Page 1

Gateway

FREE

SPRING 2015

to Canyon Country

A guide to Page, Kanab and the Grand Circle

PRESERVING THE RUINS PETROGLYPHS TELL THE TALE

ESCALERA STREET

FATBIKES TAKE TO THE TRAIL

“Mini Wave” Page, Ariz.

DECADES OLD LEGEND

THE MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN CACHE


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2 Gateway to Canyon Country


One of the newest hotels in town. The Comfort Inn & SuitesÂŽ 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 InnÂŽ has the only indoor heated pool & Jacuzzi in Page!

Guests of the Comfort Inn & Suites will appreciate our many amenities including: t'SFFXJSFMFTTIJHITQFFE*OUFSOFUBDDFTT t#VTJOFTTDFOUFSt)FBUFEJOEPPSQPPM+BDV[[J t$PNQMJNFOUBSZIPUCSFBLGBTUt'JUOFTT3PPN

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Downtown Page, AZ The Rodeway InnÂŽ 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.

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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.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 3


Gateway 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/Editor lpcpub@lakepowellchronicle.com editor@lakepowellchronicle.com

Contributors Laurel Beesley Jackson Bridges Jamie Brough Steven Law Blake Tilker

Composing Marty Sisk marty@lakepowellchronicle.com Advertising Ed Pease ed@lakepowellchronicle.com Mary Ann Chilton maryann@lakepowellchronicle.com Andrea Skelton office@lakepowellchronicle.com Circulation Mike Nation

Down by the river at Lees Ferry in 2011.

I

Photo by Tonja Greenfield

Inner peace

n January 2011, I was working at our newspapers in Tucson when I was asked to go to Page to help out the newsroom staff. As I had never been to Page before, I asked the staff what is there is do around here on the weekend. And as you can see in this edition of the Gateway, there are a lot of things to do around here. One of them suggested going to Lees Ferry. Lees Ferry is about 42 miles from Page – just take US 89 heading south – if US 89 is open that is - it is scheduled to reopen on March 27, 2015. A 500-foot section of US 89 about 25 miles south of Page fell victim to a landslide in February 2013. Because of this landslide, the new 89T route was created. Lees Ferry is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. And according to nps.gov, it is also the only place within Glen Canyon where visitors can drive to the Colorado River in more than 700 miles of canyon country. Lees Ferry is a launching point for Grand Canyon river trips and is well always possible. It was a chilly February in 2013 when I first drove down to Lees Ferry. On the drive, you actually cross over the Colorado River on the Navajo Bridge.

Connect With Us: facebook.com/GatewaytoCanyonCountry facebook.com/LakePowellChronicle

Issuu.com/GatewaytoCanyonCountry

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com

pharmaceutical television ads. I parked at the Lees Ferry launch ramp and headed on down to sit and watch the river run. There was no one else around. Just the river and me. The sun was high in the sky, and as I sat down on a rock and just listened to the river, this sense of peace washed over me. I let the river wash away all my worries and stress and I just sat there in solitude. There are many places in the Grand Circle where one can find that sense of peace. Tell us about your experiences on our Facebook page – GatewaytoCanyonCountry. Tonja Greenfield Editor/Publisher

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 5


Canyon Country

Spring 2015

Ancient Times Page 46

Cover photo / Jackson Bridges Gateway to Canyon Country contributor Jackson Bridges took this photo of the “Mini Wave” located in Page. Read about his journey on page 8.

6 Gateway to Canyon Country


Page 20

Page 40

Page 44

Inside 8 20 24 27 28

“Mini Wave” Escalera Street View from the Top Lake Powell map Canyon Country map

29 30 32 33 36

Page area map City of Page map City of Kanab map Journey to the Past It’s Amazing

38 40 44 46 50

Panguitch Little Sahara ‘Round the Bend Preserving the Ruins Decades Old Legend

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 7


“MINI WAVE”

Talking about photography with jackson bridges story AND PHOTOS by BLAKE TILKER/SPECIAL TO THE GATEWAY

tracks and had you talking to yourself out loud. “Wow.” For the last three years I have been going along with Jackson as he chases down the sunsets, full moons, and high-desert weather events that cover the sandstone and canyons of the area. March started off on the tail end of a dying winter storm that dumped cold rain and wet snow all over the canyon lands of northern Arizona and southern Utah. And we knew this last blast of moisture would load the blooms of Spring that will eventually wrap the landscape like a Navajo blanket. Jackson Bridges has been zooming in on the seasons through the viewfinder of his camera in Page, Arizona for 20 years. “I came here on vacation and never left,” Jackson will tell you about his move to Page. At 77 years old, Jackson is exactly twice my age. His

was the smallest full moon of the year and said, “Come on over tonight, I have something I want to show you.” greeted me at the door and said Jackson would be back shortly. She was baking peanut butter cookies and the two of us had some wonderful small town, small talk. “Jack has really been overdoing it lately,” she said. “Have you seen his new haircut?” Jackson recently stumbled across a vantage point of nature between the gaps of development that has been hiding in plain sight along the borders of Page, and he spent the last two afternoons checking it out until the sun set.

his photos. They were the ones with the little gold signature on the bottom right. They were the ones that stopped you in your and that same young romance is still burning inside him. I have

8 Gateway to Canyon Country


seen him get so excited about the photograph he is about to take that he starts to drool. He blames it on the medication he end of Glen Canyon Dam, Jackson said, “People come to Page for Lake Powell, Antelope Slot Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. whole body relaxed under his safe return. “Hey, man. Long time, no see,” he said in between yawns.

but one slip and…” The hum of the dam and the crackle of power flowing He pulled his cameras out of the little red backpack he brings through the lines above became more and more audible as we on every adventure and started showing me some of the shots he brought home from his new spot. He was noticeably exhausted from his outing as he scrolled This place is cool, man. This could be good, not many clouds, the photos through the display windows on his camera. but plenty of shadows,” he said as he braced himself on a wall of sandstone and shuffled his way to the edge. minutes from here,” he said. When I pulled up to his driveway that next day, Jackson was looking for his sunglasses in his car. for other people. If you get a bunch of people here, somebody is “Hey, look at that,” he said. “I just found my other camera and going to fall. When you walk around the desert, you really have to watch your step. But I will never give this up,” he said as he We drove down Lake Powell Boulevard, crossed the 89, and took his camera out of his bag. onto Scenic View Drive. Just as the road began to turn curve left, Jackson told me to pull off to the right. Jackson put on his backpack and pulled his walking stick out of the car – it was asked while pointing towards the mesa the city of Page rests made from the stalk of a yucca, and the leather handle was well oiled from the sweat of countless adventures. a boyish laugh. “Page has been the most wonderful adventure heel on the sandstone. That could be nasty. I used to bounce souls.” around rocks like this. Not anymore,” he said. As slow as Jackson navigates the unruly sandstone of Page, His steps were slow and calculated. He plants his walking stick firmly and lifts one leg up to

