On a recent day off Tom and I completed the Marble Canyon Loop. The Marble Canyon Loop is one of the “trail” maps available in Kanab. The Loop has 14 stops, so it would be difficult to complete it in one day. Fortunately Tom and I have done parts of it on other days so we didn’t have as many stops to make. We also added a stop that is not on the Loop map.
The Marble Canyon Loop traverses Highway 89A in Utah and Arizona. The map is set up so that you start in Kanab, head south then east on Highway 89A, and finish in Kanab. Of course, Tom and I did the Loop backwards – that’s just the kind of people we are!
We drove through the familiar ground of Kanab and headed east on US 89. Tom and I drove past stop 14, the Paria ghost town and stop 13, the Toadstools. We did the Toadstools hike before and you can read about it here.
Our added stop was a visit to Big Water Visitor Center. We stopped here once before but it was closed. The Visitor Center is only open Wednesday – Sunday. Stopping and having it be closed was a good reminder to check out hours on the web sites. Tom actually did check the hours before we went and the website says that the Big Water Visitor Center is open seven days a week. Sometimes web sites
lie are not updated in a timely fashion.
The Big Water Visitor Center is all about dinosaurs. They have tracks and sculptures of dinosaurs. The Visitor Center has a good movie about the Grand Staircase. They also life-sized models of the evolution of Ceratopsidae. I thought that was the most interesting part. When I was a kid, it seemed like we only had about ten kinds of dinosaurs. Now we have hundreds. I guess we know more about dinosaurs today.
After this stop, we continued on the Marble Canyon Loop. We drove by stop 12: Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. Tom and I visited Glen Canyon Recreation Area back in June and you can read about it here. We also drove through Page, Arizona. Page was founded in 1957 to house workers who were building the Glen Canyon Dam. After completing the dam, many of the workers decided to stay in town. Today it is a nice sized town with 7,000 people. Most of the businesses rely on the tourism industry. One resident told me they know what times to visit the groceries stores and restaurants to avoid the crowds.
The Marble Canyon Loop has 14 stops and so far I have only told you about three. Tomorrow I will continue the loop with #11, Antelope Canyon.