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The Colorado River and Lake Powell: Jewels of the American Southwest

Program Number: 1061RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lake Powell, Arizona
Price starting at: $945.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The Colorado River cuts a path from snowy Rocky Mountain peaks to the plateaus and deserts of the American Southwest, profoundly impacting this region and its inhabitants. Hear about John Wesley Powell’s river exploration and heroics, gain insight into Native American culture, and marvel at the Navajo sandstone and region’s geologic wonders. Immerse yourself in this stunning red rock and blue water landscape during two spectacular boating adventures.




Highlights

• Take a smooth-water raft trip between the towering, 800-foot Navajo sandstone cliffs of Glen Canyon on the Colorado River.
• Enjoy a day-long voyage across Lake Powell to the world’s largest natural bridge, Rainbow Bridge National Monument: 290 feet high and 275 feet across.
• Explore the sinuous depths of upper Antelope Canyon, the most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one and a half miles. Getting in and out of rafts. Elevations up to 4,300 feet.



In 2014 groups will also visit Antelope Canyon, the most photographed slot canyon in the Southwest, with a Navajo guide. Its Navajo name is Tse' bighanilini, "the place where water runs through rocks."



Coordinated by Northern Arizona University.




Lake Powell

Resulting from the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, Lake Powell is a surrealist’s dream, as houseboat flotillas drift past curvaceous rock formations, hidden coves and red-rock cliffs. Crystal-clear water reflects the lake’s towering buttes.



Accommodations
Resort with spa and two outdoor swimming pools on the shores of Lake Powell with breathtaking lake and red-rock views.
Meals and Lodgings
   Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
  Lake Powell, AZ 5 nights
 Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Type: Resort
  Description: Resort on the shores of Lake Powell, within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (See entrance fee note, below.) Property is a 20 acre green oasis set in spectacular high desert; sunny weather over 90% of the time. Lake Powell is a major body of water surrounded by massive rock faces. It is over 180 miles long and has 2000 miles of shoreline, including many lake filled side canyons, some of which are as long as 15 to 20 miles. (Note: There is a $15.00 per private vehicle fee charged to enter the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, including resort guests - one fee covers 7 days. If arriving to the program on the resort shuttle, the fee is $7.00 per person. Road Scholar participants with annual or senior park passes get in free - be sure to bring your park pass to the program.)
  Contact info: 100 Lake Shore Drive
Page, AZ 86040 USA
phone: 928-645-1124
web: www.lakepowell.com/accommodations/wahweap-resort-accommodations.aspx
  Room amenities: All rooms are non smoking, and every room has a refrigerator, ironing board, coffee maker and cable TV. WiFi is available in the lobby.
  Facility amenities: Two seasonally heated outdoor pools, a seasonally heated hot tub, marina, fishing dock, fitness room, 2 miles of walkways with benches to soak in the scenery. On site restaurant, bar and grille, gift shop. Free shuttle from Page airport during the summer - call in advance.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Very wide seasonal variation If you plan to arrive early or stay additional nights at the end of your program, you will need to make reservations directly with the Lake Powell Resort Group Sales Manager, Robin Marquis, by calling (928) 645-1119. NAU Road Scholar does not set the rates for early arrivals and stay-over nights; they are set by the Resort.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Very wide seasonal variation If you plan to arrive early or stay additional nights at the end of your program, you will need to make reservations directly with the Lake Powell Resort Group Sales Manager, Robin Marquis, by calling (928) 645-1119. NAU Road Scholar does not set the rates for early arrivals and stay-over nights; they are set by the Resort.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Resort conference room, 4:30-5:15 PM. You will be staying at Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap that night.
  End of Program:
Resort lobby, 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Colorado River Discovery requires assumption of risk form to be signed prior to raft trip.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel for the length of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lake Powell, AZ
  Nearest city or town:  Flagstaff, AZ 135 mi S, Phoenix, AZ 280 mi S.
  Nearest highway: US 89
  Nearest airport:  Commuter - Page, AZ, Intl - Phoenix, AZ
  From End of Program
  Location:  Departures
Travel Details
 

Page Airport to Program Destination

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Destination Services Taxi
phone: 928-645-6664
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $15 to Wahweap/$10 in town
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5-15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2-10 miles

   

Call 928-645-6664 once you have retrieved your luggage at the Page airport. Best to call a day ahead for reservations - the owner uses the same phone number for several of his businesses.

