Colorado River Rafting


Our Canyon adventure in Arizona took us to many majestic places--Ponderosa Pine Forests, canyon cliff dwellings, petroglyph sightings, red rock formations, and the wild desert brush.   A few days after exploring the Grand Canyon from the South Rim, we decided to view it from another angle--the Colorado River.  Instead of looking down, we would be looking up--a preferred view for anyone afraid of heights, especially me.

Our river rafting excursion began in Page, Arizona--a small town in northern Arizona near Utah. The town itself is very young.  Incorporated in 1975 (the year I was born), the town started as a housing camp for workers building the Glen Canyon Dam, which would create the Lake Powell Reservoir. Lake Powell today is known as this great recreation site where people camp and rent house boats, but it was created truly to store water and provide hydroelectric power for the southwestern states.

The Town of Page website really explains the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam:

The site near Manson Mesa and present-day Page was chosen to build Glen Canyon Dam for several reasons: the area forming the basin could contain an immense amount of water; the canyon walls and bedrock foundation were strong enough to support the high dam; and a large source of good sand and rock was available at nearby Wahweap Creek. The 700-foot wall of concrete was erected with almost ten million tons of concrete and seven years of extraordinary effort. It took 17 years for Lake Powell to reach "full pool."

Our rafting trip started at the base of the Glen Canyon Dam and would be a three and a half hour excursion down the river, just north of the Grand Canyon.  Little Lewie thought we were going white river rafting (which people do right inside the Grand Canyon).  To his dismay, our rafting trip was quiet and serene--a voyage meant to take in the sights and to learn about this history of the area.  (I told him that we could save the thrill rides for our next amusement park visit.)

Our driver and tour guide.

Another view of the Glen Canyon Dam and the bridge.
Little Lewie did end up having a great time.  We had a beautiful 85 degree day, and while there was very little breeze, we could cool ourselves off at any time simply by dipping our hats, hands, and feet into the COLD Colorado River.  (The river was a chilly 40 degrees!)

During the trip we learned about the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, we saw interesting rock formations, we talked about wildlife in the area, and we stopped to see authentic prehistoric petroglyphs or rock carvings.  (In full disclosure, I did get a little nausceous after eating my lunch and baking in the hot Arizona sun, but thankfully after 40 minutes of mindfully drinking water and dipping my hat into the Colorado River, I started to feel better and avoided heat exhaustion.)

This was my favorite rock formation; it's called "Monk Rock"

The river was an emerald color green.

"Smooth Rock"

A short hike to see the petroglyphs.

By the end of our trip, I think everyone was a little tired from the heat, but we all agreed it was an amazing experience, and one day, we want to come back to Lake Powell to rent a house boat.  The landscape truly took our breath away!  Don't you love how a trip makes you want to take another trip?


  1. Relaxing rafting sounds more fun than white river rafting to me!

  2. What an amazing trip! I love all the pictures with the red rocks.

  3. I cant wait to hear all the details of your whole trip! This rafting looks amazing! I can't wait to do this trip with Little Chick! It has been on my bucket list too and now you can give me all the tips. ;-) The pictures are beautiful! It looks like such a fun time! Little Lewie must be beaming from such a fun adventure! Miss you Annette! Hope to see you soon and catch up! :-)

  4. Could this rafting trip be any more gorgeous?1


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