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the next sandstone step. He counts to three and takes the next step and then repeats the process. see a shot at 60 mph, stop the

concerned about composition more than anything else. Here, Wave,� Jackson said. Right there, hiding on the outskirts of Page, was a sandstone formation that curled around itself like the infamous Wave. Hundreds of people line up at the Bureau in Kanab, Utah to enter the lottery, hoping to win a permit during the daily drawing for the Wave. The BLM only hands out 10 walk-in permits a day, a $100 bill blowing down Lake Powell Blvd. than you are at winning the Wave lottery. edge is a bit of a scramble no matter how old you are, and when we reached it, Jackson

Jackson and I sat down on a sandstone shelf and he started taking his pulse at his

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 11


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Jackson would point out colors and most people would Photo by

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neck. Being a first responder I took his radial pulse at his wrist. “143?” Jackson said laughing. His beats per minute were 88, regular and strong. “I probably told this before…” he said and then paused for a

By the way, look to the left at the ridgeline. Those bushes are glowing.” The sun was low and setting. The color of the sandstone was on fire. what I was going to say,” Jackson continued. Jackson then started talking about image processing software like Photoshop and Lightroom. And even though

postproduction software. he is going to have to take some chances. I do it my way. If I get it, I get it,” he said. Jackson is a Nikon guy. One of his cameras is a $479 bundle including the lens.

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said. Jackson bounced around the “Mini Wave” and took some shots like a little kid waiting for Christmas. He would point out colors and light anomalies that most people would walk right by. “A kid once asked me what she should be taking pictures

merely suggestions. The most important thing in photography you say about it goes away,” he said. We started hiking back to the car before it got dark. Jackson bent down, picked up a rock, examined it for a second and said, “Hmm,” and then put it back. “So, what do you think of my place

of a poker player who has a full house.

where it takes me. I love photography… and singing,” Jackson said.

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ESCALERA STREET FATBIKES TAKE TO THE TRAIL story AND PHOTOS by BLAKE TILKER/SPECIAL TO THE GATEWAY

They look like something Mad Max would use to escape Tina

Page is known for her undulating curves of sandstone canyons and abstract rock formations that take your breath would ride to the grocery store for a cheap bottle of Canadian away like a beautiful woman sitting in the dim light of a dive bar. whiskey. Where there is sandstone, there is also sand‌ and lots of The sand pits of Page and the surrounding area have also been the one obstacle for mountain bikers wanting to push their

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20 Gateway to Canyon Country


adventure beyond the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail is a 12-mile, single-track carnival ride that roller hard packed and flowy, but once you point the front tire of your mountain bike off the Rim Trail, prepare to dump handfuls of a-biking your way back to the trail. Send in the clowns. Fatbikes have gigantic balloon tires – up to five-inches wide – that resemble something NASA sent to the moon. The wide tires combined with low pressure and meaty knobs have a footprint that floats on sand like Bigfoot wearing snowshoes,

Fatbikes were once dismissed by the bicycle industry as a fad when they started popping up in the early 2000s. The custom mountain clown bikes had a price tag that rivaled a used AMC Gremlin with wood paneling and spinner rims. However, the fad has now become a new subculture of cycling that embraces what mountain biking is all about. Mountain biking has always been about riding all the way to the horizon and exploring the perpetual adventure hiding there. Fatbikes are now being mass-produced by almost every bicycle manufacturer, which has dropped the price and made them realistically affordable to everyone... even out-of-season kayak guides. If someone owns a kayak, they probably have a mountain „~…Û?a_`oYqۅ†çGY_]•Û8Qۅƒ‡‡ÛÝÛ~¤†…¤ƒ†€¤‡€‡„ Call today to schedule your rental! Tour Lake Powell with a UTV Rental ...

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each having rules about biking. Another roadblock. So we bought maps and over a couple of beers, we zeroed in on what would become the second coming of mountain biking in the area. It was just west of the small town of Greenehaven, Ariz., where miles of unmarked dirt and sandy roads create a maze of confusion. But one of those roads led to the edge of a Navajo Sandstone shelf that towered above the wash 200 feet below, and it went on for miles. three, now we have a gang.” The fat tires gripped the sandstone shelf like Velcro and The Rim Trail is awesome… the first 200 times you do it. coincidently enough sounded like it, too. It was like riding an Now we are riding all those places we tried before where the escalator down the fins and curls of slickrock that opened up sand was fierce and impassable like a Siberian roadblock. We into another set of rock waves at every turn. pushed the boundaries, literally. We have spent hours out there, pushing it a littler bit farther We found ourselves crossing boundaries like the city of Page, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management – We looked up how to say “escalator” in Spanish, and from that we were mountain biking the area and exhausting every last attempt to find just a little more. While guiding a kayak trip on Lake Powell, my co-worker said that he finally pulled the trigger on a fatbike, and as he paddled off, the ripple of what he said turned into a wave that changed mountain biking as we knew it in Page. I bought one.

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ourselves. I regularly take the wrong fork in the dirt road trying gets back to the roots of exploring by bicycle, which is much like the kid who gets his first dose of freedom the day the training wheels came off. There are a few places in Page that rent fatbikes. The bicycle mechanics at Monkey Wrench Adventures are friendly neighbors. And if the sun is shining and sweeping the clouds away, these guys can send you to where the trails are sweet. and play…

For Your Health Care Needs... Away From Home!

Canyonlands Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

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467 Vista Ave., Page, AZ 22 Gateway to Canyon Country

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Even on a cloudy, or rainy day, the Scenic Viewpoint offers a landscape of vibrant colors.