 

Page Airport, Page AZ

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Wahweap Marina and Lodge Shuttle
phone: 928-645-1071 x9286451009
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No shuttle fare; $7.00 entrance fee*
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Shuttle runs every half hour from May through September, but best to call a day ahead to reserve a seat. From October through April, must call 48 hours in advance for reservation as drivers/vehicles are limited. Only charge is *$7.00 fee per person for admission to Glen Canyon Recreation Area. Valid National Parks pass covers entrance fee.

 

Page, AZ to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Great Lakes Airlines
phone: 800-554-5111
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Price varies by season and time purchased. Approximate $80.00 non-refundable; $200.00 refundable.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hrs 

 

Distance:

 

280 miles

   

Only commercial airline from and to Phoenix airport. 2 flights daily each way. On-line booking: www.greatlakesav.com. Early booking is encourages as price goes up when plane gets full.

 
Driving Directions
  Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap from US 160 Take US 160 past Kayenta, AZ to junction with AZ 98 to Page, AZ. Turn right onto AZ 98 and continue to junction with US 89 in the town of Page. Turn right onto US 89 and travel over the Glen Canyon Dam. Less than half a mile past mile marker 550 turn right into Wahweap South Entrance to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Continue to the entry booth where you will pay to enter the park or show your national park pass. Follow the signs to the Lake Powell Resort.
  Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap from US 89 northbound NOTE: DUE TO A LANDSLIDE AND ROAD COLLAPSE, US HWY 89 IS CLOSED 25 MILES SOUTH OF PAGE. A DETOUR IS REQUIRED. THESE DIRECTIONS ARE FOR THE DETOUR, WHICH REQUIRES AN EXTRA 45 MILES AND ONE MORE HOUR OF TRAVEL THAN THE ORIGINAL DIRECTIONS. DETOUR -- 89T -- WILL OPEN DURING SUMMER 2013. Take I-17 north from Phoenix to the I-40 junction, exit 340, and exit east toward Albuquerque. Continue briefly (6 miles) on I-40 to exit 201, US 89 north toward Page. Continue north on US 89. Following the Detour signs to 89T (past the intersection for US 160) which you will encounter at Gap, AZ. Follow the detour signs to 89T (formerly Navajo Route 20). This will intersect with Highway 98. Follow the signs into Page. Once in Page, turn right (north) onto US 89 (S Lake Powell Blvd.) and travel over the Glen Canyon Bridge. 4/10 of a mile past mile marker 550 turn right into Wahweap South Entrance to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Continue to the entry booth where you will pay to enter the park or show your National Park Pass. Follow the signs to the Lake Powell Resort. The detour for 89T will be approx. 1/2 the time and mileage of the other detour.
  Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap from US 89 southbound Take US 89 South past the small village of Greenhaven, AZ. Before reaching Glen Canyon Dam, turn left at mile marker 554 into Wahweap North Entrance to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Proceed to entry booth where you will pay to enter the park or show your park pass. Follow the signs to the Lake Powell Resort.
Elevation Note: 4,300 feet. Those with heart or lung concerns should consult a physician before attending.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Registration/Orientation & Introductions
(Sunday, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: On-site program registration from 4:30 - 5:15 PM at the hotel. Check hotel lobby notice board to find out our conference room.
 Dinner: Dinner to include: small house salad or cup of soup and an entree (varies on each night). Examples of entrees include chicken marsala; meat or vegetable lasagna ; beef or chicken fajitas; basil and orange crusted salmon with parpadelle pasta and vegetable ratatouille; or chicken picatta with asparagus and confetti rice. A vegetarian option will be available all meals
 Evening: Introductions and orientation. Review your program itinerary and have any questions you may have answered. Get to know your fellow participants and get excited for your program!
   
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cultural & Natural History of the Colorado Plateau & Lake Powell area // Photography presentation.
(Monday, September 30)

Note: In the afternoon we do a short botany walk on the grounds of the resort and to get an orientation to the lake that surrounds us.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet to include: scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, french toast or pancakes, oatmeal or cream of wheat, fresh fruit, toast, juice and coffee.
 Morning: The morning presentation will cover the human story of the Colorado Plateau. From the earliest residents well over a thousand years ago, to the rise and fall of the Anasazi, the first European explorations and the arrival of the first American settlers and their contact and conflict with local Native Americans, the people of the Colorado Plateau share common challenges of learning to survive in the high desert and plateaus of canyon country.
 Lunch: Lunch to include beverage choice as well as a sandwich or other luncheon entree each day. Possible options may include: roast beef and muenster cheese sandwich; grilled veggie sandwich; grilled chicken sandwich; margarita-marinated chicken Caesar salad; fettuccine pasta and rock shrimp ; or sauteed breast of chicken.
 Afternoon: Explore the natural forces which combined to create the incredible landscape of the Colorado Plateau during a walk on the resort grounds. Get up close and personal with some of the native plants of this arid land.

