We saved the best for today a cruise on Lake Powell to the Rainbow Bridge Natural Arch. Lake Powell, named after John Wesley Powell, is 186 miles long and backs up into more than 96 major side canyons, and is the second-largest man-made lake in the US. Today we are going to take the cruise boat 50 nautical miles from the Wahweap Marina to Bridge Canyon where the Rainbow Bridge was discovered in 1909. The lake’s crystal clear blue water, more than 500 feet deep in places, is wonderful to explore as we cruised through narrow waterways, past sandstone cliffs and buttes, including the well known Tower Butte.
We left at 7:30 am and it took 3 hours to reach the canyon, the boat docked at the wharf, and we walked the mile path to Rainbow Bridge, one of the natural wonders of the world, formed by erosion of the sandstone by water. It is so impressive the closer we got to the bridge, reaching a height of 290 feet, it’s red sandstone arch spans 275 feet and is 42 feet thick at the top. We stayed as long as we could but we were not able to go under the arch because it is considered a sacred place to many American Indians, the viewing area at the end of the trail provides us with the opportunity to see it and honor its significance. The photos we took do not capture the magnificence of this natural phenomenon.
On our way back we stopped at Dangling Rope Marina only accessible by water, where boats can refuel when out enjoying the lake. When we got back to Wahweap Marina we enjoyed a beer at the poolside bar looking out at the vastness and wonder of Lake Powell. What a great day, and we will definitely return to this area in the future.