VIEW FROM THE TOP a couple of free and easy things to do in page story AND PHOTOS by Gateway to canyon country staff

Located almost directly in the middle of the Grand Circle of National Parks, the city of Page offers easy access to some of the most astounding natural wonders in the American Southwest, including the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce National Parks, Monument Valley, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and of course the majestic Lake Powell. What visitors to the Page-Lake Powell region might not realize is that many other fascinating attractions lie almost right under their feet, either right in town or perhaps just a few miles away. Some of these, such as Upper and Lower Antelope other notable attractions in the Page area are free to the public or carry only a nominal admission cost, and can be visited in an hour or less. Here are two reasons to spend at least one of your vacation days in Page, or maybe even add an extra one. Scenic Viewpoint

available, but to see the best views visitors need to follow a path down to the actual lookout point. The path has handrails, and steps are carved intermittently into the sandstone to make for easier walking. The viewpoint offers a couple of benches and a partially enclosed viewing area to protect against sun and rain. During and after storms, the cliffs above the river come alive with river below. Photographers in search of even better shots can easily climb beyond the brick-wall barrier that separates the viewing area from the cliff ledges, but they do so at their own risk, especially during wet weather. There are relatively safe perches from which to snap breathtaking shots of the dam or climbing. Visitors should use their own best judgment, since of whatever predicament their exploration plunges them into.

restaurant on U.S. 89, and it offers a truly spectacular view of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River gorge. Take Scenic

24 Gateway to Canyon Country

wall, Scenic Viewpoint makes for an invigorating little side trip, one that can be completed in less than one hour. U.S. 89 Scenic Overlook


hiking or exploring options of other nearby attractions, but visitors who are just looking for a place to relax and enjoy a splendid view of Lake Powell and the surrounding mesas will want to check it out. Take U.S. 89 north over Glen Canyon Bridge and past the Arizona Department of Transportation substation. Keep driving for about a mile, until you reach a road on the right side of the highway. Follow this paved road for about a half-mile to reach a level parking area. There is a covered viewing area with benches for those who wish to avoid the sun; otherwise, the ground and open sky beckon. Since the overlook is situated on a hill surrounded by steep inclines, and because there are no trails

do besides soak up the atmosphere and maybe have a picnic. But the soaking up this atmosphere may take a few hours.

The U.S 89 Scenic Overlook offers a panoramic view of Lake Powell.

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Navajo Owned & Operated by Carolene Ekis

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Antelope Canyon

Antelope Island

Wahweap Bay

Highway 89 to Flagstaff is currently closed. See detour maps for the new 89T on pages 20 and 21.

Colorado River

Glen Canyon Dam

Hwy 89 to Kanab, Utah

Wahweap Marina

Navajo Canyon

Warm Creek Bay

West Canyon

Last Chance Bay

Hole-InThe-Rock

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

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

Lake Powell


28 Gateway to Canyon Country

214 78 401 275 434 201 247 365 203 121 145 92 381 161 119

202 321 283 357 206 169 287 125 137 301 261 520 303 211

321 68 77 268 331 197 64 79 204 78 202 278 203 380 126 196 318 151 74 67 21 303 88 41

559 199 484 111 40 162 278 216 299 408 318 397

447 189 230 464 524 356 186 168 268 275 283 203 559 595 77 407 525 365 272 225 182 413 110 153

149 431 393 221 122 285 427 445 365 434 357 380 199 595 518 89 158 161 232 419 401 380 461 420

376 121 162 388 450 282 119 101 307 201 206 126 484 77 518 330 447 288 191 148 105 336 36 76

118 163 126 269 217 394 284 242

122 238 256 339 368 410 363

214 242 230 133 192 246 239 257 140 203 125 151 162 365 161 288 163 122 61 226 172 435 239 200

285 149 151 204 262 262 174 154 136 121 137 74 278 272 232 191 126 238 61 141 91 376 153 115

291 35 24 340 320 144 32 50 267 145 301 67 216 225 419 148 269 256 226 141

342 101 107 299 352 219 97 115 205 92 261 21 299 182 401 105 217 339 172 91 88

238 250 260 580 304 224 253 250 503 381 520 303 408 413 380 336 394 368 435 376 376 324

341 85 126 383 414 246 88 53 273 161 303 88 318 110 461 36 284 410 239 153 115 67 303

88 236 324 115 67 303 74 62 309 43

ZION N.P., UT

ST. GEORGE, UT

SALT LAKE CITY, UT

PIPE SPRINGS, NM

PANGUITCH, UT

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

PAGE, AZ

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

NAVAJO, NM

MESQUITE, NV

MESA VERDE, N.P., CO

LAS VEGAS, NV

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

NATURAL BRIDGES, NM

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

425 298 292 257 439 312 295 313 78 214

MONUMENT VALLEY, UT

322 176 313 79 263 168 445 101 295 317 257 154 50 115 250 53 59

399 161 155 347 409 275 158 176 208

KANAB, UT

419 292 302 181 282 277 304 322

GRAND CANYON S. RIM

288 32 78 365 354 199 21

GRAND CANYON N. RIM

FLAGSTAFF, AZ

249 62 145 285 331 350 179 5 294 327 120 56 175 551 351 175 230 352 551 230 178 351 352 178 365 354 199 21 181 282 277 304 347 409 275 158 257 439 312 295 268 331 197 64 210 116 123 245 404 524 356 186 221 122 285 427 388 450 282 119 171 145 196 277 185 81 147 299 133 192 246 239 204 262 262 174 340 320 144 32 299 352 219 97 580 304 224 253 353 414 246 88 298 372 204 93

CEDAR CITY, UT

CEDAR BREAKS N.P., UT

CAPITOL REEF, N.P., UT

CANYONLANDS, UT

278 270 56 56 331 294 350 327 179 120 5 56 32 78 292 302 161 155 298 292 68 77 248 223 189 230 431 393 121 162 280 278 301 284 242 230 149 151 35 24 101 107 250 260 85 126 90 84

CANYON DE CHELLY, NM

BRIANHEAD, UT

278 270 249 62 145 285 288 419 399 425 321 168 447 149 376 159 129 214 285 291 342 238 341 328

BRYCE CANYON N.P.,UT

ARCHES N.P., MOAB, UT ARCHES N.P., MOAB, UT BRIANHEAD, UT BRYCE CANYON N.P.,UT CANYON DE CHELLY NM CANYONLANDS, UT CAPITOL REEF N.P., UT CEDAR BREAKS N.P., UT CEDAR CITY, UT FLAGSTAFF, AZ GRAND CANYON N. RIM GRAND CANYON S. RIM KANAB, UT LAKE POWELL, HITE MARINA LAS VEGAS, NV MESA VERDE N.P., CO MESQUITE, NV MONUMENT VALLEY, UT NATURAL BRIDGES NM NAVAJO NM PAGE, AZ PANGUITCH, UT PIPE SPRINGS NM SALT LAKE CITY, UT ST. GEORGE, UT ZION N.P., UT

328 90 84 298 372 204 93 59 241 119 211 41 397 153 420 76 242 363 200 115 74 62 309 43


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C

San Francisco Rd.

