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Day 3 – The Horseshoe What?

The Horseshoe Bend

I’ve heard of the Horseshoe bend maybe one time before this trip. But I had seen countless pictures of this U shape looking river in the middle of the desert. I never thought I would actually make it to the edge of those cliffs and be able to witness such a wonderful sight.

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The Horseshoe Bend

It’s our third day on this road trip and we are planning to drive up to Page, close to the Utah border, to see the Horseshoe Bend and also visit Glen Canyon National Park. Driving to Page was nice and easy and also hot. There are not a lot of gas stations or other places to stop on the road so make sure you leave Flagstaff prepared with snacks, water and a full tank of gas. Once you turn on the dirt road off the highway, you will have to park and walk about 30 minutes to get to the viewpoint. At the entrance of the trail, there is a sign that says the weather is something over 40 degrees celsius and that at least 1 liter of water is recommended for the walk. Okay.  I was expecting an ice cream stand in the middle of the desert but I’ll do without I guess.  I had a scarf wrapped around my shoulders because the sun was so hot, definitely not Canadian type weather. As you approach the Horseshoe bend, you start seeing the windy Colorado River little by little, it is so intriguing that I feel like running to the edge. It is slightly scary when you get to the viewpoint because there are no fences or ropes to indicate where to stop. The view is amazing and we are even able to see a rafting boat gliding on the river. Picture pictures! Another one for the bucket list, I think.  It is definitely worth the short hike to see this.

 

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Antelope Canyon

Our next stop was at Lake Powell which is located in the Glen Canyon National Park. There is an entrance fee to this National Park but if you previously bought the “America the Beautiful” pass, it is included. The pass allows you to travel to every US National Parks for an annual fee.

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Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Park. It’s not a mirage, it’s a lake in the desert sand.

The night before, we had booked a boat tour for a change of scenery and we were going to be sailing through Antelope Canyon for a couple of refreshing hours. The guided tour was only $47US and it was just nice to not have to drive and just relax. The free lemonade and coffee on the boat was enjoyable as we were sailing through the canyon. I secretly wished we rented kayaks instead, it would of been a different adventure. The feeling of floating on a river in the middle of a deep canyon, looking up to these tall walls of history, it is now on my bucket list.

 

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Mount Carmel

After the boat tour, we started driving north towards Utah, to stay at Mount Carmel Junction for the night. It is a little town in the Kanab region of Utah and it is situated at the junction of highway 89 and highway 9. Basically, when you are in Mount Carmel Junction, you drive left to go to Zion National Park, or you turn right to go to Bryce National Park. It is the perfect location to sleep at if you want to start early the next dau y and visit both national parks. The hotel being outside of the most touristic areas was affordable and not too crowded. We stayed at the Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge in Mount Carmel Junction and it was filled with views of desert life and it really felt like a resort vacation. Hot tub included! Nonetheless, we had a bucket list to tick and we were ready for some well deserved sleep. We were going to visit two new National Parks tomorrow and it would be another exciting time ahead.

 

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