Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Marble Canyon Arizona

It's been a couple days since the last update and this one will be a long one so sit back get comfortable.

We showed you Valley of the Gods; now we'll show you Marble Canyon which was our next stop after we left the View Hotel in Monument Valley. However first we'll make a fast side trip Goosenecks State Park in Utah. The park is situated between Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley (much closer to Valley of the Gods) and is accessible by a paved road leading into a gravel parking lot.

Goosenecks State Park is four miles off Utah Highway 261 near Mexican Hat where you can look into a 1,000 foot (305 meters) deep chasm carved through the Pennsylvanian Hermosa Formation by the San Juan River.

We've got a small video at the end of this showing the area just a little bit better.

Our next stop was Marble Canyon AZ. Marble Canyon is a tiny settlement next to the Colorado River surrounded by some remarkable scenery. Marble Canyon marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon and is named because of the very colorful rocks. You'll find a hotel, restaurant, post office, gas station and an artist specializing in metal works and jewelry. Also can't forget about the airport. There isn't much of a population here but the folks are very friendly and helpful. You reach Marble Canyon driving 14 miles on AZ Route 89A off AZ Route 89. The turn off is approximately 25 miles from Page. We spent two nights here and are looking forward to the return vist.

When you visit Marble Canyon you must visit Allison Leigh Schmidt owner of Marble Canyon Metalworks. Allison's work is outstanding and Sandy treated herself to some earrings.

Marble Canyon is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Monument Valley - unless you stop a couple trading posts along the way....

We arrived in Marble Canyon early afternoon and decided to top off the Jeep and go explore the area. Don wanted to see if he could find a view of the Grand Canyon that might be off the beaten path and not in the Park itself so off we went. And 5-hours later we made it back to the hotel to check-in and get a great meal at the restaurant.

When the signs say you're in a wilderness area believe them! From the time we turned off the 89A onto Buffalo Ranch Road and made the 5-hour round trip we saw no one other than ourselves. We didn't even see dust trails of any other vehicles. And if you guess there's a warning coming you're right. While we didn't need to put the Jeep into 4-wheel drive we nevertheless were very glad to have a high clearance vehicle and emergency supplies.

We found several spots where we could overlook the beginning of the Grand Canyon as well as the Colorado River.

Want to see how you get a person 6-9 and make him look small? Have him sit on a ledge overlooking the Grand Canyon.

We didn't want to leave people with the impression that you need a high clearance 4-wheel drive to see anything in this area. Lees Ferry is adjacent to Marble Canyon and Cliff Dwellers a settlement even smaller than Marble Canyon and offers several chances to view strange and very unusual rock formations.

Gooseneck State Park

Grand Canyon

We don't want to close this out without saying hello to Lea & Chris from New York. Glad we were able to help you with your camera problem and again - thanks for dinner!

As always thanks for allowing us to share and please feel free to leave a comment.

Sandy & Don

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