Haul Rd.

4

. Osprey Dr

Newburn

Manson Rd.

Rd.

Cach

e Rd.

Falcon Ct.

I

Page Public Library

C e meter y

Elk Rd. Golden Eagle Ct.

Hawk Ct.

Hau l Rd.

H a u l Rd.

Piute Ct.

Bass Ct.

Packer Ct.

Cliff Ct.

Coppermine Rd.

Manson Rd.

::

::

street index

Bonita Rd. W

Aztec St.

O’Neil Loop

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.

To Antelope Point Marina Navajo Generating Station & Kayenta, AZ

98 To Flagstaff, AZ

Bonita St.

Amado St.

::

Amado Rd. W

98

printing

Azure Rd.

lake powell

C Sunset St.

San Francisco Rd.

98

5

Shetland

Pinto Rd.

Bonita Loop

Amand Cir.

Cameron St.

Sunset Rd. W

Mustang Rd.

To Horseshoe Bend

B uckeye Dr.

t.

Clydesdale Rd.

89

Ct. Lakeside

Newburn Rd.

d.

Kaibab Rd.

89

ke P owe ll Blv

Granada

S. La

t. Diane C

Village D

St.

F

5

Ct.

ve. Cheryl A

A

spe n

3

St.

Ave. Sage Ave.

ak S. L

k St.

r. jo D

E

2

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a S. Nav

El Mirage St. S. 9th Av

S. Navajo Dr.

e.

2nd Ave.

Tower Butte Ave. Cll Hermosa

e.

C e d a r S t.

. Colorado St

Willow St.

e.

. Ave 5th t. eS

r. jo D

John C. Page Park Dat

Sage Ave.

e. th Av S. 9

. lvd

Av 7th

B ell

Av 8th

Pow

El

t.

t. mS

S t.

Birch St .

Tamarisk St.

Vermilion Ave.

Tower Butte Ave.

e Lak

E lm

Pondersoa St.

Red

sa Ave. Me

Crestview

S.

va

rS

Fi

ve. tA

S.

Na

Dat eS t.

Redrock St.

oise Ave. Turqu

. Ave

4th Ave.

Gum St. 1s

Cypress Ave.

Driftwood

Ave .

Spruce

S. 7t h

6th

N. Navajo Dr.

United States Post Office

10th St.

Juniper Ave.

Thunderbird Ave.

e Dr.

89

ATM

Gunsight St.

Aero Ave.

Glen Canyon Dr.

Pop lar S t.

8

Park Golf Course

Golliard Park

N. 10th Ave.

Gramdview St.

Eagl

School

Dr.

Church

0 th A ve.

Grandview St.

Lake Powell National Golf

N. 1

Castle Rock St.

Fire Station

A

on Glen Cany

R

. Ave

Page Municipal Airport

te Dr.

Police Station

th

. Plateau Ct

Ct.

n scala re E Pad

Clubhouse Dr.

Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

Urgent Care

Ct.

t St. Gunsigh

N Lake Powell Blvd.

Page Hospital

D Westview r.

e Butt

w St.

Lake Access

B

e. h Av 12t

Ave.

e Grandvi

13th

.

t. 13th C

. 15th Ave ve . 14th A

Marinas

14th Av e

Dr.

89

Scenic Overlooks

1 6th Ave.

Ave .

Dr.

Mesa

Pu e blo

Visitors’ Centers

2

4

17th Ave.

W. View Dr.

18th Ave.

. iew St

Dr.

20th

Grandv

19th Ave.

N. Navajo Dr.

jo N. Nava

Must See

1

D

. 20th Ave

To Glen Canyon Dam Wahweap Marina & Kanab, UT

KEY

C


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:

www.VisitSouthernUtah.com

1-800-733-5263


The Terrace

Jackson Flat Reservoir Kanab Airport

Kaneplex

uth o S

ern Uta

h

Office of Tourism & Film Commission

www.VisitSouthernUtah.com 32 Gateway to Canyon Country

www.VisitSouthernUtah.com

78 South 100 East

Kanab, Utah 84741

(800) 733-5263


Photo courtesy of

JOURNEY TO THE PAST KANAB’S HERITAGE MUSEUM COVERS LOCAL HISTORY story and photos by Laurel Beesley/special to the gateway

Visiting the Heritage Museum in Kanab, Utah is like walking to be several centuries old. The little museum is a jam-packed repository of artifacts and photos going as far back as to include pre-historic dinosaur doggedly forward through the history of the earliest native movie making in Kanab. It is a true blast from the past with many resonant echoes. Cabinets and cases, walls of mesmerizing portraits, maps and terrain sketches from the John Wesley Powell expedition, a world map carved out of a pine log and items that passed through the hands of Buffalo Bill, Zane Grey, and other personalities door before encountering a dizzying collection of invaluable and fascinating memorabilia. Nearly hiding against the back wall is the Judd Collection of ancient Native American artifacts, dating over 1,100 years old, made by ancient Ancestral Puebloan peoples; an assortment of finely preserved bone scrapers, well-deserving placement in any major museum. “Kane County was founded by hard-working survivalists,” explains Historian and Curator Deanna Glover. Glover, a devoted collector and curator, is also an avid storyteller and her stories span the entire complex history of the museum. “I had to get this museum started because my personal collection of items saved from our pioneer heritage was threatening to take over my home,” she finally admits. In 1999, Glover “grew tired of looking at the portraits of

all those old biddies on my wall,” and pursued the eventual occupation of the historic old Kanab City Library, officially naming the place a historic museum. The collection continued to grow as Glover contacted local residents and personally interest. Led by her enthusiasm, the local thrift store began calling her as local residents dropped off other miscellaneous hair, brought to the thrift store with a personal letter explaining its significance; examples of classic horse hair braiding; and photographs, diaries, even poems and songs written by earlier as complete a history of Kane County, and early Southwestern Utah, as is likely to be found. During the day, various town residents drop into the little museum and add their stories to the ones Glover is already explaining today that, “The photographer John Hillers was

was fired, Hillers gladly jumped in.” Hillers, now probably one of the most significant documentary photographers in early American history, eventually left behind what may be one of the most striking visual records of the rapidly changing cultural life of the 19th century. His work in this amazing little museum includes some early landscape work, but of greater significance is his later work documenting the Kaibab Paiutes. Among the

