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to Canyon Country

EVERY FORK IN THE ROAD An Afternoon Building Bridges with Jackson

THE WONDERS THAT WAIT A Kayak Guide to Lake Powell


Join Gateway to Canyon Country’s Geocaching Course

Paria Overlook

Outside of Page, Arizona

House of Indian & Thai Food Asian Cuisine

Downtown Page, AZ The Rodeway Inn® is located close to Powell Museum and Lake Powell National Golf Course.

Indian, Thai & Chinese

Asian Cuisine’s


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 barbecue grills, laundry facilities, and a picnic area. Some accommodations have balconies or patios if available.

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

Lunch Buffet 11 am - 2 pm Inside Rodeway Inn at 107 S. Lake Powell Blvd. • 928-645-2406

One of the newest hotels in town. 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.

Comfort Inn® has the only indoor heated pool & jacuzzi in Page!


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

890 Haul Road, Page, AZ • 928-645-6931 SPRING 2014


Cover photo / Jackson Bridges Page photographer Jackson Bridge calls the Paria Overlook Page’s very own Grand Canyon. Check out more of Jackson’s work at, and read about his latest adventure on page 39.

Contents 4 7 8

Making Memories Adventure Awaits Must-See Adventures

8 Rimview Trail 10 Ropes Trail 14 Wahweap Hoodoos 19 The Chains and Hanging Garden 21 Horseshoe Bend

23 24 25 26 28 32

Lake Powell map Canyon Country map Page area map City of Page map Kanab Has It All Fishing With Wayne


Local legend explains why anglers love Lake Powell

34 Panguitch 36 Treasure Hunting Join the Gateway to Canyon Country’s Geocache Course 39

Every Fork in the Road


The Wonders That Wait

An afternoon building bridges with Jackson

A Kayak Guide to Lake Powell



to Canyon Country

is produced three times a year by the staff of the Lake Powell Chronicle, P.O. BOX 1716, Page, AZ 86040. Phone 928.645.8888 Fax 928.645.2209 Publisher Tonja Greenfield Editor Blake Tilker

Office Manager Tammy Tichinel

Composing Marty Sisk


Advertising Ed Pease Mary Ann Chilton

Circulation Mike Nation

Jamie Brough


MAKING MEMORIES When I sat down with our editor, Blake, and started talking about what this issue of the Gateway to Canyon Country would include, I found myself getting excited.
See, just like many of you reading this publication, I too am new to the area. I moved to Page in January after living in Tucson for the past seven years. I thought Tucson was beautiful. I had never lived anywhere surrounded by mountains. I grew up in northern Illinois surrounded by cornfields. A different type of beauty – but definitely not mountains. But the one thing I didn’t like about Tucson was that there wasn’t a body of water nearby – no lake or river. Nothing but desert surrounded by mountains. I missed the water. I remember my dad took me fishing on the neighbor’s pond. He had me fish from the pier with worms. He would bait my hook for me. And it’s not because I wouldn’t touch the worm. I actually like worms. My dad was afraid that I would jab the hook into my finger. And nothing ruins a good fishing trip like a trip to the emergency room. After baiting my hook and leaving me to the pier in the shallow end of the pond, my dad would work his way around the pond to the deeper end. As soon as my hook would hit the water, I would instantly pull it back out and proudly exclaim, “I caught one.” I was catching blue gill. Baby blue gill. Baby blue gill that had a feeding frenzy on my little worm like they were piranha. I never knew catching a fish was so easy. My dad, bless his patience, would then turn around and walk back to me and unhook my mighty catch before releasing it back into the pond. I would hand him my next worm, still excited about catching a fish. He would bait the hook and then hand the pole back over to me. We repeated this dance about three times before my father’s patience wore out. He very kindly, in that parent sort of way, told me he was taking me back home because it was time for me to help mom make dinner. Besides the pond, my family would also spend time on the Rock River, which was only about a 15 mile drive from my childhood home. My uncle Jim said I was old enough and agreed to teach me how to water ski. He got a pair of skis and nailed a couple of boards across them so that it would be easier for me to learn. Before we left for the river, my aunt Marian told me that if I felt like I was being pulled under, then let go of the rope. When we got to the river, Uncle Jim went through the lesson and it was finally time for my first attempt at skiing. Everything was lined up - my skis were up, I was holding onto the rope. I was ready. I gave the nod and the boat started to pull me….underwater. Well, of course, I let go. So uncle Jim backed the boat up and we tried it again. And again, I got pulled underwater and let go of the rope. After the fourth attempt, uncle Jim called it a day. The fact that aunt Marian had told me to let go of the rope came up in conversation a few weeks later. Everyone had a good laugh. But I still have never waterskied. I am looking forward to getting out on the lake this summer. But Lake Powell is just one of the things I’m planning to explore. In this issue you can read about a new Gateway to Canyon Country geocaching course that Blake has set up. This is a perfect way to not only explore the area, but to challenge yourself. I plan on tackling the course and, hopefully, you will see my name added to list of people completing it. Whether this is your first time to Canyon Country or you’re a seasoned veteran of visiting, I hope your stay with us is a memory you will always cherish.

Tonja Greenfield Publisher, Gateway to Canyon Country

You’ve spent the day


Now it’s time to come into town and enjoy the spoils Page has to offer. Go to

to find all the local businesses in Page ready to welcome you. Shoppe™ is the only online directory featuring local businesses available on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Find exclusive deals, reservations or your favorite stores.


Salty Dog Bikes 819 N. Navajo, Page 928-970-1710

Repairs, Rentals and Sales




Navajo owned & operated by the Begay Family

Specializing in Guided & Photography Tours Guided Tours are a wonderful way to experience the awesome natural wonder of Upper Antelope Canyon. The tour starts by

boarding a 4x4 truck that transports you comfortably to the mouth of Antelope Canyon. Your Navajo Guide will take you on an easy journey through the canyon stopping in areas that are popular for photos and also sharing the Navajo Cultural stories about the canyon. This tour is very informative, sharing the history and geology of the canyon. The tour lasts about 1 hour in the canyon. Rates: Adults $25 Plus $6 for Navajo Parks Permit Sold Separately; Children $10 (5 to 12)

The Photo Tour gives the photographer more time to take pictures of the more popular spots in the canyon. Your Navajo

Guide will show you the most popular places in the canyon for photo opportunities. This tour is for 2 hours in the canyon. A Photo Tour can be done anytime of the day. Morning hours are 9 am to 11 am. You will have nice light throughout the canyon with less people around. The afternoon, 10 am to 1 pm is when the sun is highest above the canyon giving it maximum light conditions. During this time the canyon receives the famous light beams. This is the most popular time of the day with many people in the canyon. The late afternoon, 1 pm to 5 pm, has soft colors with nice photos made in the entrance area of the canyon. By this time the crowds are much smaller and the canyon is more spiritual and relaxing. Rates: Photographer $40 Plus $6 for Navajo Parks Permit Sold Separately (Rates will vary during peak season & peak times: Memorial Day - Labor Day, 11 am - 1 pm)

DAILY TOUR TIMES 8:45 am 10:00 am 11:00 am 12:00 pm 1:00 pm 2:00 pm 3:00 pm 4:00 pm Reservations are not necessary. Just show up and we will help you. Arrive 30 minutes early for the tour of your choice. If you are a large group (20 to 60) we can arrange reservations for your group. Located 3 miles east of Page, Arizona off of Highway 98 on the Navajo Reservation. Look for the Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park with the yellow gates at the entrance.

(928) 698-3384 (928) 698-3285

Adventure awaits

Warning: must posses valid sense of adventure to proceed story by blake tilker/staff

There’s no denying the fact that Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon are two of the most visited areas of the grand circle that radiate out in all directions from the small hub of Page, Ariz. Even though Lake Powell is only 50 years old, it would take more than a lifetime to explore every facet of her curves. And Antelope Canyon’s rippling sandstone slots have the best payout anywhere on this little blue speck we call Earth. It took millions of years for the fury of Mother Nature to lay down the basic foundation of this area, and a few geologic milliseconds for man to create a recreational paradise around that foundation. It’s a symbiotic relationship that opens the endless possibilities of curiosity and adventure. Page is only 16.6 square miles, and most of the people I play with live here because we are addicted to chasing down the dragons of adventure every chance we get. And now you are here, chasing down the wonders of this area with childhood innocence. We are after that visceral response to an external stimulus that makes our jaws drop, our knees shake, and the hairs on our body all fire at the same time, sticking straight up as if lightning was about to strike. Welcome to Page, friend. Once you dry off from the lake and dump the sand out of your shoes from navigating through the undulating walls of Navajo Canyon, get ready to maximize your investment in adventure... for free. The following attractions are some of the must-see destinations while visiting this area, and best of all, there are no permits or fees to get in the way.

