Thursday, November 2, 2017 (Lone Rock Campground, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area)

Thursday started with a beautiful sunrise...this is the second shot this week that Steve has managed to capture...
Today we're off on another adventure with Ray and Deb...this time to explore Cottonwood Canyon Road. So with lunches and plenty of water packed, we were on our way back up highway 89. About 20 minutes later, we turned onto Cottonwood Canyon Road, heading north. The gravel road is a popular route through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument...eventually ending up in Cannonville on UT 12, 47 miles in total. Although we didn't initially plan on going the 30 miles to Grosvenor Arch, we were so close that we decided to push on...besides it was one of Ray's "must see" spots that they hadn't been able to get to when they were in the Escalante area a couple of weeks ago.
The surface of the southernmost few miles of Cottonwood Canyon Road, along the top of the Paria Rimrocks, is very ridged and bumpy as the road crosses wide open, rather desolate and empty terrain with undulating badlands, grey to brown in colour.


The track eventually drops down into the Paria River Valley, running across a wide flat area that is occasionally flooded then along beneath crumbling cliffs at the east side of a low canyon that begins a little way upstream. 
Close up of the same area showing free range cattle in the river...


There was a side road that took us to the base of the mountain and the many large blocks of rocks that have fallen from it...
Steve climbed part way up to get a picture looking back...
This rock has a concave interior and a couple of tooth looking structures in the front...




We didn't realize how precarious these rocks above us looked when we stopped the car below them...

The Paria soon turns away northwest at the junction with Cottonwood Creek; road then follows creek for the next 10 miles, along a very straight canyon bordered by the upturned strata of the Cockscomb - an elongated series of ridges running along the valley, created by erosion of upwardly-pointing folded rock layers. The rocks at either side have strange faded whitish-grey colours; steep, tilted cliffs again with almost no trees or bushes. 






The only thing that marred the beauty and uniqueness of the area were the power lines that ran back and forth across of the road.


Hardly any water in the river this far up..

Oh my...that's quite a rock formation!













After a lengthy stretch along the main valley, the creek takes an abrupt turn west and thereafter flows through a much narrower canyon; the road continues north between ridges of the Cockscomb. One mile beyond it passes through a particularly colorful section with many steep, jagged pinnacles in shades from red to white...











We reached the turnoff to Grosvenor Arch and drove the final one mile to the viewing and picnic area...

Grosvenor Arch is actually two sandstone arches towering 150ft/45m above the ground located in the north western corner of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The largest arch is nearly 100ft/30m in diameter. You can walk right up under the arches and look up into the sky. To get to the arch requires a short walk, on a concrete sidewalk, from the parking lot. There are pit toilet restrooms available. 













And picnic tables...time for lunch before we take a walk up to the arches...

Left of the arch...
Side view of the arch...
Back view...
Please don't fall apart now!
Then it was time to drive the 30 miles back to the highway...of course, the scenery is a bit different going the opposite direction. Quite the road that Deb so expertly navigated...




The drive to the arches took about 3 hours with all of the stops we made...but it only took one hour on the way back to the highway!

We were home just after 2:00...plenty of time for Deb and I to get ready to head into Page for our scheduled pedicure appointments. While I was gone, Steve took this picture of a couple of houseboats that are beached down at the end of the beach...

Now...what we weren't expecting when we walked into Dimension Salon and Spa was to find a male nail technician! Well, we soon found out that the owner, after not being successful in finding a nail technician, "nicely" coerced her husband into taking the course. To make a long story short, it is a wife/husband team that owns the salon. Such a very nice coupled and the fellow (unfortunately, I didn't get his name) was an absolute delight...very funny, comfortable in his role and we had a great experience! I must admit, I didn't think we would be there for two and a half hours but we were treated royally!










8 comments:

  1. I can see why spring is a tough time to travel Cottonwood Canyon Road with it being down in the canyon with the river right there. I guess fall is the time to do this drive. Sure looks like our kind of road. The arch is on my list!

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  2. We had so much fun and nobody got motion sick with my driving. lol

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  3. Brock and NathalieNovember 6, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    We missed Page a few years back when we missed a detour. Still enjoyed the areas we found but Page and the Antelope Valley are still high on our list. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

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