Following the outdoor portion of the afternoon, we will head indoors for a presentation on the adaptable and unique wildlife that live in the high desert and its riparian oases.
 Dinner: Enjoy an evening meal served by the resort catering team with a vegetarian option when notified in advance.
 Evening: Enjoy a presentation from Frank Talbott, a professional photographer for over 30 years. Frank will reveal the beauty and majesty of this area, share a few stories about his "favorite" discoveries and demonstate how best to use your digital camera to capture the stunning beauty that surrounds you.
   
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Glen Canyon Dam/Rafting on the Colorado River
(Tuesday, October 1)

Note: Smooth water raft trip on the Colorado River. No whitewater, just motoring and floating in beautiful Glen Canyon. Getting on/off rafts requires some strength and agility, assistance available. During the trip there is a short walk along the beach side to an ancient Anasazi petroglyph panel.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast buffet this morning.
 Morning: Board a shuttle to the Glen Canyon Dam. Completed in 1963, this dam created the second-largest artificial lake (Lake Powell) in the United States. Lake Powell is second only to Lake Mead, which rests behind the immense Hoover Dam, also located on the Colorado River. Lake Powell is absolutely massive; it is 186 miles long and holds about 27 million acre feet of water at full capacity and has more shoreline than the west coast of the United States! See the exhibits at the visitor center, with its large scale relief map of the expanse of Lake Powell, and tour the dam. Then shuttle through the long tunnel to the raft departure point at the base of the dam. Board the rafts and embark on your journey on the Colorado River through the last free flowing section of Glen Canyon.
 Lunch: Box lunch while rafting through the massive cliffs of Glen Canyon.
 Afternoon: The raft trip continues on the Colorado River through the red walls of Glen Canyon, past 800 year old petroglyphs (ancient rock art) etched into the canyon walls hundreds of years ago. You'll take plenty of photos along the way - the deep, rich reds of the rock walls set a memorable contrast against the blue sky and the clear and green river. The rafts will return upstream after stopping at the petroglyph panel and you'll take a return trip through the tunnel and into Page.
 Dinner: Enjoy your dinner tonight while you reflect on today's river adventure. A vegetarian option will be available.
 Evening: Free evening to rest up from a busy day.
   
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Free morning/Geology and Native Culture Presentations
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet which will include eggs, bacon, home fries, fresh fruit/bananas, toast, cereal/oatmeal, orange juice, and coffee.
 Morning: Free morning to enjoy as you like. A popular option is to visit Antelope Canyon on a Navajo guided excursion. Your program coordinator will review with participants upon arrival the details on this option and how to book the tour. Other options include enjoying the resort grounds by taking short walks, spending time at the pool (seasonal) or hot tub, or catching up on your journal or sketches. Those with cars can take hikes in the surrounding slick rock trails (or slot canyons), go for a drive in this red rock wonderland, or visit shops and sites or interest in Page.
 Lunch: Lunch at the resort.
 Afternoon: Learn about the geology of the Lake Powell region. Hear about the formation of these stunning layers of stone -- the marine, desert and swampy environments that now present themselves -- sometimes with a fossil record -- in the rock layers which surround us.
 Dinner: Dinner at the resort.
 Evening: Enjoy a presentation on the Native American Indian Culture of this area.
   
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Boat Tour on Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument / Musical Entertainment
(Thursday, October 3)

Note: Short walk to the dock to board boat, but handicap assistance vehicle is available with advance notice. . Optional walk from boat to Rainbow Bridge (between .75 and 2 miles, depending on lake level).