Spring tourists taking pictures of Horseshoe Bend. photo by blake tilker/staff


OPEN YEAR ROUND For Your Health Care Needs... Away From Home!

Located on the Colorado River

Canyonlands Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

Established 1926

Open Monday through Saturday, 8 am - 6 pm (excluding holidays) No appointments needed... Walk-In 440 N. Navajo Drive Call 928.645.1700 Page, AZ

Fishing • Hiking History GROUP FACILITIES & RATES

Motel • Restaurant Fishing Supplies • Landing Strip Boat Storage • Trading Post Indian Jewelry & Rugs Gas Station • Convenience Store Coin-op Laundry • U.S. Post Office

Lake Powell Medical Center 125 Miles North of Flagstaff On The Colorado River at Lees Ferry Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6001, Marble Canyon, AZ 86036 Call or Write

1-800-726-1789 1-928-355-2225



Family Practice

Open Monday through Friday 7:30 am - 6 pm (excluding holidays) For Appointment

Call 928.645.8123

Sliding Fee Schedule Available

467 Vista Ave., Page, AZ 7


Rimview Trail Even though Page is only 16.6 square miles, the Rimview Trail packs a ton of fun into such a little package. Page was built on top of Manson Mesa’s Navajo Sandstone foundation, which is about 600 feet above Lake Powell. The Rimview Trail is a 12-mile loop that circumnavigates the lip of the mesa with a red, mars-like single-track. Navajo Sandstone was formed almost 200 million years ago when the grains of sand dunes began to fuse with minerals that hitched a ride from ground water, and this natural bonding of the elements has turned the area into one of the most fantastic playgrounds on Earth. The Rimview Trail really caters to hungry mountain bikers looking for that next all-you-can-eat buffet of dirt. The trail is fast and flowy, but periodically punctuated by rock gardens and sand traps that will take the smile right from your face. There are a few short, punchy climbs that fizzle out before it really starts to burn. The “official” trailhead is located off South Navajo Drive, just past Lakeview Elementary School. Many locals prefer the entrance located at the southeast end of the airport. Dropping in here and heading counter clockwise is where you’ll find the longest stretch of uninterrupted views. It’s impossible to get lost along the trail due to all of the stunning landmarks that surround the area such as Navajo Mountain, Tower Butte, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Vermillion Cliffs, etc. However, your thoughts might get lost along the way as the scenery takes over. Don’t let your mind get too far ahead because there are many points of exposure

The Bear’s Den B&B, LLC. More than just a room!

623 Elm St. • 928.645.1858

• King & Queen getaway, each with private baths, have everything you need to relax during your stay in Page. • Start the day right with your choice of hot or cold breakfast. Enjoy our private patio with 7 person master Spa and shaded dining area. • Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you book your activities and tours while visiting the area.

• Internet Access & WiFi • Memory Cards • Flash Drives • Computer Accessories • Ink & Toners • Copy, Fax, Color Printing


Lake Powell’s Party Headquarters 928-645-3575 • 902 North Navajo Dr., Page, AZ

(928) 614-8239 • Page, Arizona 8



“The Rimview Trail really caters to hungry mountain bikers looking for that next all-you-can-eat buffet of dirt. The trail is fast and flowy, but periodically punctuated by rock gardens and sand traps that will take the smile right from your face.”

photo by blake tilker/staff

The Kind Relief Inc. Your local Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Guided 3 Hour Trips on Lake Powell Morning or Sunset Tours $90 per person

(State Licensed, Nonprofit)

Guided 6 Hour Trips to Antelope Canyon 6:45 am - 2 pm - Kayak Tours $150 per person

1500 Coppermine Road, Page, AZ


816 Coppermine Road, Page, Arizona • 928.660.0778 SPRING 2014



where the single-track skirts the edge of the rim and one mistake would be ugly; and this place is too pretty for that. Page is the high desert of the southwest, coming in at around 4,100 feet. Few cacti flourish in this area. Smaller prickly pear cacti will grow out of the fissures and broken soil of the Navajo Sandstone. Mormon Tea, which contains a natural stimulant, blooms in the area. Sacred Datura, sometimes called “Moon Flower” because of its large white flower that unwinds at night, pops up sporadically along the trail. Snakes, including rattlers, are definitely out there, but this is who gets bitten by a rattlesnake: 19-to-30-year-

old males who have consumed alcohol. You probably won’t come across any snakes, but lizards are wound tight. They’ll dart out in front of you and panic. Thick rabbits often crash through weeds as well, probably tipped off by the lizards. If you decide to take a fiver, make sure you’re not sitting on an anthill. Running the Rimview Trail is quite the commitment, but it comes with three bailout options. The trail will cross Lake Powell Boulevard twice and Coppermine Road once. The trailhead off South Navajo Drive is the quickest route to some of the best views if you’re exploring on foot.

Dogs are allowed on the Rimview Trail, but you’re going to need a leash to contain their excitement. There’s practically zero shade, so make sure to bring enough water for you and the dogs. Nothing ruins a good pair of boots faster than stepping in dog mess, so please pick up after your little buddy. Technically, horses are not allowed on the Rimview Trail but piles of their existence are present. Bring plenty of water and drink before you’re thirsty. Wear sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. Cell phone service is pretty good throughout the entire trail, so bring your phone. But most importantly, bring your sense of adventure.


Ropes Trail

‘One of the most wonderfully terrifying hikes’ The Ropes Trail is one of those hikes that even though it’s free, you’re still going to pay. The National Park Service doesn’t maintain the trail nor do they recommend attempting it. Even though the Ropes Trail is just over three miles roundtrip, it packs more kick than a Czechoslovakian mule. It’s not so much a trail, but more like a natural route that follows cracks and outcroppings down the 700-foot sandstone walls of Glen Canyon to the ice-cold water of the Colorado River. The hardest part of the trail is finding the trailhead from the parking lot. Most of this hike is actually getting to the canyon’s edge, and there aren’t any marked trails that do so. This can make for a much longer hike and more exposure under the unforgiving summer sun. The parking lot for this fast-track to the Colorado River is just west of Glen Canyon Dam off of U.S. 89. From Page, take your first left after crossing the dam. The road will shortly split, stay to the right and then take your first left. The primitive parking lot is at the end off this road. Where there’s sandstone, there’s sand and lots of it. The old service road is a reminder of just how wild the canyon lands are. Lizard footprints with a groove down the middle from a dragging tail weave around the stretches of extremely fine sand. Snake tracks roll across the sand like a bicycle wheel. Rabbit tracks hop around the coarse vegetation. All to be erased like an Etch-A-Sketch during the next day of wind. Locate the sandstone butte with the communication towers on top of it and the butte to the right of it. Rock hop and sand bog your way through the two buttes. A 10



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BOATING Babes Boat Care Life Vests Fire Extinguishers Bilge Pumps Fenders Tubes Ski & Tube Ropes Fuel Line Assembly Gas Cans Propellers HOUSEBOATS Trash Compacters Microwaves Freezers Power Cords Tow Ropes Tie Down Straps Bungies Gold Braid Line Shore Power Cords & more

RV Cargo Carriers Wheel Chocks Water Filters Sewer Kits Heavy Duty Extension Cords Potable Water Hose Folding Tables PVC/PEX Lines & Fittings Toilet Treatments and more

are built to take the rugged abuse that comes with the way we work and play. Unlike ordinary coolers, which are essentially “disposable”, a YETI is made to last!

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field of transformers surrounded by a chain link fence can be seen once you’ve hiked over the buttes. Follow the faint remnants of a sandy service road on the west side of the transformers in a southeastern trend to the canyon’s edge. At about 1.5 miles into the trip you will walk under a pair of gigantic power lines. Start looking for the trailhead, which is marked by a metal pole hammered into the sandstone and the even more obvious 700-foot drop from the edge. In under a half mile you will descend 700 feet of canyon wall. The exposure is immense and at times you will be walking within feet of the edge. A series of metal pipes with eyelets that once had a safety cable threaded through them, will keep you descending in the right direction…down. Keep an eye out for Native American petroglyphs and the not so ancient graffiti. Toward the last third of the descent you will have to use a steel cable that is anchored into the sandstone wall to assist. At the end of that cable is the Colorado River and its constant 48 degree water. There’s plenty of shade and even a campground with a bathroom at the bottom. Keep in mind the way out is harder than the way in and one slip could be fatal. But when it’s all said and done, you will have just completed one of the most wonderfully terrifying hikes around; a story you’ll tell over and over again.

