

of sorts with the stars. She was a Carl Sagan fan and loved to study the sky. We

camped in the middle of nowhere that evening, built a campfire, made dinner, and

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 35


peered into our telescope searching for Mars, then Venus, among a

menagerie of other stars and planets. The sparks from the campfire

flickered upwards, slowly, as the smoke carried them away into the

dark night. I wanted to catch a ride on one of them since I was certain

they would have carried me into

the heavens.

Mom headed to bed early and

when it was finally past midnight,

the darkest hour, we began to walk

down an old dirt trail, Chance leading

the way, then Dad, then me. The dirt

curled around our feet as we rambled

along the old trail that tightly curved

along the edge of the canyon wall

and then quickly turned to slickrock.

We scrambled up the slickrock and,

as we reached the top of the arch, my

Dad reached for my hand. There we

were, standing in the middle of heaven.

The stars were thick as the bristles

on a broomstick and too numerous to

count. We reached out toward the sky

and it seemed as if we could touch

the trillions upon trillions of specs of

light encompassing our bodies.

The stars became part of us that

evening, we became part of the stars. I don’t know how long we sat

on the top of that red rock arch, or if it is still there today, or if I will

ever see stars that amazingly close-up again, but that was the night

when my dream of living amongst the stars came true.

Natural History

Museum

Inside A Sandstone Cave

Fluorescent Mineral Display

Native American Artifacts

Dinosaur Tracks

Fossils

Pre-Columbian Artifacts

Unique Gifts And Rock Shop

HOURS

Monday - Saturday

Summer Season

9:00 - 7:00

Off Season

10:00 - 4:00

THE COOLEST STOP ON HWY 89 - NEVER OVER 70˚ DEGREES ON THE HOTTEST DAYS.

Come celebrate our 63 nd year of business

Your visit to MOQUI CAVE will be educational and long remembered.

5 1/2 miles north of Kanab, Utah, Hwy 89

Phone (435) 644-8525 Leave Message

BUS TOURS WELCOME!

36 Gateway to Canyon Country


RiverAdventures.com

800.992.8022

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 37


Explorer’s Gallery

Photos and text by Bob Hembree

Page is my home now. I’m minutes away from feeding my photography

obsession at Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon

and places I’d never heard of before moving here. One of my favorite

places is Wahweap Overlook off Highway 89. I like to go there after an afternoon

storm when the clouds still linger. Page’s 14-mile Rimview Trail is

walking distance from my house.

Then there’s Antelope Point, a perfect place to walk among the rock formations

bordering the water or cat

360 views of Glenn Canyon Dam,

the city of Page, I hike to the top o

Before moving here, Page was

tried most the restaurants, and bec

all, it was a good move for me and

38 Gateway to Canyon Country


ch the sunrises over Antelope Island. For

the Vermillion Cliffs, Lake Powell, and

f Potato Hill.

my base. I stayed in the local, hotels,

ame a familiar face at Starbucks. All in

my obsession.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 39


Bryce Canyon National Park

I wasn’t prepared for the view at Bryce Canyon. It was overwhelming. I’d seen photos, but they can’t capture

the rich detail, the otherworldliness and sheer vastness of being there. As a photographer, this was a

challenge because I knew instantly my photographs would fall far short of the real-time experience. Nevertheless,

I tried. I camped in the park for three days, caught every sunrise and sunset, and noted all the best

spots for next visit.

40 Gateway to Canyon Country


Zion National Park

The best way I can describe Zion is it’s like an inverted Grand Canyon blended with Yosemite. I grew up

near Yosemite, so felt right at home here. This leg of the trip was part hotel and part camping. I stayed in

Hurricane, Utah for three days, then two days in a tent at Zion. I love camping, but it’s nice to take a hotel

break midway. I had no problem finding an affordable room in Hurricane and enjoyed exploring the neighboring

BLM land. One day I drove to St. George. I was looking for a place to get a good sunset shot. I had a

place in mind, but my GPS led me astray. The sun was going down and I was running out of time, so I followed

the sun west hoping I’d find a good vantage point in time. I lucked out and found the spot featured on

the cover of this magazine.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 41


North Rim of the Grand Canyon

I camped on the north rim for two nights. It’s at higher elevation than the other side of the canyon, so a

perfect place to beat the August heat. The first thing I saw entering the park was a large herd of grazing buffalo.