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 33


last Native Americans to come into sustained contact with white settlers, the Kaibab Paiutes named Hillers “Myself in the Water,” a statement on how they saw their images in his photos reflected back to them as from the surface of river water. The history of photography, and other historic people continues. Crowded across the back wall is the Pioneer Portrait Gallery where the stern 19th century portraits of many, if not Stiff, unsmiling, occasionally bemused or even beguiling, the expressions vary as much as the family stories behind them. Watching them look back at you, you have to wonder why their expressions are usually pained, stilted. Glover explains, “Traveling photographers, accompanied by their props and cumbersome cameras, would pose their subjects. That was the easy part. Not so easy was holding people perfectly still during the long exposure so they often had they smiling? Just think of the insufferable dental problems of that era.” Speaking of shooting the past, notebooks of well-organized chronological and subject-filed photographs fill dozens of Historical Collection notebooks sitting in the middle of the room. In 1918, all the proud parents of new babies born in Kane County received the gift of a free Brownie Box camera, setting off a storm of photographic activity freezing history in black and white. Woolley driving the first automobile to the Grand Canyon, later titled in newspapers as “The 3 MPH Adventure.” The automobile eventually had to be rescued by a horse team. Other fun photos document generations of Rodeo Queens, local cowhands, and

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34 Gateway to Canyon Country


all the bravado of life out west. A photo on one wall shows Daniel Boone holding children during a break in filming; another photo is of a show-off local wrangler grinning as he mimics the famous “Hi Ho Silver” on his own rearing horse. What is the purpose behind all this conscientious collecting? The artifacts tell a story of origins, testifying to those who came before. The photographs are evidence, a pictorial representation preserving the history of many proud and determined western peoples throughout several eras. Family history, cultural

a pioneer heritage museum but there is much from Utah and found myself mesmerized by the seemingly endless stories here.” So, slow down, take the time to play detective and turn back the pages of time in a place where countless clues are waiting. The Kanab Heritage Museum is located at

town run by an all-women council), television Glover and movie history. Artifacts, and photographs are our best storytellers. Sketches, letters, journals and diaries, maps, and even songs fill in many of the gaps, refreshing our regional and national history. “We need to preserve the history of those who made it possible to live here; people seldom understand how terribly difficult it was in the beginning – and what spirit the earliest people had to have,” stressed Glover, her commitment to that preservation evident. No wonder so many people from all around our country, and even foreign visitors, enjoy this fascinating little treasure chest

May 1-Sept. 30, museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Bus tours are welcome, please call in advance. Admission is free; personal copies of photographs in the collection are available on a limited basis. For more information, visit www.kanabheritagemuseum.

www.xpressrentalcarofkanab.com

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www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 35


IT’S AMAZING 9TH ANNUAL EVENT CONNECTS WITH NATURAL WORLD story and photos by Laurel Beesley/special to the gateway

The third week of May, every year in Kanab, the vast landscapes; sharing their creativity in a public presentation Canyonlands of Southern Utah and the Colorado Plateau are celebrated in an astounding festival providing over 60 outdoor presentation of highly informative and well-led hikes, horse a different kind of experience with the power to inspire and rides and bike rides through many of the most stunning places within this region. BLM led Rangers will take people on a 3-Prize Hike, combining three destinations in one astounding day; see to unforgettable learning, discovery and artistic events that are dino tracks, pictographs and a great botanical landscape. Other family-friendly and largely free. This outdoor events will soon be posted. Keeping within its tradition of fine celebrating land and life on the Colorado Plateau. Plenty of special outdoor a stunning exclusive performance by activities led by experts, accompanied by the Paradigm Trio, featuring chamber workshops by renowned contemporary music by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, landscape artists, photography tours Mendelssohn, Paganini, Piazzolla and and workshops , and live jazz music other great classical composers. Three stellar players include Linda Ghidossipart of what is going to happen at the DeLuca, violin, Joel Rosenberg, viola and Christopher Giles, piano. This is not your ordinary run of the Kanab also embraces Jazz. On Saturday, May 16, the closing day of the mission driven festival that includes arts, culture, entertainment, outdoor adventure and documentary film. perform a live concert featuring original Festival Founder and Director Rich Csenge says, “Our mission to spread National Parks, Forests, Monuments and Public Lands, as well as other wellLands through our festival supports loved jazz standards. Starting at 7 p.m., at Kanab High School Auditorium, this to promote good stewardship for the music will get you swinging and touch Colorado Plateau. Together we will your spirit. inspire the crucial insight necessary for In their latest CD, Color Country, Brian future generations to carry this message forward. Our collective impact will place in southern Utah is passed down to our children and grandchildren.” Science, ethics, astronomy, public lands management, backcountry exploration and sustainable living are hot topics who loves art will have the opportunity to gather at the Maynard Dixon Studios and Bingham Gallery in Mt. Carmel, Utah gorgeous sandstone alcove at Best Friends Animal Society, with landscape artists will be meeting here for a serious plein-art, Co-Founder of Best Friends, addressing the topic of transitioning meaning wet paint, as in just off the canvas, extravaganza of to sustainable lifestyles. painting. More than 30 well-known oil painters and watercolorists will be producing original works, open to the public for viewing and first Artist in Residence in photography. Through a competitive sales. How many times can you possibly imagine dropping in as process developed by the Bureau of Land Management, a a canvas leaves the rack, and buy an astounding world-class couple from North Carolina, James and Jennifer Tarpley, www. landscape with the original artist by your side? For full details, visiophotography.com, has been awarded the honor of being visit www.Thunderbirdfoundation.org. For further information contact Festival Director Rich Csenge recently completed a residency at Rocky Mountain National Park, will now continue their dedication to our National Parks festival events.

36 Gateway to Canyon Country


Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah Junction of Scenic Byways US 89 & SR 9 Hours: 7 am - 11 pm Zion Nation Park - 12 miles Bryce Canyon - 60 miles Grand Canyon - 85 miles

Restaurant (435) 648-2262 Golf Course (435) 648-2188 Gift Shop (435) 648-2203 (ext. 5)

www.ZionNational-Park.com


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38 Gateway to Canyon Country


Panguitch, Utah, the largest and most historic town in the Bryce Canyon area, was named by the Paiute Indians after the Quitch). 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

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.

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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

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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.