Suites on 10


Explore the culture, beauty and spectacular scenery of Northern Arizona. Come enjoy Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and awe inspiring Slot Canyons. Stay another day and play our spectacular Championship Golf course, Lake Powell National. • One bedroom, newly constructed luxury accommodations • Quiet location • Walking distance to downtown Page restaurants, shopping • Nightly, weekly, monthly rates available • Free wi-fi • Boat & RV parking

Make reservations today




24 hour on site management 32 N. 10th Avenue, Page, AZ GATEWAY TO CANYON COUNTRY


Don’t Move A Mussel! Quagga mussels have invaded Arizona. Visit: to learn about new regulations in effect. Visit: to learn about threats and preventative measures in Utah.

Do your part! Keep Lake Powell mussel free! These aquatic hitchhikers do millions of dollars of damage every year to marine equipment, cooling systems, inlet and all movable parts on all boats.





Boat propeller at Lake Mead


Wahweap Hoodoos Some say they look like giant mushrooms

Wahweap Hoodoos

Some people say they look like giant mushrooms. Others see a certain body part. The Wahweap Hoodoos are a geologic garden of sandstone towers ranging from the size of an economy rental car from California to a Brontosaurus wearing high heels. Southern Utah has the largest collection of hoodoos on earth and is one of the reasons so many people head to Bryce Canyon National Park after their slot canyon adventures around Page. The sandstone foundation and dynamic weather events that occur in the high deserts of this area react with one another and create natural playgrounds of unimaginable proportions. Like most hoodoos, the Wahweap Hoodoos are sandstone structures consisting of two layers of rock. The top cap is made from Dakato Sandstone and is 100 million years old. The cap is harder rock than the Entrada Sandstone shafts of the hoodoos, which are 160 million years old. The Dakota Sandstone acts like an umbrella and protects the massive Entrada towers holding them up. In a nutshell, intense monsoon rains, epic floods, and pressure exchanges of freezing winters and baked summers create hoodoos. The best part about the Wahweap Hoodoos is that you can get to the trailhead in that economy rental car from Cal-

Big Water

Check our website

or call 928.645.3374 for rates.

Accessories & More

9 am - 6 pm Summer Hours: 9 am - 9 pm Sundays 10 am - 6 pm

For our guests we have the following: • Hot Tub • Pool • Arcade • Exercise Room • Washers & Dryers • Free Wifi Store Hours: 7 am - 6 pm • Summer Store Hours: 6 am - 9 pm Propane is available Mon-Fri, 7 am - 2:30 pm



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644 N. Navajo, Page, AZ





Dam Bar & Grille Dam Outlet Serendipity Blue Buddha Sushi Blue-Coffee and Wine Bar Shirts & Shades

ifornia. Leaving Page, head west on US89 over Glen Canyon Dam and towards the town of Big Water, Utah. The little town of Big Water is 17 miles from Page and if you blink, you’ll drive right past it. Turn right at Ethan Allen Road and drive through the town of Big Water until you reach a fork in the road – stay left. You’ll be on a dirt road for a few miles as you head in a northern direction after passing the fish hatcheries. The dirt road will intersect with the Wahweap Wash and unless you want that rental car to get stuck, park here. You will hike up Wahweap Wash for 4.5 miles until you reach the hoodoos, so keep in mind that this is a nine-mile obligation. The bed of the wash is made up of smooth river rocks and cracked mosaics of clay that crunch under your feet. In less than a mile, you’ll come to a poorly constructed gate. Maneuver through the gate and continue heading north, up the extremely wide wash. There really isn’t a trail, so find the smoothest route up the wash you can. You’ll be able to start making out the hoodoos at about three miles in. The first group of hoodoos will be on your left at 3.7 miles in. Over the next mile you will come across two more pockets of hoodoos on the left, in which you will have to bushwack your way through thick tamarisk – look for footprints to guide you. There are endless photography opportunities here, so bring lots of memory with you. The hoodoos are lit up best by the soft light from a morning sun, and many photographers start the hike in the dark. Jackson Bridges/contributor

Restaurant and Pizzeria Fine Family Style Italian Dining A Lake Powell tradition since 1982 Premium Stone Baked Pizza and Calzones, salads & more...

Dine Outdoors on our covered terrace!

WE DELIVER! CALL 645-2605 Open 7 days a week beginning April 1.

711 N. Navajo Dr., Page, AZ 16

Page-Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce working for and with the community. Proud sponsors of the Balloon Regatta Street Vendor Fair, recognition for “The Best of Page” banquet, Holiday Home Tour Scholarship fundraiser, Chamber Easter Egg Business Challenge, among other civic and tourist related activities.

Page-Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce Email:, Page, AZ 928.645.2741 •



Antelope Slot Canyon Tours “Not Just Just the the Tour, Tour, It’s It’s the the Experience!” Experience!” “Not


Our Company provides more options. Our knowledgeable Guides are Native to Antelope Canyon area!

Cathedral Canyon Hiking Tours

Photo Tours

for amateurs & professionals 10:30 am & 1:00 pm

Navajo Owned & Operated

Ask about our Native Culture Experiences

Tour Times: 8:30 am, 10:30 am (The Famous Light Beam Tour), 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm. (Mon., Wed., Fri., only: 6:30 am.) Exceptional Customer Service by Friendly & Personal Native Guides Informative Tours About the Navajo Nation & Antelope Canyon Souvenirs, Books, Postcards, Maps & Visitor Information

For Reservations Call Now Air Conditioned transportation also available Pickup service available from Page hotels. Next to Page American Fuel 55 S. Lake Powell Blvd., Page, AZ 86040




at 6:30 am, 8:30 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm

Sun trajectory changes hourly and by season

Valid on direct bookings by customer

Jackson Bridges/contributor

The Wahweap Hoodoos at sunrise is the best time to capture images like the one above. 18




The Chains and Hanging Garden Where the locals go for a dip and a picnic The Chains and Hanging Gardens are two hidden gems of the area that aren’t on many people’s radar when visiting Page. It’s a local favorite among those who call Page home. From Page, take US 89 towards Glen Canyon Dam and turn right onto the dirt road just before the dam. This road is sometimes closed to vehicles by the National Park Service due to flash floods that make the road impassable. From the gate, the Hanging Gardens trailhead is .05 miles and marked with an

educational plaque about the hike and the area. The trail is flat, easy to follow and a onemile, roundtrip, out-and-back hike to a hidden oasis. Hanging Garden is a Navajo Sandstone overhang where water seeps out of the Hanging walls and provides the right conditions for Maidenhair fern to flourish in a tiny pocket of otherwise brown and dry terrain. The green plant life grow-

Gardens ing straight out of red sandstone is quite ironic, yet it is a wonderful example of how things survive and thrive in harsh conditions.

A local swimming hole is two miles down the road from the Hanging Garden trailhead. You can access Lake Powell for a dip by hiking or driving down to the Chains parking lot. You can hike up lake and find your own personal beach where the swimming is one of the best spots on Lake Powell. The terrain is always changing due to current water levels, in which new pools surface and vanish yearly. There are bathrooms at the Chains and it is for dayuse only.

Lake PoweLL NatioNaL

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18 holes wIth cart- $52 9 holes wIth cart-$32 twIlIght rates- $40

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full-service restaurant / bar with a scenic patio!





Hanging Garden and the Chains is for everyone, even the pups.

photo by blake tilker/staff

The Chains is a hassle-free swim spot where the locals regularly go. 20




Horseshoe Bend Just incase you haven’t gone already Ok, now this is the big daddy of the area. This is one of the reasons you came here in the first place. Someone once told me the three most important features of Page are Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. And even though Horseshoe Bend is on National Park Service land, it’s free and accessible to everyone. Horseshoe Bend gets its name from the serpentine, 180 degree curve in the Colorado River. Although it looks more like a mule shoe, the winding section of river has carved out one of the most photographed natural wonders ever. The trail head for Horseshoe Bend is about three miles southwest of Page and is well marked with signs and tour buses. Park at the well-maintained parking lot just off US 89 and make sure you’re wearing socks because they are about to be knocked off. The hike to the canyon’s edge is only 0.5 miles, but the first section of trail is a steep ascent in thick sand. There’s shaded seating at the top of the hill if you want to gather your molecules before starting the descent.