There were lazy calves, playful yearlings and watchful adults. The second thing I noticed was the trees,

mostly evergreens, but a surprising number of tall, straight, white aspens. Wildlife was more plentiful than

on the south rim. I was surprised to see hummingbirds at this elevation. The crowds were small compared to

my last few visits to the other side of the canyon. People seemed friendlier. I have no data to back this, but

it seems crowded places keep people on guard to the point they can’t relax and have a good time. Or maybe

it’s just me.

42 Gateway to Canyon Country


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www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 43


Exploring Coyote Gulch

Story and photos

by Phil Clark

before it was famous

I

called my brother, Martin, one day in 1990, and told him that I

had heard of a great backpacking trip to do and asked if he was

interested. He hadn't yet been to the Page area and we had backpacked

many times before. I told him about the majestic canyons of

red sandstone, cottonwood trees that are pale green in the spring and

darker in the summer and the wildflowers, springs and rock formations

along the creek in Coyote Gulch. It didn't take much to convince

him.

Martin and his childhood friend drove from Albuquerque one

weekend to meet in Page. Even though they were not new to backpacking,

neither my brother nor his friend had been backpacking in

canyon country. We were all looking forward to exploring a new

place.

I had explored some of the other canyons in the Escalante drainage

before and had been using the only guidebook at the time, Hiking

the Escalante by Rudi Lambrechtse, 1985 Edition to help me find

my way. This, of course, was way before the Internet, geotagging,

Instagram, and all the ways that now the entire planet knows about

these beautiful and fragile places.

The guidebook had the following in the publisher's note: "There

are many conflicting opinions on how to write a wilderness guide.

Some say that there should be no guides or even maps. 'Let the hikers

wander and enjoy the adventure of finding their own way and

discovering the beauties for themselves.'" On the other end of the

spectrum are those who "would want every step and corner described."

My preference is the latter.

My brother and his friend, Carl, arrived at the duplex where I

lived. We hung out for the evening and had dinner and talked while

we got last minute gear ready for the trip. It was so good to see both

of them again.

We left early the next morning to make the drive out to Coyote

Gulch. Cottonwood Wash Road was dry and open so I showed them

part of what I considered my 'back yard'. We did a quick jaunt into

Cottonwood Wash Narrows to stretch our legs and I told them that

canyons are what really gets me going. Some canyons are so narrow

one cannot fit into them sideways.

We drove on to Escalante and visited my friend, Bill, at his house.

We worked together at Glen Canyon NRA at the time. He was the

seasonal Ranger for the Escalante Subdistrict and practically knew

the area by memory. Bill and I had hiked before. I introduced him

to my brother and his friend. We talked about places to camp and

where to get water in the canyon. There is always the stream in Coyote

Gulch, he said but there were also some springs that he'd duank

from for years without incident. Water is always the crucial element

in a backpacking trip and spring water sounded a lot better than

creek water. He did say to treat when in doubt. Coyote Gulch, he

said, was a flowing creek about two miles from the trailhead and

would continue to have water all the way to "The Reservoir" as he

would refer to Lake Powell. Back then, the lake came quite a bit

up the canyon since it was within 25 feet of "full pool". We thanked

him for the advice and recommendations. I wished he could have

gone with us. To this day he is still a nimble canyoneer.

We followed the guidebook directions to the trailhead. There

were few signs then. The guidebook instructions were to use the

"road log for the exact mileage. The signed trailhead appears shortly

after a stock corral on the left". The guidebook's mileage log started

at the start of Hole in the Rock road. We zeroed out the trip odometer

as we turned off of the state highway. The book said the trailhead

was 34.7 miles away, with a notation that "the road becomes quite

44 Gateway to Canyon Country


curvy for the next two miles". Sometimes the guide would note a

difference in the color of the road as it had been cut from native rock

and dirt.

While we were not just wandering in the desert exploring new

things, it was good that the book left many things for the reader to

discover. We drove down the road until the end, a sandy area that

required four wheel drive. Eager to start exploring, we checked that

we left with enough water to make it to camp. My brother and I

used to hike and backpack often. We had fun and saw some great

things together. I was glad he could come on the trip.

The first mile had little resemblance to a canyon and was more

of a walk across the sand and brush. Luckily it was mostly flat

since sand makes for hard hiking. It wasn't that long until we started

meeting the creek, which seemed to surface from the ground and

start flowing through the sand. A couple of bends further, we met

the Glen Canyon NRA boundary. It felt kind of funny to be recreating

where I worked.

We passed through the wood and wire "hiker's maze" and continued

to follow the canyon.