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LITTLE SAHARA MILLENNIA OF WIND EROSION FORMS SAND DUNES story AND PHOTOS by JAMIE BROUGH/STAFF

Tucked away seven miles west of Kanab and surrounded junipers, the aptly named Coral Pink Sand Dunes almost look as if they were blown overseas from the Sahara Desert. So dubbed for their soft reddish hue, the rolling sands occupy 89 and southwest of Zion National Park. They are the result of millennia of wind erosion on the surrounding Navajo Sandstone cliffs. A natural phenomenon

and Moccasin Mountains, depositing the sand particles in the valley floor below. Their formation is estimated to have taken place 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Consistent winds through the area continually shape

40 Gateway to Canyon Country

the mounds and wisp sand away in real time. You may find footprints you left near the start of a hike have been blown away by the time you return. The largest mounds are often scarred – though temporarily with the tracks of off-highway vehicles. Wind flow into the area you will easily find pristine waves in the sand alongside prime photography opportunities. Visitor traffic is often dictated by season and many guests choose the area for its top-notch off-roading opportunities. Roughly 90 percent of the park is open to vehicles, which is also shared by foot traffic; so if you have hiking and photography in mind, always keep an eye and ear out for flying objects. One potential activity not mentioned enough in tour guides of the area is the potential for sand boarding and sand sledding. Bare skateboard decks or generic plastic sleds from hardware


www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 41


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stores can fill that need for speed for those without the means or budget for OHVs. Also, be on the lookout for the Coral Pink tiger beetle – a species of beetle found nowhere else on earth except within the park. The little guys are about half an inch long with tannish and green reflective coloration. Often feeding on smaller endemic insects and arthropods, the beetles hold their title well and sport a set of very discernible and powerful jaws. The 10 percent, or 370 acres, of area inaccessible to off-road vehicles is a marked conservation refuge intended for the beetles and the numerous species of plants susceptible to damage from OFV activity. Approximately 87 percent of the beetles are believed to live within its boundaries and entomologists predict populations have been on the rise since 2011. as they thrive most during monsoon seasons. Melted snowpack in the spring months can also leave large puddles around the area that attract amphibians and other wildlife. To get to the dunes, travel northwest along US Highway 89 until reaching Kanab. Continue northwest on 89 towards Mount Caramel Junction and Zion. Hang a left on Hancock Road when you approach a sign marking the dunes. After approximately 10 miles, take another left onto Coral Pink Sand Dunes Road until As it is an official state park, daily rates of $8 per noncommercial vehicle apply. Campsites are also available at varying rates and can be booked ahead of time. For more information on the park, reservations, and other state parks in


44 Gateway to Canyon Country


‘Round the Bend Just incase you haven’t gone already story by BLAKE TILKER/sPECIAL TO THE GATEWAY photo by tonja greenfield/staff

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.

www.GatewaytoCanyonCountry.com 45


PRESERVING THE RUINS PETROGLYPHS TELL THE TALE story AND PHOTOS by STEVEN LAW/STAFF

We cross through the shallow river, climb up onto a sandy hill,

“This is Antelope Ruin,” she tells me. “And right up there are the petroglyphs.” We step out of the Jeep into the brisk air of a March morning. I smell juniper smoke, blowing our way from nearby Navajo habitation. We are in the bottom of Canyon de Chelly. The cliff on our right is still in shadow; it tilts slightly forward like a calving glacier. The cliff wall on our left – in full morning sunlight – is tannish-orange. Streaks of desert varnish flow down its face from the top, like growing at the base of the cliff cast their early morning shadows onto the wall like gray ghost vines. The Navajo tapestry and the This is my second day in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. I spent yesterday up on the rim admiring the visit, and the trees are just starting to bud, the grass just starting to grow. In another month this canyon will be bursting with color.

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I sling my camera bag onto my shoulder and follow my guide down a sandy trail, and across a footbridge on our way to get a closer look at Antelope Ruin and the petroglyphs that give it its name. I pass through some Cottonwood trees, their pale gray bark is the same color as their pale gray shadows. On the far side of the Cottonwoods I get a close up view of the ruins which were built by the Ancestral Puebloans. As far as ruins go these are comparatively small. This is just a small compound with half a dozen rooms built at the base of the cliff wall. A Navajo family lives in a house nestled among Cottonwood trees two Frisbee throws away. Many national parks which feature Anasazi ruins allow visitors to get right up to, and even enter, some of its ruins. This is the not the case in Canyon de Chelly. All the ruins, which could be accessed by visitors, are protected by

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Little Sheep, in the early 1800s.

fences, to help preserve their fragile walls and floors. After viewing the ruins we continue a little farther on the trail to the petroglyph panel. The panel contains several pictographs of vague animal shapes, which could be sheep or deer or even beetles. But it also contains two pictographs of what are very obviously pronghorn antelope. The shape and coloration are

Navajo Tribal Trust of the Navajo Nation, and cooperatively managed with the National Park Service. The canyon got its

for the canyon Tsegi, which means “inside the rock.” The park is visited by about 850,000 people a year, and they will find numerous recreational opportunities waiting for them. The most popular activity is visiting the 10 overlooks along the rim view drives. Canyon de Chelly National Monument actually

vaguer shapes were made by Anasazi artists, but the pronghorn pictographs were made by a Navajo artist named Dibe Yazhi Monument Canyon, and Canyon del Muerto. The three canyons were carved by streams originating in the Chuska Mountains. At the mouth of the canyon, near the town of Chinle, Ariz., the Victoria Begay. She is the owner of Changing Woman Tours. canyon walls are only about 30 feet high. At their deepest, near Her business is located at the mouth of Canyon de Chelly, Spider Rock and Mummy Cave, they rise to a height of 1,000 feet. where her family has lived, as she puts it, “since the Navajo first The South Rim Drive has seven overlooks along Canyon de came here.” Chelly. The North Rim Drive has three overlooks along Canyon We return to the Jeep and continue deeper into the canyon. del Muerto. The overlook areas have been chosen either because Begay is very knowledgeable and personable. As she drives they overlook Anasazi ruins or a spot along the canyon that is along over the sandy hills and through the stream – its edges particularly scenic. Many visitors to Canyon de Chelly are surprised to discover geology, and the history of the many people who have called this place home for the last 4,500 years, interweaving modern as well as inside the canyon. Navajo families still cultivate corn, archaeology and anthropology with Navajo beliefs, myths and alfalfa and peach orchards and graze sheep, goats, cattle and traditional stories. She tells a beautiful story. horses in the canyon.

