When we reluctantly said our goodbyes to Snow Canyon (and our month of full hookups), we pointed the truck east for 2 nights of boondocking on our way to Durango, Colorado. While we spent much of each day driving in Arizona, both nights on the road took us back over the border into Utah.
Even though the entirety of the drive was seemingly through more and more desert, the landscape and rock formations we saw along the way were absolutely stunning. Thankfully, this made for a nice couple of days on the road.
Our first night brought us to Lone Rock dispersed camping in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the banks of Lake Powell. All summer long, we had heard about how low Lake Powell was, but there was nothing quite like seeing it for ourselves. All we could talk about every time we looked out the door to Lone Rock was how terrifying the future of water availability is throughout the southwest.
Even though it is dispersed camping, there is a fee to enter the recreation area and a small nightly camping fee. With an interagency pass, the only fee is for camping (unless, like us, your pass expires the day before, then it is totally worth renewing the pass right then and there!).
We had read reviews about the camping on Campendium and had a good idea of what to expect, including which of the makeshift roads to take and where the best camping is. There were a surprising number of campers in the area, but we had no trouble finding a great spot. While the sand could pose some challenges for driving, we stayed on well-worn paths and were just fine.
Staying here for our first night outside of Snow Canyon really helped make us less sad about what we had left behind because the scenery was just spectacular. Bird was all about running straight down the sand yelling “RUNNING” the entire way, just as she had done at the dunes in Snow Canyon only the day before.
In an effort to keep my morning routine going, I woke up before sunrise to take a walk around the camping area. I made my way down toward Lone Rock and found even more distressing evidence of the lake drying up.
Once we were all up and going, we took a quick trip to Horseshoe Bend across the border in Page, Arizona. While this scenic spot is technically part of Glen Canyon, the entrance belongs to the City of Page, and thus the $10/car fee is not covered by the interagency pass or any other typically recognized pass.
The short hike to the overlook was easy and the views were exactly what we expected based on the famous pictures we always see of this spot. While I probably would not pay to go back, it was worth it to stop once. It was also fun doing a little sightseeing before hitting the road again.
Our next stop was on BLM land at the foot of the Mexican Hat formation just outside of Mexican Hat, Utah. The drive there took us straight through Monument Valley, which is just as beautiful as you could imagine.
Once we got set up and settled, we made our way back to Monument Valley and the famous Forrest Gump Point (the point where he famously stops running) for sunset. Even though there were quite a few people there and it is a little disconcerting to stand in the middle of a highway to take your picture, it was an incredible experience (traffic was really light and having all those eyes watching traffic for you was actually rather nice). Everyone there was super nice, and every person or group was given adequate time to get the photos they wanted. It was really a friendly and cordial experience. However, once we got our photos, we made our way across the street and hung out in a much safer environment to watch the sun fully set. It was just beautiful.
Waking up and seeing Mexican Hat right outside our door was quite the experience as well, and even though there was really nothing to our site (we kind of just pulled off to 1 side of a road where others had clearly camped before), it was a comfortable place for the night, albeit a little sandy.
Having these 2 unique spots on our way to beautiful Durango definitely made for an easier transition back to the road and away from the beauty we had enjoyed for the previous month at Snow Canyon. We saw some incredible iconic sights on the way and were able to ease back into life on the road.