The rest of the hike is in sand, but you can bounce around the protruding sandstone fins to make it a bit easier. The first time I went to Horseshoe Bend, I walked right up to the edge of the 1,000 foot Navajo Sandstone drop and literally got weak in the knees. It must be my body’s way of telling me to get low. The exposure is immense and there aren’t any guard rails to hold you back, so keep that in mind on a windy day. Horseshoe Bend regularly has hundreds of people scrambling about for that award-winning photo to take home. Sunrise shots will light up the prominent point of the horseshoe, while sunset shots backfill the landmark and add another dimension of beauty. A tripod and wide angle lens are needed to capture Horseshoe in its entirety. Most people will head straight to the main overlook for the experience, however, I would suggest you hike around and get as high as you can via the various mounds of 180 million year old Navajo Sandstone buttes.

Photographer John Chapple won the coveted Hasselblad Owners Club Photographer of the Month title for this image of Horseshoe Bend, captured on a 50-megapixel Hasselblad. Check out more of his work at SPRING 2014



635 Elm St., Page, AZ 928-645-2140 Native American Owned & Operated

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Island

Wahweap Bay

Highway 89 to Flagstaff is currently closed. See detour maps for the new 89T on pages 24 and 25.

Colorado River

Glen Canyon Dam

Hwy 89 to Kanab, Utah

Wahweap Marina

Navajo Canyon

Warm Creek Bay

West Canyon

Last Chance Bay

Rock Creek


Escalante River

San Juan River

Halls Creek Bay

Halls Crossing Marina

Bullfrog Marina

Bullfrog Bay

Utah Highway 276 to Monument Valley

Utah Highway 276 to Hanksville

Hite Marina

Colorado River

Antelope Point Marina

Utah Highway 98


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129 301 284 185 81 147 299 317 221 365 287 318 40 525 158 447 118


159 280 278 171 145 196 277 295 176 247 169 196 111 407 89 330





LAKE POWELL, HITE MARINA 168 248 223 210 116 123 245 263 252 401 321 278


208 78 204 252 268 365 307 176 221 140 136 267 205 503 273 241

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Centrally located right in the middle of ten of America’s greatest scenic wonders, KANAB, UTAH makes the perfect base-camp for exploring, hiking, boating, photography, or back country adventure.

Request a free Visitor Guide at:


Kanab has it all

Jump, rock and rappel on the wild side - Southern Utah’s Kane county is the center of outdoor adventure story and photo by Laurel Beez/contributor

The edge of the rock shelf suddenly seemed too close. with the great western outdoors so the adventure seemed I was anxiously eyeing it and couldn’t miss seeing that it worth risking some personal fear. End result? Rappelling abruptly dropped off into space, one more foot back and with Nick was a 200% thrilling success. I’d be at the mercy of harness and rope. Our Guide, Nick Smith, from Seldom Seen Adventures, gave us a spiel about not getting over-excited and rushing to the edge to look down before rappelling. It was unnecessary advice. I am a coward and a clumsy klutz, I am afraid of heights, so why was I doing this? Answer; I also have a love affair

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Sue Markham Kanab, Utah (435) 689-0163

Southern Utah’s Amazing Festival of Learning, Discovery and Outdoor Adventures! Guided hikes, science lectures, performing arts, pioneer history & much more! Discover Utah’s Earth and Arts - from Dinosaurs to the Stars!

Over 50 free events May 11-17, 2014 in Kanab, Utah 28



Since that first day I’ve returned and become a Canyoneering enthusiast. A trip through the Huntress Slot Canyon was astounding, literally sliding through chutes of twisting rock and rappelling down half a dozen rock faces. Nick is an excellent guide; smart, capable and dedicated to sharing the canyoneering experience. The rappelling actually is very safe, especially with his tutelage. Over the past two years Seldom Seen Adventures has successfully hosted guests from a hyper-excited four -year old to an eighty-four year old woman fulfilling her bucket list. What is the great pull that makes canyoneering so exciting and satisfying? Perhaps because it simply allows us to do things we never imagined we could do. Rappelling is just one of many exceptional outdoor experiences available in Kane County. The obvious “deluxe” destinations are Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the renowned ‘Wave’ hike in Coyote Buttes, Glen Canyon National Recreational Area (including Antelope Slot Canyon), and the remote 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. All that is like reading the first chapter in a great book, with much more to anticipate. It adds to the adventure if you happen to know some “best of the so ‘very’ west” travel secrets. In Zion Canyon, the mile-long Canyon Overlook Trail is action packed and has remarkable views. Not recommended for those with a fear of heights, the trail begins from a small parking area on Route 9 (Zion-Mount Carmel Highway). Ravines and overlooks along the way will keep you on your toes, after literally walking a plank over

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Spurs Grill & Saloon Spurs Grill & Saloon is a beautiful restaurant with a great atmosphere in Kanab, UT. From live entertainment to cocktail drinks to steaks to vegan dishes, we have everything for everybody to enjoy. At Spurs Grill & Saloon, there is never a dull moment! Our full menu includes: • Desserts • Appetizers • Wraps • Burgers • Cocktail drinks • Sandwiches • Side dishes and more • Soups • Full Salad Bar

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The Heart of Kanab Color Country Home to the Stars in Utah’s Little Hollywood

Founded in 1931 Parry Lodge has hosted some of the biggest names from the golden age of Hollywood; John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Olivia De Havilland, Gregory Peck, Maureen O’Hara and Barbara Stanwyck are just a few of the hundreds of stars that stayed at Parry Lodge while filming in the many scenic locales in and around Kanab, Utah. Make Parry Lodge your base of operations as you visit Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) National Recreations Area, Grand Staircase Escalante and Pipe Springs National Monuments.

The hotel is open year-round. Lobby hours are 6 am to 10 pm currently 6 am to midnight during the season (May 15th to October 15th) The restaurant is open from 6:30 am to 2 pm, 7 days a week. Breakfast is served from 6:30 am until noon Lunch is from 11am to 2 pm. We offer daily breakfast and lunch specials a soup & salad bar for lunch, and a breakfast buffet from April through October.

inquiries: Reservations only: (435) 644-2601 • 1-800-748-4104 • Fax: (435) 644-2605

89 E. Center St., Kanab, UT 84741


Store Hours: Summer 7 am - 10:30 pm (Memorial Day-Labor Day)

Winter 7 am - 10 pm

(Labor Day - Memorial Day)

Groceries and so much more...

Honeysʼ Marketplace is the areaʼs largest grocery store, serving Kanab and the surrounding surrounding national parks. We provide a large variety of the finest quality food products at competitive prices, as well as a number of other services and departments including Video Rentals, Nursery and Floral, FullService Deli and Bakery, Fresh-Cut Meats, Camping Supplies, Seasonal Items, Pet Supplies, and a large selection of Vegetarian, Specialty and Gluten-Free items.

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We continue to pass on the savings to our customers with discounts on fuel - up to 15¢/gallon - Honeyʼs Fuel Center, located right next door to Honeyʼs Marketplace on Highway 89 in Kanab. Simply save your grocery receipt and present it when fueling to take advantage of our friendly savings! We look forward to your visit

260 East 300 South, Kanab, Utah • 435-644-5877



a snaking ravine; the overlook provides a stunning, unimpeded view across Zion Canyon. The Canyon Overlook Trail is an excellent choice for anyone with limited time, and a taste for adventure. The Zion Canyon Field Institute offers a different menu of adventures. One-day paid-class treks led by expert naturalists bring the history and beauty of Zion to life (www. See a full schedule of tours including topics as wide-ranging as “Archaeological Field Day,” to “Hanging Gardens of Zion” and even “Zion through the Lens”. Private tours can be arranged if the schedule of events doesn’t fit your trip plans. Kolob Canyon is the “little sister” park related to Zion, lying on its Northwest side off I-15. During summer months, when Zion itself is full of tourists, beautiful Kolob offers a much quieter experience. Hikes abound, and the 5-mile scenic drive pleases visitors wanting uninterrupted views.

