Plan B Trip 2020 – Horseshoe Bend and Secret Slot Canyon

Page, Arizona is only a 2 hour drive from the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, but as you drive, you start to experience a completely different terrain.

The last part of the highway to Page travels up a steep grade and goes through a “cut” in the plateau.  We thought it was funny that the motor home in front of us has Grand Prismatic Spring from Yellowstone as the picture on the back…we have been there!!

We dropped the motor home at our reserved campground in Page and headed to Horseshoe Bend.  This is a 5 minute drive from town.

The US Park Service oversees the area, but a park pass is not accepted.  It is $10.00 per vehicle to pay for parking.

There is a paved path to the overlook and it takes about 15 minutes to walk there.

Horseshoe Bend is a unique curve in the Colorado River, 5 miles down stream from Glen Canyon Dam.  There is one area that has guard rails, the rest of the area is look at your own risk.

Cindy is nervous around heights so we took very careful selfies.

The cliffs overhang and curve back in, so it is an 800-1000 foot drop-off.

When we first arrived, the colors were a bit faded…

While waiting for the correct lighting, we watched a group of kayakers set-up camp.

The sunset and clouds provided an awesome evening view.

We watched the last of the daylight disappear…

The next morning, we took advantage of a well-deserved sleep-in day.  We had an afternoon tour of Secret Slot Canyon.  This is a privately owned by a nearby Navajo family.  It is a bit smaller than the more famous Antelope Canyon, but we would be the only tour in the canyon.

It is a 20 minute ride in an open air pickup.  There were only 7 people on the tour.  The scenery was beautiful.

We drove up a dry wash to the canyon

There is a short path to the canyon

Wild rutabagas were growing along the trail

The entrance to the cave is narrow.

Being the only tour and a total of 8 people, it gave a type of scared solitude.  Everyone was talking in whispers as we enjoyed the marvels of the canyon. Each new turn was more beautiful than the last and the rock was so smooth.

The canyon was formed by rushing flood waters from torrential rainstorms.  The storms still happen and when they do, the canyon is completely filled with water.  Every flood, changes the canyon formations and leaves a bit of debris as well.

The birds like to make nests is the shallow ledges.  They use the desert bushes for material.

We exited the upper end of the canyon and found decorative cairns left by previous visitors.

Since this is a private cave, we were allowed to climb the small hill and walk along the top of the canyon.  It isn’t very wide, but it is 40ft. deep in some places.

Brandon was our tour guide.  He grew-up in Page and is a member of the Navajo Nation.  He brought a hand-made Indian flute with him.  While we were on top of the canyon, he played a Navajo song for us on the flute.  The sound was absolutely marvelous as it floated upwards. We convinced him to continue Playing as we exited the canyon.

Brandon pointed out that the “Heart of the Canyon”.

On our way back, Brandon told us to look up at the different light patterns.

It had been a truly wonderful experience.

By the time we got back to Page, we were abit hungry.  It was our last official day of adventure as we would drive home tomorrow.  Jim being a connoisseur of chicken decided that we should eat at the aptly named Bird House.  It did not disappoint and passed Jim’s taste test…

The next morning we headed home through the interior of Utah.

It had been quite an unplanned trip…  4500 miles, driven, 34 miles hiked, 14 days,             9 National Parks, 6 states, 5 relatives visited, 3 National Monuments, 2 Insane Mountain climbs, 1 State Capitol, a slot canyon, meteor crater, Horseshoe Bend, a spring training baseball game, meeting a childhood baseball hero, and 1 “standing on the corner” in Winslow, Arizona.

Sometimes the best PLAN is to have no PLAN at All!!!