We awoke early at the North Rim for several reasons. First, we wanted to enjoy another sunrise. For mid September is was unseasonably warm but still chilly and jackets were needed before the sun came up as we hiked down to Bright Angel Point. After enjoying the sun rise we got packed up and left for Cliffdwellers in Marble canyon. By leaving at 7AM we made it to Cliffdwellers before 9AM in plenty of time to enjoy breakfast.
Our next stop was Horseshoe Bend Overlook. We got there by 10:45 and everyone made the hike to the cliff. The walk is about 1 1/2 miles round trip and with about 20 minutes on the cliff taking pictures we did the full hike in about an hour.
From the trail head it's only a few more miles into Page where we made our way to Colorado Discovery Adventures in time to purchase some 'provisions' for the raft trip and get checked in before our security orientation. As a party of eleven they were careful to keep us all together for the transport to the tunnel and the dam where we boarded our raft.
Our guide was Ray, who normally runs the shop for taking care of all of the rafts and equipment. But we were fortunate to have him with us on the river. Since he manages and trains most of the other guides, we knew we had someone who really knew his stuff and the 15 mile trip was everything we had hoped for, and more. His intimate knowledge of Navajo history and culture was a valuable asset as we learned about the evolution of Glen canyon over the last several hundred thousand years.
It was clear and sunny and the temperature was approaching 90. But the shadows of the canyon walls, and the occasional spray from the 47 degree river water made it refreshingly comfortable. We stopped to see petroglyphs and we saw the tiny dots of people atop the Horseshoe Bend Overlook cliffs where we had stood just a few hours earlier. Ray helped us to imagine the conditions that John Wesley Powell had found when he explored the river almost 150 years ago. Our landing at Lees Ferry was a sad moment as we departed and boarded the coach back to Page. But it was a full and enjoyable experience.
As I noted in my review, this is not the Grand Canyon. It isn't anything like rafting the Grand Canyon. But it is a unique opportunity to raft the Colorado River in an environment that is an excellent compliment to the Grand Canyon. One striking example is that in the GC, where the cliffs and walls are 2000-5000 feet high, you can not see the tops of the cliffs. But in Glen canyon where the cliffs are 600 to 1000 feet high, you see the full walls and you can understand what the rock is telling you.
We arrived back in Page around 6PM and proceeded to our rooms at the Red Rock Motel.( I posted a review) Then we walked to dinner at Bonkers where we enjoyed a fabulous meal and delightful service as an end to a wonderful and memorable day.
The next morning we took a ride down to Antelope Marina. We opted not to tour Antelope Canyon as we've done that several times before. Plus, we could see storms building on the horizon and didn't want to have to rush to beat the potential of rain and flooding. The parking lots were full though at both Upper and Lower AC. We returned to town for breakfast at the Ranch House Grill before saying goodbye to our travel companions and heading home to Sedona.