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For those who don’t know, the North Rim receives a mere 10% of the overall tourist traffic flooding to the Grand Canyon. More challenging to reach, and relatively less developed, the North Rim is a literal breath of fresh air where both privacy and iconic views are still available. Park roads lead to five different remote North Rim drives and overlooks promising unique views, ancient ruins, secret campsites, and sweet solitude. Photographers will want to remember that Cape Royal, one of these overlooks, has an incomparable sunset shot. Other unforgettable and even more remote views across the Grand Canyon can be found just outside the National Park in the Kaibab National Forest at sites like Indian Hollow or Crazy Jug. Some of these trails go to cool streams and hidden waterfalls, some even include bike trails. For an eagle’s eye view across the Colorado River, complete with sound effects from the thundering Lava Falls just

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downstream, the view from Toroweap Overlook is still a favorite. Be prepared; reaching Toroweap is a full day expedition and may best be enjoyed with a professional guide service like Dreamland Safari Tours of Kanab. Less famous Cedar Breaks National Monument has been called a miniature Bryce Canyon, with hints of Grand Canyon thrown in as well. Beautiful in every season, Cedar Breaks may be the most colorful National Monument. By mid-June wildflowers erupt in a riot of brilliant blues, purples, reds and yellow. The Ninth Annual Wildflower Festival will be held July 5-20, 2014. Ancient Paiute legend has it that the peculiar hoodoos of Bryce Canyon were once animal-people turned into stone by angry Coyote. Bryce is undeniably fantastic, especially at sunrise when the yellow-orange phantom-like spires radiate, inviting the attention of photographers (be warned; Sunset Point is the best place for a sun rise, despite the contradictory name). Just nine miles away in Dixie National Forest, Red Canyon is another fun experience with many Bryce-like hoodoos. Named to National Geographic’s “Best Spring Trips” list, Kane County is described as “…sitting in the middle of southwestern Utah’s staggering geological smorgasbord: narrow slot canyons, polychrome cliffs, wavelike buttes, and world-class paleontological sites.” The county seat, Kanab, provides a friendly, knowledgeable home base for global guests who want to explore this “staggering geological smorgasbord.” Excellent, dedicated local Adventure Guides are ready to take visitors truly off-the-beaten-path; canyoneering, on 4-Day “Signature Tours,” horse treks, in search of seldom seen slot canyons, and to unbelievable

places like White Pockets. Over the past few years Kanab has become a mecca not only for hikers and sight-seers but for cross-country runners, boasting spectacular local trails and challenging short and even internationally famous long-distance runs with big “wow” views. Biking is a fast growing recreation; Kanab’s new ‘Rolling-Fatties’ company both rents and leads exciting expeditions on 4.6” very fattire bikes across amazing terrain like the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Third week of May, the Amazing Earthfest hosts more than 50 fascinating events celebrating the Colorado Plateau ( During one special week, the region’s best naturalists, historians, performers and outdoor specialists share their deep understanding and enthusiasm for our natural world. Guided hikes into special places, bike tours, concerts, lectures, and plenty of other fascinating events make this a singular time to enjoy being in Kanab. Whether your choice of adventure includes finding the most epic place for a scenic picnic, taking spectacular photos of a sunrise or slot canyon, taking a genuine cowboy style horse trek, rappelling or hiking at one of the most famous sites on earth, Southern Utah has it to offer. The opportunities are as exciting as the landscape. For more information and a calendar of events visit

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Fishing with Wayne Local legend explains why anglers love Lake Powell story and photo by Wayne Gustaveson/contributor

The Grand Circle tour of National Parks in Utah and Arizona offers unmatched scenery that must be seen to be believed. Rocks back home don’t look like the magnificent structures seen in Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon. Not to be outdone Lake Powell offers Rainbow Bridge, Lehi Arch, and Rim Arch to name only a few. Don’t forget the slot canyons that are a photographer’s delight. Traveling to these sites on crystal clear blue water offers a mesmerizing panorama of red rocks reflected on blue water on a calm day. How could we ask for anything more? But wait, there is more. It is possible to fish for a wide variety of warmwater fish on one of the most beautiful and productive fisheries in the southwest. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are willing participants in spring and summer. Striped bass are the most popular fish as they are always willing to eat. Crappie, walleye, sunfish and catfish round out the fishing menu.


Most of the lake is within Utah with a small amount, including the dam and two marinas, in Arizona. That could be an expensive proposition for those desiring to fish in two states in one day. This year Utah and Arizona agreed to allow anglers to fish in both states with only a Utah fishing license. Arizona residents can use their Arizona fishing license to fish in Arizona waters but nonresidents can fish anywhere in Lake Powell with only a Utah non-resident fishing license. The easiest way to get started is to hire a fishing guide. The cost of a guided fishing trip is similar to the cost of a rental boat, but this boat comes with an experienced tour guide with fishing tackle. If you have prior fishing knowledge here are some pointers to get started. Bass live near shore and can be caught on soft plastic baits attached to lead head jigs. The best colors resemble resident crayfish which have a green


hued body. Use watermelon or greenpumpkin colored plastic, single or double tailed grubs. Next locate a rock pile with fast sloping sides descending into deep water. Perhaps the best habitat is a rocky point. Hover over the end of the point and drop the grub into shallow water then gradually work the bait deeper. Bounce the bait on the bottom and then let it rest there for a short time before bouncing a bit deeper. When the fish holding depth is found bass will bite. Remember the depth and location. After all willing bass have been caught at the first spot, just look along the shoreline for similar habitat. Move to the next spot and drop the bait to the same depth to repeat the fish catching performance. Striped bass are the most popular fish to catch due to their schooling behavior. Often when one striper is caught schoolmates will follow that fish to the boat and look for something to eat. Feeding behavior in one striper causes


a feeding reaction by all other stripers in the school. Wise anglers can exploit this by taking the first fish off the hook as quickly as possible and casting again. Do not take time to admire the fish until numerous casts have been made to find following fish. If no other fish are caught, then take pictures of the 3-pound fish and place it on ice in the cooler so it will be in prime condition for your dinner that evening. With a bit of luck 5 more fish will join him in the cooler and the pictures. Striper boils are the ultimate fishing experience in fresh water. A school of striper bass surrounds a school of shad bait fish and drives them to the surface. Here shad are trapped and stripers can more effectively eat as many shad as possible before the survivors scatter and flee. These surface feeding disturbances can be seen for long distances. Always be on the lookout for thrashing water and get to the feeding event as quickly as possible. If an angler casts a surface lure beyond the boil and drags it through the feeding fish the lure will be hit many times before hooking up with a hungry striper. Sometimes stripers hit shad and lures with their body to injure as many bait fish as possible

which makes it easier to return and eat them after the main shad school gets away. When this occurs it looks like stripers are playing lure volleyball. Boils are not for timid anglers as the adrenaline rush makes simple tasks, like casting, a difficult task. Crappie, walleye and largemouth bass are caught most often in April and May. Smallmouth bass and stripers are readily caught in spring, summer and fall. Striper boils happen from June to October. Channel catfish are regular visitors to beach camp sites all summer long. Just put some leftover meat from dinner on a hook and toss it out on the sand behind your boat to catch a few more fish before bed time. The Grand Circle experience is just not complete until Lake Powell is included. The crown jewel of the adventure is experiencing some amazing fishing while looking at the beauty of the red rocks and blue water. Wayne Gustaveson works for the Utah division of Wildlife and is the guy behind: www.wayneswords. com

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PANGUITCH Panguitch, Utah, the largest and most historic town in the Bryce Canyon area, was named by the Paiute Indians after the “big fish” they caught in nearby Panguitch Lake (Big: Pan, Fish: Quitch). The red brick buildings seen throughout the city’s historic district are reminders of the pioneers who worked hard to establish their community. A group of pioneers from Parowan and Beaver first settled the valley on March 16, 1864. The first winter, being exceptionally cold, was hard for the settlers. Crops had failed, and people were starving. Seven brave men journeyed 40 miles away to Parowan to search for flour. The snow was so deep that the men had to abandon their oxen and wagons. They were able to reach Parowan by placing a quilt on top of the deep snow, walking to the end of the quilt, then placing another down, and retrieving the first. This became known as the Panguitch


615 N. MAIN 34






quilt walk. Settlers were forced to abandon the village and leave their crops during the Black Hawk War in May 1866. In 1871, Latter Day Saints leader Brigham Young ordered that Panguitch be resettled. As the settlement grew, a brick factory was built. The majority of the people from the community worked in the factory, loading horse-drawn wagons with wood, and iron-rich clay, firing a kiln with the wood, and making bricks. The brick workers were not paid with cash but with bricks. This enabled the workers and townspeople to build the large brick homes that are still standing today. Panguitch is filled with unique history and traditions. One such story is derived from an early sheriff, James W. Pace, who with his wife Hanna lived on the town’s main street. The story holds that when federal agents came to Panguitch hunting polygamists in the middle of the night, Hanna would light a lamp and set it in the window to signal all men in the neighborhood to go into hiding. During the first settlement of Panguitch between 1864 and 1867, members of the LDS Church paid tithes with produce and livestock that were kept on the lot on which the Pioneer Museum now stands. The museum was first constructed as the bishops’ storehouse and was dedicated in 1907. Later, it was used for church classrooms and a seminary. In 1964, it was leased to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers for a museum, where visitors today can enjoy the fine collection of pioneer artifacts. Whether one is escaping the summer heat, enjoying summer fishing or experiencing fall colors, Panguitch is the base for a good vacation getaway.