Over 2700 archaeological sites

With over 700 standing ruins

de Chelly, which is bordered by green cottonwood trees. Visitors can hike from the rim down to the canyon floor at White House Ruin. This is the only place where visitors are allowed to hike without a guide. Several more adventures await inside the canyon. Visitors can take hiking tours, Jeep tours and horseback tours. But, because the land is still owned and lived on by Navajo families, tourists must hire a guide. The guides are either park service rangers or native Navajo whose families have lived in the canyon for various scenic stops. A full list of guides can be found by Googling Canyon de Chelly

48 Gateway to Canyon Country


of them.

removed the Navajo out of Canyon de Chelly. Those who canyondechelly_tours.htm People have lived in the Canyon de Chelly region – on its Fort Sumner, an event now known as the Long Walk, during rims and in its canyons – with only a few interruptions for the which scores of Navajo died from thirst, hunger and fatigue along the way. They were allowed to return to Canyon de Chelly in 1868. any permanent homes, but archaeologists have found remains They returned to find their sheep, Hogans and orchards had of their camps and some of their pictographs and petroglyphs on been destroyed. With so few resources available, they faced the canyon walls. starvation again. But they recovered, again planting crops and Following the Archaic people, Canyon de Chelly was inhabited by the Basketmaker people who relied more on farming than and began making blankets which they traded at trading posts hunting and gathering. They built compounds, granaries and for food and other supplies. In this era they also became expert silversmiths, also trading their silver goods at the trading posts. small hamlets scattered throughout the canyon floor. The Ancestral Puebloans, often called Anasazi, occupied the area after the Basketmakers. It was the Puebloans who built the multi-storied villages, compounds, and ceremonial kivas that as the Basketmakers had done, and also began to cultivate cotton for weaving, and raised turkeys for food. They left the area

When the Anasazi left the area about 700 years ago another small group either moved into the area, or remained behind. This group grew into the Hopi, who lived in the area for about 300 years. The Hopi were pushed out of the region by the Navajo people about 400 years ago. The Navajo, who call themselves Dine, brought with them sheep and goats. They also cultivated trading with the Spanish in the 1500s. In 1863 the US Army, led by Colonel Kit Carson, forcibly

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DECADES OLD LEGEND MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN CACHE story AND PHOTOS by STEVEN LAW/STAFF

A mysterious camp, a missing person, and an improbable Monument. I first heard about the Hidden Cache a couple years ago from a friend of mine. the Grand Staircase somewhere?” He asked me. No, I had not heard of the Hidden Cache. However improbable and illogical it seemed that there had been a World War II Nazi curiosity.

it from someone else. But I was intrigued. I started asking park rangers, desert tour guides, cattle ranchers and other desert rats about it. Most of them had heard about it.

But none of them had been there or knew where it was located. Gold. Any small bits of information I heard about it were wrapped To me it made absolutely no sense to station a German spy in in rumor, mystery, conspiracy theory and a lot of sentences that the middle of the Colorado Plateau. What could a spy possibly do or observe that would be of any use to the Nazi war effort? found German radios and uniforms there.” But many I talked to had their own ideas about what a spy might accomplish out there in the middle of nowhere, some of which actually sounded legitimate. Some speculated it was a antenna, he could listen in on US military radio transmissions and possibly learn about such things as shipbuilding in San Diego or troop movements in Texas, among other things. Another person I talked to hypothesized that he was there to chart the progress of the nuclear bomb by observing nuclear detonations in the Nevada desert which would have been Full service facility!! All makes & models We service RV coach interiors & under the hood: Fridges, a/c, water heater and more.

high points. about the Hidden Cache just made it more intriguing to me. The whole thing sounded like the premise of a Dirk Pitt novel. I continued to gather bits of information about it and I felt like I was slowly circling in on it.

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Finally, after two years of gathering information, I felt like I had narrowed the coordinates down enough to go look for it. My wife, brother-in-law and his girlfriend and I drove part way up Cottonwood Road, and parked at the spot where the road meets the Paria Box. My best information said it was in a narrow canyon called Cottonwood Wash between the Cockscomb and Yellowrock, tucked in against a wall. Armed with some topo maps and canteens we set out to find find it. But, later, we would learn that we had come very close. Recently, having gathered some more finely-tuned

50 Gateway to Canyon Country


information, I set out to find it again. This time I was joined by Big Water, Utah residents, Wright and Rourke Short. We parked first time I came looking for it. We shrugged into our daypacks, which were filled with canteens and sandwiches. I tucked the topo maps into the pocket of my cargo shorts and we followed a narrow, muddy trail into a thick stand of willows that pressed on us tighter than yoga pants as we pushed through it. It was one of those beautiful spring days that make you happy you live in Page. The temperature was a wonderful 65 degrees. Sunny. The sky as blue as Havasu Creek, with a pale crescent moon, like a half-ring imprint of dribbled cream left by the milk saucer. The trail passed out of the tight willows and dropped off the bank onto a spongy, dead-grass shoulder of riverbed. We brushed off the willow pollen which stuck to our shirts like gosling down. We followed the banks of the Paria River until we reached the section known as The Box, a cleft in the cliff wall where the river cuts through the Cockscomb. My latest information, coming from an old wilderness guide, said to proceed into The Box 300 paces, and then look for a talus-filled chute in the right first blades of grass, less than an inch tall and spaced out like cliff wall. Wright counted our paces as we entered The Box. doll hair, pushing up through the warm, spring-damp soil. We crossed and re-crossed the shallow Paria river several times as we progressed deeper. but I did see one of the metal buildings of the Hidden Cache. hundred.� “There it is,� I said, pointing. We were encouraged when we reached 300 paces and, The box was gray. Made of galvanized metal. About the width looking to our right, we saw a talus chute in the cliff wall. and length of a coffin and as tall as two coffins stacked atop “This looks promising,� I said to Wright and Rourke. each other. It was balanced across two flat-topped sandstone They agreed. boulders, I think in an effort to keep it level. We followed a We started climbing up the chute. Because the talus was so winding ravine toward the box, which disappeared from view as the ravine dipped behind hills and through a hallway of junipers. resembling a trail, but we did find small rock cairns, piled as When we emerged from the trees we again saw the box, and as high as a short stack of waffles, as we climbed the steep couloir. we got closer we found a second box, which had collapsed in After 10 minutes of climbing we reached the hilltop, which is ruin to the ground, and a short cave, the front of which had been an exposed edge of Navajo Sandstone in the monocline. Here walled in with local rock. It also had an inset door. we stopped, took off our packs and caught our breath. I pulled The cave and the two boxes formed the corners of a small out my map again. I had previously taped a photo of Castle triangular camp, about the same footage as four parking spaces. Rock, a prominent rock outcropping on top of the monocline, to Wright, Rourke and I spent the next hour investigating the abandoned camp. We crawled into the walled–up cave, poked Hidden Cache is south of Castle Rock. I looked north, scanning our head into the one box that was still standing, and explored After our short rest we hoisted our packs back on and and campfire rings. continued north, through islands of cross-bedded sandstone “Whoever lived here definitely wanted to be left alone,� leaning like over-stacked dishes, then over short hills growing Rourke said. In researching the mysterious Hidden Cache, I had been

