I have only zipped past it before, never stopping and taking in the vastness or beauty of the surrounding area.
We wanted a place to stay en route to our destination near Bryce Canyon NP. We love to boondock/dry camp/free camp…whatever you want to call it. It normally involves quiet, wide open spaces, peaceful nights, and is FREE! We’re fully set up to boondock for a while. We have a 100 gallon fresh water tank, 50 each of gray & black, a battery bank to sustain us a few days and a generator. If we could boondock all the time, we would!
We usually search freecampsites.net and campendium to find the free camp spots. There are a few other places to search as well, but these are the main two we use.
We arrived at Lone Rock Beach; a part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, just past the state line in Utah.
It’s not quite free. There is a small fee of $14 or 1/2 off if you have an ACCESS or Senior Pass to the National Parks. There was a dump station and potable water fill for us to use. There were many “roads” leading to the beach: pathways through the sand. We headed towards the waters edge and the rest of the campers hoping we chose the right path and weren’t going to get stuck in the sand. Most of the paths seemed decent enough but there were a few that would’ve proven difficult. Zero phone reception. Tons of beauty. And friendly neighbors.
Being that we were here in early April, the water was too cold to go swimming but we enjoyed the sunny days. Lone Rock Beach is a short distance to Glen Canyon Dam and the visitor center. The center had views of the dam and many interactive exhibits explaining the construction of the dam, its intended purpose, the changed landscape, etc. Very interesting stuff! And the kids earned Junior Ranger badges. You can even take a tour of the dam. $5 at the time of me writing this. We didn’t take it, so I can’t vouch for it.
If heights don’t freak you out, walk across the bridge. You’ll get great views of the dam and really be able to see the difference in water level from the river below versus the lake beyond the dam.
Beyond the bridge is the city of Page, AZ. We didn’t explore it much beyond going grocery shopping and finding a park to play at. Just outside of town, past the Walmart, on the same side of the road, is parking for Horseshoe Bend. Blink and you’ll miss the sign. The “hike” to the viewpoint is a little over a mile roundtrip. You’ll go up a sandy, well marked hill and then back down. Very wide path. There is a pavillion near the halfway point if you need to sit and catch your breath. Beware…this is not a maintained area. There are no guardrails. So keep those kids close!
It was VERY windy when we were there. If you dare to look down you’ll see the iconic bend in the Colorado River, a small camp spot and perhaps a boat or two cruising along. You can also witness many not clearly thinking people taking selfies on the edge and backing up towards their almost death. You can get great views without that 😉
Back at the camp spot, we relaxed the rest of our days. We watched kayakers. We chatted with new friends. We had campfires. We played in the sand.
Above, I mentioned it was too cold to swim: too cold for humans. Our dog Chanelle made some new friends and one of them jumped into the lake to fetch a stick and she followed. She NEVER in her 11 years has voluntarily gone into the water. She’s normally freaked by it. You could see on her face an “oh shit what have I done” look. So she tried to hop on her buddy’s back for a piggyback ride back to shore. And then he jumped in again, and she followed over and over. He didn’t mind and she seemed to enjoy her new experience.