National Historic District

Panguitch, Utah

Start here ... go everywhere! Close to: • 5 National Parks • ATV Trails • Great lakes & streams for fishing • Brian Head Ski Resort • Outdoor Activities

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•Rodeos •Quilt Walk Festival •Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally •Community Theatre •Fiddler Festival/ Taste of Panguitch


Bryce Canyon is near Panguitch. SPRING 2014



For Information on Panguitch City and upcoming events visit our website


treasure hunting

join the gateway to canyon country’s geocache course story and photos by blake tilker/staff

I once found a purple bong wired to one of the limbs of a huge juniper tree while mountain biking at Chiva Falls in Tucson, Ariz. The cheap plastic bong was a good 15 feet up in the tree and had a Ziploc bag rolled up inside of it. Inside the bag was a piece of paper, a pencil, and a little green army man – the one with the bazooka. The paper had the latitude/longitude coordinates of my current location at the very top and a list of names and dates that followed; it was a logbook of sorts. Years later I was talking with a friend of mine about the weirdest things we’ve ever found while out on a bicycle. He told me that what I found was a geocache, and that there is an army of high-tech adventurers hiding them all over the planet. A geocache – formally called a geostash, but changed to avoid the negative connotations – is a trinket, usually placed in a small Tupperware container, and hidden somewhere in earth. People then use multimillion-dollar satellites and GPS units to zero in on the worthless trinkets. My friend told me to check out Their website is the largest online community devoted to this Trekkie treasure hunting. So, I logged on, entered my zip code, and BANG: there were geocaches hidden all over Page. As a matter of fact, there were geocaches everywhere. Most of the geocaches

near my house were concentrated in the wilderness areas. However, there were a dozen or so, referred to as “urban caches,” located around city parks and shopping malls. I entered the coordinates to one of the wilderness geocaches into my GPS and asked my wife if she wanted to wander around the desert and look for worthless treasure. She did, because she’s that kind of woman. The two of us started following the little black triangle on my GPS screen as it directed us onto the Rimview Trail. The geocache was roughly a smooth one-mile hike from the trailhead and we were on top of the coordinates before we knew it. “What exactly are we looking for?” my wife asked. “Tupperware, I think.” All GPS units have a margin of error and usually display that margin on one of the screens. My unit was fluctuating between 15 and 20 feet of the Tupperware objective. We looked under rocks, in sandstone holes, in various critter holes. No Tupperware, but we did come across a scared a rabbit who acted like I just stole his wallet, a melted disposable camera, a mechanical pencil that still worked, and a pint of Jack Daniels. At least the junk we were looking for was well hidden by someone with the right intentions and an appreciation for the beauty of the area, unlike the sea of broken glass that finds its

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way to every park. Many geocachers practice the following: “Pack in a cache, pack out some trash.” The shadows of every rock got longer and longer until they merged into the oncoming night, making it difficult to see the contours of anything, especially some mystery treasure. “I found it,” my wife yelled, but it will cost you a kiss.” She came running up the hill where I stood paralyzed by the oncoming desert sunset. She had the treasure behind her back and collected her payment before showing me. Not the geocache we were looking for – it was better than that. What she found was a heart-shaped rock about the size of a clenched fist. What I found was that I am married to one special lady. That’s when I realized why people are spending hours and hours looking for Tupperware. Geocaching is a low-impact way to get outdoors with your family and friends and have the conversations that just wouldn’t have surfaced on the couch. The real treasure is the time you get to spend with those who are as curious and adventurous as you are. So, my wife and I gave it a second chance in the morning.

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We went after one of the urban caches about a quarter of a mile out the front door. The information on the web said that the cache was also an extremely small “micro cache” and that “stealth was a must” in order to preserve the integrity of the cache. Was I looking for WMD or Tupperware? Didn’t quite know, but I guess the technology is the same regardless. The coordinates directed us to a wooden utility pole that had a mound of angry ants freaking out that we were there. There were hundreds of staples in the pole from all of the yard sale and lost cat flyers. At the very bottom of the utility pole, someone drilled a quarter inch hole about three inches into the wood. A small, medical-type plastic tube was pressed into the hole. Inside the tube was a tightly rolled scroll, about 12 inches long when

unrolled, which had the names and dates of those who had found it. The last entry was six days prior. We then went back to the Rimview Trail to look for the wilderness cache we couldn’t find the night before. Since we already knew where it wasn’t, we started looking in different areas near the coordinates. It’s no surprise my wife found it; she tells me where my car keys are every morning. She walked over holding a Tupperware container that was painted tan. “Is this it?,” she asked. Inside the Tupperware was a plastic yo-yo, some bouncy balls, a Disney figurine, and of course a log book. “It was under two rocks that just looked out of place,” she said. Well slap silly, we found it… I mean she found it. The only equipment you need to start wandering around the desert, looking for junk is a GPS unit or a smart phone. No don’t go hiding your wallet just yet. GPS units and smartphones have come down in price considerably over the years. We were amazed as to how many of the geocache logbooks were signed by families who have taken the time to exercise, communicate and work together in an attempt to find amazingly horrible treasures hidden in the wilderness. Gateway to Canyon Country magazine has stashed some geocaches throughout Page. All of our geocaches are in small, waterproof match containers. Some are urban caches while others are hiding out in the wilderness. Create a free account at and look up our user name: Gateway2CanyonCountry to start your adventure. There are hundreds of treasures hiding around Page, just waiting for you.

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EVERY FORK IN THE ROAD an afternoon building bridges with jackson story and photos by blake tilker/staff

I first met Jackson Bridges while doing some research for a story I was writing about the various artists who display their art in front of the Powell Museum on Friday nights. After some basic introductions and some small town small talk, Jackson said, “Let me see your camera.” I handed him my Canon Mark II and he told my wife and I to climb over to the other side of a large flower bed blooming with sunflowers in front of the museum. “Now squat down.” Click. Click. He viewed the shots and smiled like a child before turning the camera around and showing us the tight headshot of my wife and I with a bed of side-lit sunflowers glowing in the warm sunlight under our chins. I landed the opportunity to interview Jackson Bridges once the season began to slow down and unwind from a tightly wound summer. He made it clear he didn’t want to do an interview at my office. “I’ll meet you at your office at 3 p.m. You’ll have to drive; I’ll explain later,” he said. He walked through the front door wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, blue jeans, high-end hiking shoes, two backpacks hanging from his shoulders, and some rather hip sunglasses for a 75 year old. It was in the 90s that September day. I grabbed my camera and Jackson announced to the rest of the office, “I don’t know where we are going, but we will bring back something.” We walked to my 2001 Toyota sedan and he asked me it had four-wheel drive, doing his best to hide the sarcasm. “I know a place we can probably do with this,” he said referring to my car. “It’s not a high-clearance place. I’ll have to think about that. I tell you what, just go left. I think I can get you out there.” We drove over Glen Canyon Dam, departing Page and on a mission to, well, I certainly didn’t know where. He immediately opened up about the love affair he has with photography. Jackson shoots with Nikon D80 and D3200 bodies and an assortment of lenses. “You can get the D3200 from Wal-Mart for $559,” he said almost as if it were too good to be true. He got his SPRING 2014

first camera when he was 13—a brownie box camera. “I built my own dark room.” Jackson embraces the rapid transition to digital and all it has to offer. “I was given Light Room [an Adobe imaging program] recently. It’s mind boggling. I’m older now and it’s harder on the brain. If I was younger, it would be a snap. “We are going to turn left up here, over that hill,” Jackson said We turned onto a primitive dirt road and Jackson said, “You got it, man. You’re not going to have a clearance problem, not if I can help it.” We began plowing over weeds with yellow flowers as they snapped against the belly of my car. It sounded like a room full of photographers with rapid-fire shutters. “I think this yellow stuff is rabbit bush. It makes my wife’s nose run. Didn’t know you had a four-wheel drive car, did you? OK, now turn left at this fork. There’s a cattle guard coming up. It’s filled in on the sides, so it shouldn’t be a problem,” Jackson said. When we reached the cattle guard, there was a newer, blue SUV with California plates pulled off onto the sand and facing the opposite direction that we were heading. “If he tells you you can’t make it, don’t believe him. I wouldn’t even talk to him. If you see a fairly new car with California or Nevada plates, you can bet it’s a tourist. “This is one of the secrets of the area. I used to come here everyday. I hardly see anyone up here. I see evidence that they were here, but I hardly see anybody up here. I’m gung-ho Page, Ariz. I love this place. We have never regretted being here. I love it all. It’s awesome.” Jackson and his wife moved to Page 18 years ago from northern California. Jackson spent most of those 18 years working as a wilderness photography guide for Overland Canyon Tours. Jackson’s photography is in many restaurants, banks, and city buildings around town. “Did you know two million tourists visit Page every year? How about 440,000 visits to Upper Antelope Canyon every year? How did that happen? Photography, my friend. That’s crazy. I know AnGATEWAY TO CANYON COUNTRY