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trying to track down the person, or persons, who first discovered it in 1953. Shortly after Wright, Rourke and I found the Hidden Cache, and after tracking down a lead from an old area wilderness guide, l was able to track down Ralph Chynoweth, the man who discovered the Hidden Cache in 1953. I talked with Ralph on the phone from his home in Henrieville, Utah. Ralph is now 78. He was 15 on the day he discovered the Hidden Cache.

place. The only man on the planet with firsthand knowledge. And he told me all about it. At great length and in immense, and greatly appreciated, detail. Which included his theory why the place looked like no one had ever lived there. “Because no one ever lived there,� he explained. His insights into whoever had developed the Hidden Cache

got too weird in the world. Ralph explained to me how he found the Hidden Cache. his four sons and a brother traveled by horse back from their ranch in Henrieville, Utah into the southern depths of Cottonwood Wash to check on the cattle they had wintering there. Today a dirt road runs through Cottonwood Wash but back then there was just a cow path winding through the sagebrush. That same night they made their camp in the lower end of Cottonwood Wash. But the valley had been grazed out by the cattle, leaving not enough feed for the horses, Ralph explained. Ralph says his father told him to take their horses up on top of a nearby ridge where he expected to find grass enough for his horses to graze. It was dark by the time Ralph found a route to the ridge top, but a full moon was shining enough for him to see. As Ralph recalls it was while he was hobbling one of the horses that moonlight glinting off one of the metal boxes caught his attention. He walked a little closer and found the second box too, but

of the way place to keep them though. When I got back to camp I asked my dad who was keeping a box up on the ridge.� Ralph says that no one believed him about the strange boxes, and accused him of telling tall tales. The next morning the rest of the group accompanied Ralph to the ridge top to retrieve their horses and, to see for themselves if Ralph was telling the truth about the strange metal boxes. Ralph led his father, uncle and brothers straight to them. boxes measured about five feet long, four feet high and three feet wide. In addition to the two metal boxes they also found the rock cave with a skillfully built stone wall across its entrance. three intact panes of glass. Whoever had occupied the camp had clustered the two metal boxes around the cave to form a crude triangle. Whoever the

today The Cache is in a very remote place, but back in 1953, and especially during the 1940s when the camp had presumably been built, it was ridiculously remote. Back then the only town on top of the ridge. around was Kanab, about 40 miles to the west. In 1953 there “My dad used to have a metal box very similar to that that he was no Big Water, Utah. No Page, Ariz. kept out on the far end of our range,� says Ralph. “He kept it full The Chynoweths could tell by the way the camp looked – of food and blankets and water in case he was out there when a no tracks, no packed earth, no campfire rings – that the place think too much about them. It did seem like a really strange, out like they were trespassing. Instead, says Ralph, they felt like they were figuring out what was going on. The doors to the cave and the boxes were locked shut, Ralph remembers, but they knocked off the locks and took a look inside each structure. All three structures contained various supplies and food. The first box they looked into – the one that LAKE POWELL

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52 Gateway to Canyon Country

and powdered milk, canned fish, beef, and sundries such as chocolate, rice and flour. Some of the cans were dated from 1942. “It was stuffed clear full of food with none of it taken out or used,� said Ralph. Inside the second metal boxes they found a bed, with blankets on it, and the blankets were still tucked in. It also contained a


small metal wood-burning stove that had never been used. “It looked like someone got the place ready but then never came back,” Ralph said. The box also contained a hex barrel, single-shot .22 rifle, which hung on pegs above the door. They found denim work shirts, underwear, pajamas, two pairs of boots, a brand new pair of shoes and a toothbrush and toothpaste. The box did

Kelsey, “it was their speculation that whoever set up the place had likely been a spy of some kind from the World War II era.” make any sense to have a German spy in the middle of nowhere. He speculates that it was a draft dodger or Army deserter, or hermit camp put together and then thought better of it.

anything about it that identified it as a German uniform. Inside the cave they found several five-gallon glass jars still filled with water, an electric hot plate, and batteries of various sizes. Outside, behind the cave, they found a small windmill. Three wires ran from the windmill into the cave that presumably powered the lights and the hot plate. They also found a radio and a generator, which the March 19, 1953 edition of the Garfield County News, reported had all identifiable marks filed off. There were no HAM radios. No antenna, tall or otherwise. There are several things that makes Ralph think the little hermit camp had never been used, and had been abandoned for a long time when they found it. One, the cans of evaporated milk were so old that they had rusted through and leaked. When they pulled the blanket off the bed it was so old it just fell apart in their hands, and Ralph says he wore the pair of shoes they found inside one of the boxes, but, because they were so old they fell apart after four days.

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Ralph says, the favorite theory was that it must have been the camp of a German spy. It was only a short time after that, says Ralph, that Kane

investigation and see if they could figure out who the mysterious person had been. investigation,” says Ralph, “but we never got any of it back.” According to an account of the event written by Michael Sheriff Meeks, one of the men who had confiscated the goods, sent a report of his findings to the FBI. Later those FBI agents investigating the case reported back to Meeks and, writes

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KEN’S TOURS We are located approximately 2.5 miles east of Page, Arizona on HWY 98. See the map on page 29 in this magazine. GPS Location: N 36 Degrees 54’ 9� W 111 Degrees 24’ 39� Take highway 98 toward Kaibeto and turn left on Navajo Route N22B (Antelope Point Road) for about 1/4 mile. The entrance sign is on the left. Bus Tours are Welcome! We have plenty of parking space.

SUMMER HOURS

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56 Gateway to Canyon Country

Spring 2015 Gateway to Canyon Country  

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

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