A Photogenic Playground – Page, AZ

When we first camped in Page, Arizona in Spring 2016, we had a great time and vowed to return.  That visit was filled with outdoor activities, but several hidden wonderlands remained unexplored in this photogenic playground.  I published two posts on our first visit; Exploring by Land and Water and Banded Hills.  Page was briefly our home base again last summer when we caught the wave on the slopes of Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.

We were happy to spend another week here at the beginning of our northward migration. We never tire of looking at the beautiful colors and contours of the Colorado River and Lake Powell, which constantly beseech me to grab my camera.  So, my adventurous readers, be prepared for a photographic journey!

Looking north toward Glen Canyon Dam and some upscale homes at Page Golf Course

Throughout the day, the gorgeous formations change colors as shadows slip in and out of the canyons.  It’s a natural beauty that creates amazing and ever-changing swirls and patterns.  Can you tell we just love it here? 🙂

Orange colored beach

Sunset at lone rock, viewed from our campground
View from our dining area window
Harris Sparrow
A Harris Sparrow, rare in this area, came by our feeder a few times

So what did we do on our third time through?  Lots!

Hiking the Rimview Trail

The 10-mile Page Rimview Loop Trail winds around Manson Mesa, on which the city of Page was built.  It offers a panorama of water, rock formations, and mountains.  As we walked along the rim we feasted our eyes on sweeping views of the City of Page, the Vermillion Cliffs, Lake Powell, the Kaparowitz Plateau, Navajo Mountain and the surrounding high desert.

Lake Powell
The river that is Lake Powell
The Kaparowitz Plateau and rock formations
 Navajo Generating Station
The Navajo Power Generating Station is the largest coal-fired electric plant in Arizona
Looking southwest at Vermillion Cliffs
Is the color of the rocks salmon or peach or coral?

The Colorado River flows through that deep canyon
Tower Butte with Navajo Mountain in the distant background

Glen Canyon Dam Tour

Steve signs up for dam tours whenever we get near one.  Not available last time due to construction, so we got on the first tour of the day this time.  Dams are always controversial, as human needs must be balanced against environmental issues.  Such was the case here when this dam was planned in the 50’s, and those concerns remain today.

Glen Canyon Dam and bridge viewed from the south
We were closely watched by guards during this tour
Glen Canyon Bridge
Looking up the Glen Canyon Bridge from 500 feet below
There’s always seepage where a dam connects to the canyon wall
Inside the dam, eight generators provide power for over 2 million homes
Looking up at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, 500′ above
The states that benefit from Colorado River water management

After the dam tour, we explored the vibrant desert and ancient sand dunes along the east end of the dam.  Climbing and walking around these less-visited areas gave us a chance to admire the diverse colors and patterns of the sandstone there.

Ancient sand blown in swirls and frozen in time
The sun hit it right to give the rocks a vibrant orange glow

Along the Hanging Garden Trail
Ferns growing out of the rocks
Seemingly limitless climbing opportunities abound in the Page area
Yes dear, I’m coming back down now!

Water Holes Canyon

One of the allures of the Page area are the slot canyons.  The super-popular (and pricey) ones are the two Antelope Canyon tours, which had already astounded us on our previous visit (click here for photos).  This time we opted for the lesser-known Water Holes Canyon, where a less expensive $12 per person permit from the Navajo Parks office was required.  It allowed us to hike on our own without a guide, which may not be the case much longer because word is getting out about this fantastic place.

The opening into Water Holes Canyon

And what better way to enhance a canyon hike than to do it with friends?  Since Dave and Faye and Al and Ingrid were also camped in Page, we were all set for an expedition of bloggers/photographers.  Several hours of goofing off and laughter ensued, and oh yeah, we actually got in a decent hike too!

If you’re ever in the area and physically up for it, TAKE THIS HIKE!  We all started early and had the beautiful canyon to ourselves for much of the hike.  I have to say the beauty of this trek is comparable to the rushed and crowded Antelope Canyon Tours but at a much more reasonable price.

With each other’s help and some canyoneering skills, we were able to meet the challenges of multiple ladders and tight scrambling spots throughout the canyon.  What a blast we had!

Ingrid demonstrates her butt-scooting canyoneering technique as the judges look on
Can you spot Ingrid?
Steve is tired of always having the spotlight on him 😉

This trail was like a journey to a magical place, with its twisting passageways leading off into natural narrows.  As always, the light changed during our hike to create new displays of color, light and shadow.  It was a wow!

Al and Faye posed while their spouses/photographers shared photography tips
Dave and Ingrid sharing camera tricks

The boys hid in a crack to surprise us, but we caught them.  Nice try!
It’s a tight squeeze there

Details, details…ancient sand frozen in time…

And the happy faces say it all!

Faye, Dave, Ingrid, Steve and Al






  1. Love red rock country … combine the color of the rocks with the blue of the sky, the white of the clouds, and add a water feature … well you can’t get a non-photogenic photo no matter how hard you try.

  2. you certainly have given us lots of places to visit this year when we head west again…

  3. If you think this is beautiful just imagine or find some pictures of the amazing Glen Canyon that was drowned forever by the damn dam,

  4. Perfect place to spend your Springtime. Your photos and story are amazing. Enjoying time with friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’m envious.

  5. Just finished reading Ingrid’s post, your pictures are equally as beautiful. We never toured the dam so it was nice to get a peek at that. Looks like the 6 of you had a great time!

    • Thank you, and yes I call us the crazy six. You can just imagine the laughter and the clicking of cameras, with the three of us photographers together.

  6. Excellent post filled with beautiful photographs. It was so much fun seeing you guys and getting in a hike together. Since we’ll be here another week, we hope to get out more and explore (if Al’s allergies don’t keep knocking him down). We do love it here!

    • Lots to photograph there and I know your memory card will be overfilled! It is always great to meet up with you again. Hope we can catch up with you in Texas this winter.

  7. Now I’m really sorry we didn’t hike in Water Holes Canyon last time we were in Page. But it gives us something to look forward to on our next visit! We need to get there before they start limiting hiking to tours only. Your photos are beautiful, MonaLiza. The sculpted sandstone really is magical.

    • We are glad we finally made it to WaterHole and the hike was enhance by our friends. Now you have something to return to in case highway 89 is in your driving route.

  8. I’m sorry we didn’t make it to Page. Water Hole Canyon looks fantastic. Your photos are spectacular! It’s always more fun to explore on your own and take your time.

  9. I have so enjoyed these two posts of yours MonaLiza. Your photos are gorgeous. It is making me homesick for a state I called home for 25 years.

  10. Wow, wow, wow! We have two weeks booked in Page in a couple weeks and we were wondering if that would seem too long, but now I am convinced we will have more than enough to keep us occupied. Thanks for the tips on this canyon. We will definitely visit Antelope Canyon (you kind of ‘have to,’ right?), but now we can go see another canyon without all the crowds. Fantastic! Looking forward to the dam tour and all the fantastic hiking as well. Thanks for another great post that will give us a jump on planning!

    • Your two weeks will just fly by as there are so many things to do there. And yes an Antelope Canyon Tour is a must as is the boat tour to the Antelope Canyon.

  11. So glad we could share WaterHole Canyon with the Crazy 6 Tribe, such beauty there…a day for the memory bank.

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