telope like the palm of my hand. Well, probably better than that because I don’t sit there studying my hand.” We got to a part of the road where Jackson’s concern about the means of transportation we were using to wander through the desert was obvious. “I’m going to show you how to do this. I hate this part.” We turned off onto a road that was more raw desert and sand than it was road. “Watch out, you don’t want to get too high. I always feel like we’re going to roll over here. Go ahead. Go ahead. Pull to the right, I mean left. Don’t put a wheel in that ditch. Let it come back. Good.” Jackson looked at me shaking his head and said, “I don’t believe I’m doing this in a sedan. I think I’m going to call you ‘Sandman.’ Let the engine do the work. Don’t stop! You’re doing it. Yes, piece of cake. We are out here in the wilderness where I work.” Jackson’s advice for novice photographers with point-and-shoot cameras—or what he calls PHD’s (Push Here Dummy)—is to take lots of pictures. “For people who are serious, take a course in composition—it’s everything in photography. Composition. That’s where it’s at. You have to have something that is pleasing to the eye. Jackson can’t drive due to a cataract surgery that left him seeing double at times. “How does it affect my photography? I can only get one eye in my viewfinder, so it doesn’t.” Jackson also battles Parkinson’s disease, but keeps it under control with drugs, and you wouldn’t know he had it if he didn’t tell you. We were on top of a ridge that overlooked an Entrada sandstone canyon that went on for miles, getting narrower and narrower as it worked its way back to U.S. 89. We bushwhacked through the gravel towards the canyon’s edge. It was like walking on ball bearings. Jackson shuffled through the desert with two cameras hanging around his neck. Along the ridge there were massive, mushroom-shaped, sandstone hoodoos that have been growing for millions of years. Jackson would call out the fstop he was using for each photograph 39

before taking the shot. He knew exactly where to set the aperture in order to make the depth-of-field focus on what he saw. He pointed to the smallest hoodoo of the bunch and said, “I call that one the ‘spaceship.’” “Lets just sit here, be still and see what happens,” he said. We sat on a sandstone shelf and waited for nature to have her way with us. We heard the sound of a large vehicle rolling over the crunching gravel. The blue SUV we came across at the beginning of our adventure pulled up and parked next to my tired car. Jackson looked at me and said, “They followed us.” A German couple armed with cameras worked their way over to where we were sitting. Jackson has never met a stranger. He shuffled around the area, showing the couple some of the sweet shots as though he were still guiding photography tours. My car took a deep breath and fired right up. Jackson noted the time and said, “Looks like we’ll make it back in time for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I love that show.” Since that adventure with Jackson, he has become my best friend in Page, and the two of us regularly go out on photography adventures. Jackson intimately knows where all the killer photography spots are – the ones that aren’t all over the interweb. And for a man who is in the second half of his 70s, I am blown away at his memory. Most of our photo trips are on unmarked dirt roads that split and head off in different directions. I’m sure Jackson’s curiosity has taken every fork in every road, but he’s played out here for so long that he knows just which ones to take. Anyone else would get lost or confused, but not Jackson. So when the City of Page finally hired a new tourism director, we decided that it was up to us to take him out – off the tiny grid of Page and onto the dirt road networks that spider web throughout the wilderness of the area. We had an agenda. City of Page Tourism Director Lee McMichael moved to Page in the summer of 2013 with his family and southern drawl. He’s been up to his eyeballs in alligators and getting him

out of the office took months, but it finally happened. So I picked the two of them up in my wife’s truck that had been idle for too long due to some blown head gaskets and a radiator that cracked while out at the Moon in Big Water. “Today, we are going to be rebels,” he said. It was high noon. Jackson normally sits in the passenger seat and I like to refer to him as my co-pilot, but for this trip McMichael sat shotgun while Jackson literally became my backseat driver. “OK, you know where we are going. Head to Big Water,” Jackson said. We passed the dam and McMichael pointed in the distance and said, “Is that the motor vehicle place over there?” That told me that McMichael has been locked in his office ever since he got here, due to the fact Page didn’t have a tourism director for far too long, and he really needed to see what is outside of Page. “This is perfect weather for taking good scenic tourist-type photographs,” Jackson said. It was cloudy and shadows were cast all along Lone Rock. “I really love when the shadows break through like this. Some is lit and some is not, it’s almost like the technique of dodging used in the old days. I have taken a photography class or two,” McMichael said. “You’re about to get one,” I said “I suppose the best one. Better than college,” McMichael said. “What you’re going to get today is a place to go that most people who live in Page don’t know about. People come to a place like this and the bottom line is they want to take home some pictures, and they don’t have to be professionals.” added Jackson. Dodging was a post-production technique popular with film photography and I was impressed that McMichael was familiar with it, but what was more impressive was that Mother Nature herself was dodging the landscape for us. We turned off onto what looked like a random dirt road behind the BLM information center in Big Water and Jackson said, “Lee, you see

that rock out there, that big sucker there? We are going way behind that and you will be amazed at how close some of these things really are.” The desert itself is a mirage and you’ll be on top of the horizon before you know it. “Man, look over there at the shadows. It’s beautiful. It breaks up the high noon sky, which is pretty flat light really. That’s gorgeous,” Jackson said. “Now I’m going to warn you here, there’s lots of turns that we are going to take. I had to come up here at least five times before I could go straight to it (erase yogi thing). So anytime you’re taking somebody somewhere and you come to a fork in the road it’s not a good idea to say something like, ‘Uh, gee, I wonder which one I take.’ But there is some neat stuff out here.” “Hey, check this out,” Jackson said. I looked back at my backseat driver and he was grinning ear to ear and holding two rather cheap plastic kites. “ Just in case there is a breeze, we can fly some kites. Why not? With this little kite here, it can go up to 75 feet. It’s unlikely we are going to see anybody. You can see the evidence that they were here, you know, tire tracks, but I doubt we will see anybody.” At exactly one hour and 30 minutes since our departure Jackson suggested we pull over for a break. Where he had me stop was wide open, yet there was a sign sticking up out of the ground marking the Utah/ Arizona border. I handed McMichael one of my camera bodies with a wide-angle lens and told him, “This is for you to play with. Now, loaning somebody one of my cameras is like letting somebody take my wife to the movies; I really have to trust you.” A new truck came flying by us with a coyote’s tail hanging off the truck’s antennae. “I knew we would end up seeing somebody. It’s like they can hear you say we won’t,” I said. Jackson shrugged his shoulders. We got back in the truck and after 30 minutes of slowly creeping through sand and tight, off-camber turns Jackson said, “Man, you got to see this. Park anywhere. Lee, I’m going to make a photographer out of you.” Jackson guided us to a tree that

had been struck by lightning. It was burnt, twisted, and awesome photography. Jackson showed Lee how to shoot the tree and set him loose to discover his own style through the lens. While Lee was taken over by the simple beauty of a dead tree, Jackson walked over to me and whispered, “We got him.” Our agenda with McMichael was to show our tourism director how powerful photography is here in this country and that it is the most important part of the tourism equation. At two hours and 30 minutes, we arrived at our spot. Jackson refers to the Paria Overlook as the Grand Canyon of Page. The excitement building up in McMichael was obvious and he was the first one out of the truck. Jackson, who takes a moment to get himself out of high-clearance vehicles, yelled out, “Ow, Ow, Ow.” McMichael had shut his door of the truck on Jackson’s fingers. The door was like a bear trap and Jackson was stuck. We quickly freed Jackson, and fortunately it


was his left hand, which isn’t his trigger finger. It didn’t break the skin and Jackson shook it off because he is one tough 76 year old. The Paria Overlook is a high vantage point that looks down on the Paria River as it carves the canyon deeper and deeper on its way to the Colorado River. You can literally walk to the edge of the overlook, which has the same visceral response of the Grand Canyon. I would catch McMichael snapping shots with his smartphone every now and again even though I let him use my DSLR camera. And that’s the point of where we are with photography nowadays. You don’t need a second mortgage for the expensive equipment. You just need to wake up that child inside and get out there. Jackson pulled out the kites and we took turns flying them inches from a fatal but breathtaking drop. “Pretty cool, huh? Here we are: a guy in his 30’s, a guy in his 50’s and a guy in his 70’s flying kites in the middle of nowhere.