Downstream the walls got taller and we started to see seeps of

water coming out of seams in the rock walls of the canyon. The

seeps provide water for a variety of plants. Often maidenhair fern

arc out above the drops or streams of water coming out of the rock.

That day we saw a scarlet penstemmon, the blooms of which make

me think of shooting stars. As we sit down to change into sandals,

we hear some frogs croaking. Not long afterwards, we saw Jacob

Hamblin Arch, also known as Lobo Arch. The guidebook said Lobo

Arch was named for the last of the grey wolves that used to inhabit

in the Escalante region.

We found our first camp in a deep alcove, above the drainage. It

was so deep that we didn't bother putting up tents as the cliff across

from us was framed in the arch-like alcove. It might have been a

good idea to have put up the tents because that night there was a

constant wind that swirled in the alcove. I suppose we should have

known, since wind helps form alcoves! Hoping to continue to hear

the frogs, we didn't hear much out of the local wildlife that night.

Perhaps they don't like wind either.

Groggy with poor sleep, we woke up to a sky with some wispy,

non-threatening clouds, framed by the canyon walls. The indirect

light on the canyon walls gave it depth and intrigue. We had a wide

view of the creek below and no one else was in sight. No other human

sounds at all. Until . . . we heard a very loud roar approach

and seemingly follow the Coyote Gulch from the air. An F-16 flew

above the canyon some 500 feet above the ground.

The wind that night made a casualty of my stove, which I discovered

the next morning. The blown sand had made its way inside the

plunger assembly and had gotten sand on the O-ring used to create

pressure. With the seal broken we couldn't pump up the white gas

tank. We managed to get breakfast going with my brother's stove as

he had a French Bluet that used cartridges instead of white gas.

We hiked down the canyon a little farther and were greeted by a

huge arch. Coyote Bridge spans the canyon, having been formed by

the creek itself. We walked by the bridge, looking relatively insignificant

to the impressive formation. The greenery of an early spring

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 45


cottonwood contrasted against the red rock of the bridge.

Sanitation back then wasn't much of an issue. There were so few

people that human waste decomposed and wasn't concentrated. At

some locations in the canyon, there were simple pits covered by a

simple wood seat, in a private setting. One thing about being in a

canyon: the views from latrines are beautiful. Nowadays, backpackers

are expected to haul out their own waste.

Soon, we see Stevens (Skyline) Arch above us, towering above

the canyon, deep red against the blue sky. Downstream of the

bridge we found a small spring coming out between the softer reddish

Navajo sandstone and purplish, denser Kayenta layer. It was

sweetish water, dripping out of the moss covered shelf.

After topping off our water supply and disinfecting it, we continued

downstream. Soon, we found a series of Kayenta layers to descend,

much like a natural staircase. As we arrived to a large flat

area, we looked back to see two waterfalls falling over the purple

shelves. It felt great to cool our feet off!

The canyon started winding back and forth into the Kayenta. It

seemed difficult to keep track of direction inside the canyon, but

then, it didn’t seem to matter since the only route is down the canyon.

Often when there was a 90 or 180 degree turn in the creek,

we found the out wall had been hollowed out by previous floods.

Passing another series of stone stairs and waterfall, we couldn’t help

sticking our heads under the water and splashing our feet. By then it

was getting hot and the water felt so good!

We picked out a campsite nearby and set down our packs. We

would set up camp after we continued down the canyon an saw, or

got close to, Lake Powell. Soon we saw the tell-tale 'bathtub ring' of

the reservoir, showing that we had entered below 'full pool'.

Edward Abbey called this part of a canyon the 'dead zone' where

not much actually lives. Our goal accomplished: we had seen the

lake. Now it was time to set up camp and have some food. Our

meal consisted of one of a long-time backpacking meal, from a four

decades old Sierra Club cookbook. Alpine Spaghetti is made with

dry spaghetti and a dry version of pesto with dried basil, garlic and

chopped nuts, reconstituted with olive oil in the cooked spaghetti.

As we ate spaghetti in the wilderness we were serenaded by frogs,

toads, crickets, cicadas and other creatures which made music to the

gentle gurgles of the creek.

My brother and his friend were amazed by the beauty of the trip.

We knew that in the morning we would be hiking back out the way

we came. The views would be different going back. Often things

are even more interesting that way.

After we ate our dinner, we talked until we were too tired to talk

anymore and bid each other good night. A sliver of the Milky Way

passed over us as we slept.

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48 Gateway to Canyon Country

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