Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Tues 12 April - Page, AZ - First full day after Vegas
Our first full day on the road not driving was intended for hiking. However, we had to wait for the visitor information centre to open so we knew where to go. The internet info was limited about local longer hiking trails in the area. When the Internet worked at our motel America's Best Value Inn. Which it didn't more often than it did.
While we waited for the Carl Hayden Visitor's Centre to open at 9am, we walked to the adjacent Glen Canyon Dam Bridge. Great views from the Highway 89 bridge over the Colorado River of the dam and Lake Powell.
From the other side of the Highway 89 bridge, the Colarado River continues downstream.
Gorgeous scenery. We noted rafts on the left of the river (tiny blue boats lined up at the base of the cliff) but we could not figure out how anyone reached them.
After quite an unsuccessful visit to the visitor's center, we crossed the border into Utah and stopped at the lands management office there. We doubted some of the things that we were told by the lady who "helped us" at the Carl Hayden's visitors center. The guy in the Utah office was very helpful. He knew all the trails and explained that only the trailheads are marked and maintained as the Lands Management office intend to keep the land as near to nature as possible.
He recommended Wirepass Canyon and Buckskin Gulch. It's about 8 miles off the highway along a pretty rough dirt road. Lucky for us we have a constant 4 wheel drive hire car - a VW Jetta.
There was once or twice Di was glad of it but she's had plenty of practice on dirt in Australia. Not easy and you wouldn't want to drive the road in the wet, but we made it to the trailhead without any issues.
It's pretty wild out here and we were told to just walk the "wash" to get to the slot canyon.
Hans standing in the wash in the shade. There are hardly any trees here as it is all sand.
The start of the Wirepass canyon was obvious and we were excited. It's beautiful.
...until we came to an obstacle. A 3 metre vertical drop with only a few sticks and stones to tread on. The photo does not give it the full perspective. No further for Di (she does not like rock climbing) so we turned back and decided to walk the other track towards Buckskin Gulch.
So this was a 4.5km return hike which was nice enough to the start of Wirepass Canyon.
We drove 4 miles back up the road to the Start of hike 2 towards Buckskin Gulch.
More sandy wash walking but you can divert onto lightly grassed trails along the edges from time to time. The rock formations were interesting along the way.
Yep, it's wilderness but we did see other people along the way.
It's a bird... O so we think. Maybe the heat was affecting us.
And the Three Sisters, with a big brother looking on.
It was hotter and drier than we expected and after about 3-4 km we take a break with tea and apple. We are walking much later than usual due to our delayed start whilst finding out information. And the false start where we had to return. We feel we're getting a bit burned too.
On the way back we spot a jack rabbit (or is it a hare). Very cute.
Hans had been keen to see a rattle snake, from a safe distance of course, but we figure it is on early in the spring for them.
We still enjoyed the wall and the rocks, although this one seemed to be closing in on Hans.
All up about 13.5km of hiking.
We did not feel like much for lunch so we snacked back in our room around 4pm after another fun visit to Family Dollar. We love these stores.
Dinner was a very bad choice. We should have looked up Trip Advisor. We just went to the nearest Chinese Buffet about a block away. It was pretty awful and turns out on Trip Advisor it was rated restaurant 46/48 in Page. No surprise. We won't make that mistake again! No more Asian food in the U.S. We will wait until we are back in Melbourne's Chinatown.
Back in the room and Di arranged an itinerary for tomorrow including an 8.10am tour.
We were sleeping well at the America's Best Value Inn after our walk today. And yes we did get a little sunburned in the end. Must be the altitude.