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the wonders that wait a kayak guide to lake powell

story and photos by blake tilker/staff

Environmental defender and author of “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” Edward Abbey, once said, “A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” He was right, but forgot to add kayaks to the list. Visitors from all around the world come to Page every summer in waves for the adventures that wait within Lake Powell and its surrounding labyrinths of canyons and Navajo sandstone formations. It’s nearly impossible to see it all in a lifetime, let alone a vacation, however, the best way to experience canyon country is to follow a kayak guide into the wonders that wait. Speed boats and jet skis have their purpose and provide a highspeed roller coaster thrill ride for the occupants, and is very popular at Lake Powell. But I often wonder how much of the majestic beauty of Lake Powell they missed because they were just going too fast. In a kayak, you can turn your mind off, absorb the wilderness, and get into a rhythm that is Zen-like in nature.

I once took a married couple from Germany out for a half-day trip at Lone Rock. It was just the three of us out there, but when I met the husband I couldn’t help but notice that he was in a wheel chair and had deformed legs from what looked like a birth defect. I didn’t ask. We went down to the beach where I handed out water, personal

floatation devices, and paddles. I pretty much give the same safety talk on every tour. One time I gave it to a group of Japanese tourists who didn’t speak a word of English, but they kept nodding after everything I said. It was a quiet tour, but their smiles were loud enough. Kayaking is really quite simple, but

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you just need to know a few techniques. The number one question we get is, “Are we going to tip?” Now, I know they aren’t referring to the gratuity most guides get for making a life-changing memory for somebody else. They literally are worried about tipping out of the kayak. I asked the German couple if they knew who Elvis was. They did and apparently he is big in Germany. But then again, so is David Hasselhoff. Elvis would have made a great kayaker. Everything is in your hips. I then did my best Elvis impersonation for the Germans. If you keep your torso straight up and down and allow your hips to take the energy out of wakes and waves that are coming from all angles, it is almost impossible to tip over. But the moment you start leaning over, you’ll be going for a swim – which on a hot day really isn’t that bad – and you’ll float like a message in a bottle because you’re wearing a PFD. And after some quick lessons on how to paddle it was time to go for it. I was a little concerned about taking somebody out on the lake who didn’t have the ability to use their legs, but I buried my apprehension under some more Elvis moves. The German gal helped her husband

get into his kayak, and I pulled him into the water, while she got herself in. Once in the water, I give a quick educational interpretation on the area. “In the late 1940’s, the Department of Reclamation decided to put up a series of dams along the Colorado River and demolition began on the canyon walls in 1956 in order to divert the river. In 1963, the last bucket of concrete was poured at Glen Canyon Dam. Glen Canyon began to fill up and later become Lake Powell. In 1980 the water levels hit full pool for the first time. There are more than 2,000 miles of shoreline and more than 8 trillion gallons of water in Lake Powell at full pool. Lake Powell named after a one-armed civil war officer who rafted the Colorado in 1860’s – John Wesley Powell. Enough of that, let’s kayak.” I’m curious by nature and fascinated by other cultures, so I ask my guests a lot of questions. Turned out that the Germans, who I would guess were in their late forties, are both medical doctors back home. I asked him if he had ever seen the show “House” and he replied that it was one of his favorite shows. The half-day tours last about three hours, and the three of us had more fun than should be legal. The German fellow would wave at the passing boats and say hello through the biggest smile

I have ever seen. That three-hour tour on the lake was more than just a guided adventure. None of the passing boats could see his legs or his situation – who needs legs to kayak anyway? For the first time in a long time, my new German friend was just like everybody else, and the boyish laughter coming out of him will forever be one of my most cherished experiences on the lake. Hidden Canyon Kayak and Kayak Lake Powell are the two local kayak tour companies here in Page. While both companies offer tours and rentals, they have each carved out unique adventures to fit their vision. Season after season, Hidden Canyon Kayak and Kayak Lake Powell have been satisfying the cravings of those who are attracted to the magnetic beauty of Lake Powell. These owner-operated, Grassroots companies maximize the time and enjoyment of their guests by showing them the hidden gems of the vast Glen Canyon area. Hidden Canyon is owned by three river guides who have spent most of their lives guiding adventure seekers around the Grand Circle of northern Arizona and southern Utah. Dave Panu, Clint Spahn and Craig Little’s true passion in life is to turn as many people on to the magic of the Lake Powell as possible, and at least

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one of them is on every trip they offer. “The majesty of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon is best experienced slowly. The ability to slowly soak in the beauty of this place is so much better on a kayak,” says Panu. Kayak Lake Powell is owned by Jim Bultman and Kat Jiminez. Bultman personally guides every tour, while his wife, Kat, who also is an attorney, manages the shop and the dayto-day operations of the company. Both companies have an adventure for everyone. For those who are new to kayaking or limited on time, they both offer half-day trips that paddle through the history and slots of Lone Rock Canyon. They have extremely stable sit-on-top kayaks in both singles and doubles. The tandem kayaks are twice as fast and quite the team-building experience for families and couples. Sea kayaks are also available for experienced paddlers. Kayak Lake Powell offers two half-day trips at Lone Rock: the sunrise and sunset tours. “Early mornings are the best because it is usually calm, quiet (motor boaters don’t get going right away), cooler, and the light is very nice. Sunsets are nice for many guests because the light is the best. There’s the sunset aspect, obviously, but it’s usually pretty quiet for the second half of the tour, and the sun isn’t as intense,” says Bultman. Hidden Canyon Kayak also offers two half-day tours a day out at Lone Rock as well, however, for those who like to sleep in or have dinner plans, Hidden Canyon Kayak’s tours hit the lake at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. “We offer a painless Lake Powell experience. We handle everything from the time you get on the boat to the time you get off; it’s just enjoyment. Everything is provided. You show up with your personal stuff and a sense of adventure and we handle everything else,” says Panu. And it’s not just a paddling excursion. Their trips include slickrock hikes to slot canyons and vantage points that are only accessible by kayak. Page is well known for Antelope Canyon’s stunning sandstone slot canyons, and by paddling in kayaks, guests get to experience slot canyons just as unique and beautiful as Antelope Canyon. The kayaks can squeeze between narrow passages larger boats can’t fit through, thus opening parts of the lake in total seclusion. The slot canyons spread out like fingers all over the lake and eventually transition into some of the most rarely done hikes around. Both companies offer full-day and multi-day kayaking adventures for those with a little more time and stamina. Hidden Canyon Kayak has a custom-made, 32foot, twin-engine pontoon boat that can carry up to 13 passengers and their kayaks on full-day, overnight and multi-day trips throughout Lake Powell. Hidden Canyon Kayak’s dual-motor, support boat gracefully roars deep into Lake Powell at top-speed. “We go to a lot of places people don’t know about, and they are gems of Lake Powell. The beauty of the full-day and multi-day tours are that you get a boat tour, a kayak experience, and you get to hike a slot canyon without having to change venues.” The support boat lets people relax in the sun if they are done paddling for the day, while others can continue to kayak with the crew nearby. Kayak Lake Powell also offers a broad range of overnight and multi-day trips. “We use motorboat shuttles and get dropped off, usually out in Padre Bay. Then we transfer everything into the kayaks and wave goodbye to the motorboat. You always have all your stuff with you, and it teaches the clients how to do it on their own someday, 46

as well as offering some route and itinerary flexibility. I also just like the way it feels to be self contained and not reliant on motors or civilization, even if it’s just for a short period of time. As Edward Abbey said, ‘Cutting the bloody cord, that’s what we feel, the delirious exhilaration of independence,’” Bultman says. The trips offered by Hidden Canyon Kayak and Kayak Lake Powell are all-inclusive and effortless. The guides will set up tents, sleeping pads and bags as well as a camp kitchen that cranks out some of the best meals in town. Kayak rentals are also available from Hidden Canyon Kayak and Kayak Lake Powell. Their staff will help you load the kayak on your vehicle and send you in the right direction for an awesome day at the lake.




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Horse Shoe Bend - Another of Mother Nature's little tricks


Gateway to Canyon Country Spring 2014  

An award-winning visitors guide to northern Arizona and southern Utah.

Gateway to Canyon Country Spring 2014  

An award-winning visitors guide to northern Arizona and southern Utah.