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet to include: scrambled eggs, bacon, home fried potatoes, fresh fruit/bananas, toast, cereal option/oatmeal, orange juice, coffee.
 Morning: Boat trip on Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. By far the most popular destination on Lake Powell, Rainbow Bridge stands majestically above the clear blue water creating an awe-inspiring sight. Photographs simply cannot capture the size of this monolith. The world's largest natural bridge, Rainbow Bridge is 290 feet tall, spans 275 feet, is 33 feet wide and 42 feet thick. Its deep spiritual significance should be respected and visitors are asked not to walk beyond the viewing area. All tour boats provide complimentary water, lemonade and coffee. All have restrooms. Most boats are handicap accessible, but please give us advanced notice as some are not and the tour boat manager will want to be sure to schedule a boat that has handicap access for your tour. All boats have both interior seating as well as up-top outdoor seating for full viewing and photographic opportunities. These boats do offer railings on the upper decks. You are free to walk around the boat as you like.
 Lunch: Box lunch on the lake.
 Afternoon: Boat continues to Rainbow Bridge access.A Rainbow Bridge Tour is approximately 5 hours in length and covers 50 lake miles. At Rainbow Bridge, you will have a 90 minute layover. At this time, you may walk, photograph or simply sit in nature's splendor and view this beautiful creation. Be prepared for an approximately 1 mile (one way) hike to the Bridge (2 miles round trip).
 Dinner: Enjoy your dinner tonight while you reflect on the journey to Rainbow Bridge. A vegetarian option will be available at all meals.
 Evening: Enjoy a program wrap up this evening.
   
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning Presentation/Program Farewells
(Friday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot buffet which will include eggs, bacon, home fries, fresh fruit/bananas, toast, cereal/oatmeal, orange juice, and coffee.
 Morning: Hear a presentation about working at Lake Powell in the early days of its formation and the challenges of running a houseboat operation in a remote corner of the Navajo Nation along the San Juan River. Program ends by 10:30 AM with hotel checkout by 11:00 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Lake Powell, AZ General
Within 2-4 hours of hotel: Zion National Park, N and S Rim of Grand Canyon, Monument Valley National Monument, Paria Wilderness, Marble Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Grand Staircase / Escalante National Monument, Keet Seel ruins at Navajo Mountain.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Ghosts of Glen Canyon: History Beneath Lake Powell


Author: Crampton, C Gregory


Description: Drift down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon and explore the people and places that encompass the history of this majestic canyon before it drowned in the rising waters of Lake Powell. Author Gregory Crampton led the historical investigations of Glen and San Juan canyons from 1957 to 1963 under contract with the National Park Service. The objective was to locate and record historical sites that would be lost to the rising waters of the reservoir. 160pp



Emma Lee


Author: Brooks, Juanita


Description: This book by writer-historian Juanita Brooks (daughter of a Mormon polygamous family herself) tells the story of Emma Lee, one of the nineteen wives of John D. Lee, who was convicted and executed for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 1857. The book details Emma's life as a pioneer sister wife and the hardships and happiness she would experience as wife to a man who was initially well-respected within his insular community and was on a first name basis with Brigham Young himself. He would eventually become a pariah within that very same community and would move his wife Emma to Lonely Dell in Arizona, where they would establish a ferry service across the Colorado River, which would help with the general Mormon plan for colonization in Arizona.



A Story That Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle For the Soul of the American West


Author: Martin, Russell


Description: An engineering marvel, the Glen Canyon Dam, dedicated in 1966, also represents wholesale destruction of a unique wilderness area. Its construction brought about and consolidated the environmental movement nationwide, and it was probably the last project of its kind, a swan song for the Bureau of Reclamation. Russell Martin gives a well-balanced account of building the dam, the controversy it caused and assessment of its value today (opinion divided). His lively narrative introduces us to engineers, environmentalists and politicians, all colorful characters.



Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West


Author: Stegner, Wallace


Description: Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle) 496pp



Everett Ruess - A Vagabond for Beauty


Author: W.L. Rusho


Description: Everett Ruess, the young poet and artist who disappeared into the desert canyonlands of Utah in 1934, has become widely known posthumously as the spokesman for the spirit of the high desert. Many have been inspired by his intense search for adventure, leaving behind the amenities of a comfortable life. His search for ultimate beauty and oneness with nature is chronicled in this remarkable collection of letters to family and friends.



The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons


Author: Powell, John Wesley


Description: Full text of Powell's 1,000-mile expedition down the fabled Colorado in 1869. Superb account of terrain, geology, vegetation, Indians, famine, mutiny, treacherous rapids, mighty canyons. 240 illustrations. 432pp



The Southwest


Author: Lavender, David


Description: A historical and cultural overview, including discussions of present-day racial, conservation, and economic problems. Easy reading, fascinating history. 364pp



Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith


Author: Jon Krakauer


Description: In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged.



Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis


Author: Glennon, Robert


Description: In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.





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